Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Follow Your Bliss — #myEsalen

“Working in the Esalen kitchen, nobody expected me to know how to do it all, and for the first time in a long time — if ever — I felt like just doing my best was enough. I felt like I was enough.” That’s Shannon Hudson describing her very first work-scholar job at Big Sur after first dropping out of med school (“With a few exceptions, conventional medicine didn’t seem to really cure anything!”) and then a decade of high-pressure start-up work. 

“Tech was exciting and paid me very well, but I found myself deeply unhappy. It felt like I wasn’t having the kind of impact I wanted to have in the world.” Burned out, Shannon quit the job, sold the house, and came to Esalen — where she could breathe and decompress during a difficult life transition: “I felt safe and I felt like I belonged. I felt loved by the very land itself.”

With that love, along with the resources, space, and support here, Shannon spent two years doing on-campus jobs and figuring out her next move. “I took workshops, engaged in regular Gestalt therapy sessions, sat in process circles, read half the books in the bookstore, attended visiting teacher classes, got bodywork, learned massage, soaked for countless hours in the hot tubs, and developed strong relationships that last to this day.” And then, with her new outlook, she followed Joseph Campbell’s good advice (“follow your bliss”) and discovered naturopathic medicine — with the holistic approach and emphasis on vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature) that conventional medicine didn’t offer.

“The core philosophy is looking for the root cause of dis-ease using natural therapies — diet, herbs, hydrotherapy, bodywork, counseling, and more — to correct imbalances,” says Shannon. “A perfect counterpoint to what I considered the flaws of conventional medicine, and also a way to bridge all the healing modalities I learned at Esalen.” 

After coming full circle to medicine, Shannon has circled back again to be Esalen’s webmaster — architecting the site, posting, e-blasting, and spreading the word about her spiritual home. “Esalen has remained a consistent thread in my life. There’s an undeniable magic here! Part of me thinks I should be devoting more time to my naturopathic practice, but I have such gratitude for what I’ve received that it feels authentic to play a part in helping other people find this place.” 

“For now,” she says, “it’s where my bliss is.”

“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

Esalen Team

Follow Your Bliss — #myEsalen

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

“Working in the Esalen kitchen, nobody expected me to know how to do it all, and for the first time in a long time — if ever — I felt like just doing my best was enough. I felt like I was enough.” That’s Shannon Hudson describing her very first work-scholar job at Big Sur after first dropping out of med school (“With a few exceptions, conventional medicine didn’t seem to really cure anything!”) and then a decade of high-pressure start-up work. 

“Tech was exciting and paid me very well, but I found myself deeply unhappy. It felt like I wasn’t having the kind of impact I wanted to have in the world.” Burned out, Shannon quit the job, sold the house, and came to Esalen — where she could breathe and decompress during a difficult life transition: “I felt safe and I felt like I belonged. I felt loved by the very land itself.”

With that love, along with the resources, space, and support here, Shannon spent two years doing on-campus jobs and figuring out her next move. “I took workshops, engaged in regular Gestalt therapy sessions, sat in process circles, read half the books in the bookstore, attended visiting teacher classes, got bodywork, learned massage, soaked for countless hours in the hot tubs, and developed strong relationships that last to this day.” And then, with her new outlook, she followed Joseph Campbell’s good advice (“follow your bliss”) and discovered naturopathic medicine — with the holistic approach and emphasis on vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature) that conventional medicine didn’t offer.

“The core philosophy is looking for the root cause of dis-ease using natural therapies — diet, herbs, hydrotherapy, bodywork, counseling, and more — to correct imbalances,” says Shannon. “A perfect counterpoint to what I considered the flaws of conventional medicine, and also a way to bridge all the healing modalities I learned at Esalen.” 

After coming full circle to medicine, Shannon has circled back again to be Esalen’s webmaster — architecting the site, posting, e-blasting, and spreading the word about her spiritual home. “Esalen has remained a consistent thread in my life. There’s an undeniable magic here! Part of me thinks I should be devoting more time to my naturopathic practice, but I have such gratitude for what I’ve received that it feels authentic to play a part in helping other people find this place.” 

“For now,” she says, “it’s where my bliss is.”

“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

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Follow Your Bliss — #myEsalen

After several different lives — med school, tech startups, naturopathic medicine — Shannon found the one place she’ll always come back to: “Esalen has remained a consistent thread in my life. There’s an undeniable magic here!”

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About

Esalen Team

Follow Your Bliss — #myEsalen

About

Esalen Team

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