“What happened to your sex life?”
These were the first words out of Starr’s mouth when she saw me on New Year’s Eve. Starr is the Curandera who took me in for five weeks after we serendipitously met as I was passing through Hot Springs, Arkansas on my five month road trip. My girlfriend Lynne Litt, a TV writer/producer from LA, and I had just arrived at the geodesic dome that Starr and her Shaman husband Art call home. We were there to spend New Year’s Eve with them.
“I haven’t had sex since last New Year’s Eve, a year ago today,” I mumbled, while blushing and trying to hide my embarrassment by crouching down to say hello to their new dog, a gentle two-year old Rottweiler named Queenie.
“We need to work on your second chakra, you really need help with sex and with cash,” she proclaimed, while turning to introduce herself to Lynne.
I’m slowly learning to not be completely freaked out each time Starr seemingly reads my mind and zeros in on my inner-most secrets. However I still can’t help attempting to explain it away each time she does it. I’ve yet to be successful. She couldn’t have known these things about me. I haven’t written about the depth of my struggles earning money this year, and I definitely haven’t written about my very private decision to take a break from dating for the first 9 months of 2012. My love life took a back burner to my yet unsuccessful attempts to get a couple entrepreneurial things off the ground. Starr was right. I really need a paycheck and a love life.
I started 2012 with huge amounts of optimism, really believing the year would be a year of sitting back and reaping the benefits of all of the hard work I have put in since I first left on my road trip in October of 2010. I’ve worked so unbelievably hard for the past two years at creating a new life for myself by living outside of the box, so I was convinced that I would now easily harvest the rewards. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It took every ounce of my willpower to maintain my 2012 New Year’s resolution to live life with the spirit of a cowgirl. Trust me, it’s a hard resolution to keep when you are watching your bank account dwindle and realizing that you could easily replenish it by selling your soul and going back to the unfulfilling life you left behind two years prior.
The last three months of 2012 were the most difficult. I found myself questioning whether waiting until my early 40s to seek personal reinvention had been a massive failure and colossal mistake. Taking stock of my life, all I could see was that I was lonely for love and that all of my plans for a lucrative career overhaul had thus far bottomed out. I had two options. I could either choose to let myself bottom out even further, or I could take steps that I hoped would help me lasso in an optimistic spin about my situation. I chose the latter and decided to ring in the New Year in Hot Springs, a place that centers me like no other place on earth. I also decided to ring in the New Year with Lynne, a close friend who has been wildly supportive of both my writing of a book and of my 2+ year semi-public journey of seeking shama.
After introducing Lynne to a handful of people in Hot Springs who have permanently been cemented into my heart, and after toasting the New Year with Starr and Art on New Year’s Eve, Lynne and I decided to spend the first day of 2013 doing two of the things I love most in life: soaking in thermal baths and then mining for crystals. The rain and snow had left the crystal mine a muddy mess, and being the only ones crazy enough to trudge through the mud in our rubber boots, we happily had the place to ourselves. We immediately headed in opposite directions and lost ourselves in shoveling through the dirt in search of our treasures. At one point I stopped digging, sat back on my haunches, and looked out at the view of the mountains and the surrounding Ouachita National Forest.
The view from the crystal mine is breathtaking, and it was while breathing it in that I realized that everything is going to be ok. Sometimes you need to be stripped raw of everything that you think is important and of everything into which you’ve invested your heart and your mind. You need to do this in order to be vulnerable and open to the gifts the Universe is sending your way. Why? Because often without stripping us of the people, work and other things in which we clothe ourselves, we wouldn’t recognize the things that are meant to be and we wouldn’t welcome a new wardrobe. In my case, that new wardrobe involves metaphorical chaps and spurs – the wardrobe of a cowgirl.
It has been hard to be a cowgirl this past year, to keep believing, to keep trusting that I’m on my path. That’s because I can’t really see my path, I can only feel it. It’s an act of trust to keep soldiering on with my journey of transition. Yet I’m beginning to see that the transition will never end. That’s what life is all about…it’s about the road trip and enjoying the experiences along the way. My travels have taught me that I always land in unexpected places that turn out to be better than anything I could have planned on my own.
So this year, my sweet, dear, potentially delicious Year 2013, my New Year’s resolution is the same as last year. I resolve to continue living life with the spirit of a cowgirl. To keep living a life that is authentic to me, and to keep embracing life with a spirit of adventure and trust. I’m officially letting go of my plans and opening myself up to things that I just may never have thought an option. And if that doesn’t work, then hopefully Starr has helped cure whatever was ailing in my second chakra. My love life and my bank account could really use the boost.
In closing, 2013, I think I love you already.
Cowgirl Kee Kee
Read me on The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-buckley/