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Home is Where the Heart is


After the extreme isolation and freeze response I experienced over the pandemic, an expansive adventure was exactly what my soul needed; to be in a new place on the open highway with few major plans. For a long time I have wanted to see some nature spots in California that I didn’t want to miss in this lifetime. My friend who died over the last summer told me that Muir Woods was the most spiritual place she had ever been to, and I knew that I would also want to see Mt. Shasta and the Big Sur.


Funnily enough, I thought Mt. Shasta was going to be my favorite place of the three, but it turned out Big Sur (which I hadn’t put much expectation on) was my favorite. As I drove through Big Sur I was blown away by the Pacific Ocean presenting itself in all its vast and deeply blue beauty. I think it frees our own souls a bit when we see something that vast, beautiful and deep. The pairing of the ocean with mostly empty winding roads on green cliffs and the smell of sage everywhere was divine. Oh yes and the redwoods, the redwoods along the way, popping out like wise giants! It seemed like they want to be close to their friend, the Pacific.


Someone I met along the way called what I was doing a pilgrimage. I felt that was the right word for it. I wasn’t going to temples or churches, but to sacred nature spots. My soul was trying to expand itself, or remember its natural expansiveness, through natural beauty and freedom.


Traveling alone and being right with myself along the whole journey also felt sacred. I had to really listen to my needs, desires, gut instincts, and heart. I developed a practice of coming “home” to my heart, especially when my inner child felt scared or intimidated by unfamiliar outer circumstances. In my heart-center I feel a lot of love that is like a warm abode I can always return to. My essence feels like the most homey of homes. What could be more familiar or homier than your own essence? I reflected on the fact that what we call our home would be nothing without the vibes and love of the people within it, whether it just be ourselves or also the vibes of our loved ones.


One night when I was camping in the mountains of Santa Cruz on only my yoga mat (before I decided I must get a comfortable inflatable pad from REI!) I also felt so at home from the experience of being held by the earth. I felt like my energy was merging with the earth in a blissful way; like we were sharing a similar spirit. I gazed through the tent-top opening at the swaying trees and roofless sky, which reflected my own wild spirit back to me with a reminder that I home anywhere on this planet.


In Mt. Shasta I met a spiritual guide named Peter Mt. Shasta. The main thing that he said to me was that we tend to search for what we are seeking everywhere except for within ourselves. He shared that for a lot of his spiritual journey he was seeking God within gurus, including in Neem Karoli Baba, who just pointed him back to his own Self. He said what we are seeking (God, our true Home) is within our hearts. Home is literally where the heart is.


I found this song by Elvis Presely, I imagine it as a love song to my own heart:

Home is where the heart is

And my heart is anywhere you are

Anywhere you are is home

I don't need a mansion on a hill

That overlooks the sea

Anywhere you're with me is home


Maybe I'm a rolling stone

Who won't amount to much

But everything that I hold dear

Is close enough to touch


For home is where the heart is

And my heart is anywhere you are

Anywhere you are is home


Maybe I'm a rolling stone

Who won't amount to much

But everything that I hold dear

Is close enough to touch


For home is where the heart is

And my heart is anywhere you are

Anywhere you are is home


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