Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Finding A New True North — #myEsalen
Category:
Spirit

Esalen changed the direction of my life. By going to Esalen, I took a significant step in the direction I wanted my life to go in vs. the direction it was naturally going in. City and corporate life have real inertia for me, and my ego was being majorly fed in that space. 

I can easily envision a day, decades from now, driving down the Big Sur coast and feeling flooded with nostalgia. Big Sur has become my home, a nest to hold me while I heal, a landscape to inspire me as I fell in love. 

For me, I know Esalen is always going to be that non-negotiable to stop for me to take it all in — even if it's just for a moment at the top of the hill on Highway 1. 

Anytime I pass by, I want to stop at Esalen and tell whomever I'm with about it. Whether that be my partner who knows and lived the story with me, our children who will have heard of it many times over, or a friend that I bring into the fold to tell of that life-changing visit. 

While living and working at Esalen, I heard scores of similar stories: Life-saving. Life-giving. Life-affirming. 

Esalen can be and has been all of this to people over the years. I’m grateful to have been one of them. Teaching yoga, guiding into the body, and inspiring realistic and embodied wellness — I’m grateful to still be coming and doing what I love here.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Lacy Shannon

Lacy Shannon is a former Community & Advancement Associate at Esalen. She lives in Big Sur with her partner, whom she met at Esalen. Lacy also teaches yoga and is exploring healing through various modalities.

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Spirit

Esalen changed the direction of my life. By going to Esalen, I took a significant step in the direction I wanted my life to go in vs. the direction it was naturally going in. City and corporate life have real inertia for me, and my ego was being majorly fed in that space. 

I can easily envision a day, decades from now, driving down the Big Sur coast and feeling flooded with nostalgia. Big Sur has become my home, a nest to hold me while I heal, a landscape to inspire me as I fell in love. 

For me, I know Esalen is always going to be that non-negotiable to stop for me to take it all in — even if it's just for a moment at the top of the hill on Highway 1. 

Anytime I pass by, I want to stop at Esalen and tell whomever I'm with about it. Whether that be my partner who knows and lived the story with me, our children who will have heard of it many times over, or a friend that I bring into the fold to tell of that life-changing visit. 

While living and working at Esalen, I heard scores of similar stories: Life-saving. Life-giving. Life-affirming. 

Esalen can be and has been all of this to people over the years. I’m grateful to have been one of them. Teaching yoga, guiding into the body, and inspiring realistic and embodied wellness — I’m grateful to still be coming and doing what I love here.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Lacy Shannon

Lacy Shannon is a former Community & Advancement Associate at Esalen. She lives in Big Sur with her partner, whom she met at Esalen. Lacy also teaches yoga and is exploring healing through various modalities.

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