Wrapping yourself in a blanket conjures up emotions of comfort, safety and sometimes the best memories of a vacation or retreat. As I began my research to find the perfect blanket for Esalen, I knew it had to be both functional and aesthetically representative of the land. The blanket had to evoke a feeling for our guests as well as our staff. I knew I had found the right one when I was led to the husband and wife owned small business, Trek Light Gear.
After discovering an Esalen postcard from the early ‘80s, I was inspired to put that image onto a label. It was a sketch-style map showing a road leading to Esalen, and apparently the postcard had been sent out to inform guests of a reopening status years ago. Yet, here we were in the middle of a pandemic, having survived the Dolan fire and the January collapse of Highway 1, and our 2021 reopen date had just been set. It felt as if this postcard was giving me a sign. From there, the collaboration began.
Trek Light Gear believes in giving back to both people and the earth. They plant trees for every purchase, donate school supplies to children in need and raise money for cancer research. Believing in doing good is something we have in common and finding ways to enrich others’ lives are shared values. Potential and positive possibilities loom.
There are two versions of our Esalen Blanket. First the Horizon Gold Blanket which offers neutral colors plus a pop of gold. Second, the Greyson which is a rich and deep charcoal grey. Both versions have been created with care to compliment either outdoor or indoor living. Handwoven with 100% post-consumer recycled materials, these mid-weight blankets also have variances in details which make them unique for each purchaser.
“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.”
“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
“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.”
“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?“
“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.”
“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.“
“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.“
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?
Our Blanket series has limited quantities to offer unique and special pieces throughout the year. Find them at shop.esalen.org where you can view at your leisure and bring Esalen home.
Heather Martin is the Buyer and Visual Merchandiser for Esalen’s retail and online space. As a certified Reiki Master Teacher with experience in many facets of retail, Heather layers her ability to create beautiful spaces with her love of wellness.