My trip back home was exactly what I needed to complete my shifting and cycling. For the past few weeks I have been in a major shift of healing and it has been amazing, emotional and healing.
I decided I was driving back to Kelowna . Actually I was staying in Vernon but knew that much of my time would be spent in Kelowna . The drive was one of magic. I left when there was a severe snow warning in effect. I was told from outside sources that the roads were going to be “brutal” and that maybe I should reconsider. I listened to the fear coming towards me and chose to listen to my inner self who clearly stated it would be fine. I would be safe.
When I left in the morning there was about 3 inches of snow on my car and it was still falling. I started the car and swept it off then went back inside to say good-bye to my friend and her family. When I stepped back out the door the snow had stopped. I proceeded out of the city where I found the highway was clear. I watched as the sun started breaking through the clouds and knew in that moment I would have a wonderful drive back. I turned the music up and sang out loud. I screamed and I danced in my seat. I slowed when I hit an area that had ice and slush only to find clear dry roads 50 km down the road.
I stopped several times to walk and stretch my body; to breathe in the fresh mountain air and to connect with nature. It felt like I had only driven for a couple hours when I arrived in Vernon yet I know it had been closer to 8 hours.
I had a wonderful time visiting a friend and being re-introduced to her son who had grown so much in the two years since I had last seen him. We cooked a wonderful dinner and visited into the wee hours of the morning. The next day I was up and off to Kelowna where I had plans to meet up with several different people. I started with a friend on her lunch break. It ended much too soon and I knew I wanted to have hours longer then we had. Then it was off to the Casino.
I parked and took time to center myself before entering the building. I knew that this was going to be the hard part for me. I had spent so many of my years in the dark building and as much as there was a part of me that loved the Casino there was an equal part which hated it and all it represented to me. I stepped inside and was immediately transformed back to the past. Yes the building and floor layout had changed slightly but it was still dark, loud and flashy. The tables were located where they have always been. Granted there were less then normal. The Roulette table had been replaced b y machines which saddened my heart. As I looked at the Dealers on the tables I saw the same day crew working as I had left behind seven years earlier with the exception of one new face. I did not recognize the Pit Supervisor but knew the Floor Manager well. I walked over to the tables and said a quick hello before asking where I would find the room I was to meet a friend in. The way was pointed out and I headed in the direction of the new expansion. I looked around and let the differences sink in. I asked for my friend who was on a break and so I grabbed a cup of coffee and settled into a chair to look around some more.
I noticed the energy of the space as being dead. It was like the lights of the machines were sucking it out of the person sitting in front of it pushing buttons. I noticed the staff seemed tense and on edge. I felt the tension in my shoulders and neck. I had to remind myself that this was not my reality any longer and that I could choose to be in a different space within the walls of the casino.
When my friend arrived the energy shifted once more around us and we hugged and said our hellos. I could feel the excitement of the two of us catching up and laughing. I had become aware of the people around us looking with strange curiosity as we laughed louder and shared this space. She gave me the tour of the new look and it was cool to see it through her proud eyes. I saw the ownership she took of the space she was now in charge of. We talked about the changes and the pressures. We talked about the fear and unknown of what to expect next and my heart went out to her. Seven years has passed and still there is the fear of not knowing if you have a job when you get to work. It was a terrible way to function and my heart hurt for my friends.
After three hours of visiting with everyone I left and headed to the beach. I started at one where I laughed, played and hung out as a teenager. It was strange to stand on the beach with my feet in the water (Yes, I was definitely a tourist). I felt a sense of fear in my body and wondered what it was I was feeling. As I stood there I realized it was not the first time I had this feeling while being in this space. In fact I could not remember a time when I was sober and did not feel the fear I was experiencing. I started looking around and realized I was alone and knew I needed to leave. I slowly made my way back to the car and drove the couple of blocks down and went to the other beach. I found a bench and sat with my journal. I watched the lake and closed my eyes. I heard the water lapping on the beach, the child’s laughter while he played on the swing, his father talking to a friend, the runner’s feet hitting the pavement behind me. I felt the wind whipping my face as the rain started to fall. I could feel the tears leaving my eyes as I wept on the bench. I wept for the pain I felt in my heart after being in the casino, I wept for a past I could not go back to and a present I could not explain. I wept for the differences in my friendships and for the friends I was missing in Edmonton . I felt like I was being torn open with the confusion I was feeling. How could I feel so at home and yet like such a stranger in this place? I wrote through the tears trying to grasp what it was I was feeling in the moment. I never quite got it but I did get that I wanted to step back in time to feel the comfort of my life once had with the knowledge I could never go there again and if given a chance I would not. It was the realization I would not want to be living her again that stopped my tears. The knowledge that I love the life I now have and that it was okay to be here and to love the time I had there was enough to bring me a smile through the tears.
When I opened my eyes the scenery had changed. I noticed the big tree that once shaded me was gone and in its place was a small tree and the bench I now sat on. I noted that I was the only one left on the beach. The tourist sitting on a cold (+9) beach in the rain…..
As I headed back to the casino to take a friend for dinner I called a friend here in Edmonton . Just to feel the connection and love from home was enough to give me the strength and courage to continue my journey from a place of authenticity of self. No need to be what I once was (lord knows I was very unhappy then) It was okay to be who I really am and that was freedom.
Dinner was nice and so was the visit, too short again, but very nice. I tried to drive up Knox Mountain only to find they had it closed for the winter. It saddened my heart as I had hoped to enjoy the view of the city lights but it seems it was not meant to be. I dropped my friend off at her vehicle and headed back to Vernon for the night.
The following day I was back in Kelowna where I go to go shopping and get ready for dancing. Dancing, my heart glowed at just the thought of hitting the floor and getting lost in the beat of the music. We hit our old stomping ground where we were the only two people other than the staff. It was awesome to have the space to just remember the fun times and all the people we once knew and how we were all connected and linked.
I convinced the DJ to play some Reggae and it was time to dance. I felt the joy and bliss raise in my body and one song faded into another, into another and again. I felt alive to be moving on the floor I had come to love so many years earlier. I felt grateful for the space to move my body and bring my energy to a place where I knew I shines for all the hurt, love and experiences I had ever had in Kelowna . I shined brighter then I could have ever before because I was coming from a place of self love and acceptance. I danced and I laughed and danced some more. I let my body move in a way it become stagnate. Then I pushed it a little further and felt the muscles burn in my legs and ribcage. It was amazing to me that could dance for so long and not fall down dying. I have dance in the seven years since I had left but I have not danced like that ever. I danced in mourning and in celebration. I let go of the pain I was holding onto, the resentment and I allowed the joy and freedom to enter my soul, my Being. It was amazing and it felt like I had come full circle in my life.
I left Vernon on Sunday morning very early and drove home. The drive took a lot longer coming back then it did getting there. It was good to drive and process what was left from the weekend. I felt such joy as I dove towards Edmonton . I felt my heart glowing knowing that I had forgiven the pain I once felt. I felt my heart glow with the love I had in my life. I felt my heart glow with my inner child’s laughter flowing. Finally we are both free.