Chicago Moving Story and Commissioned Art

Well, I’m happy to say that I am fully settled into my new apartment overlooking Lake Michigan in Chicago. This whole move went so synchronously that I’ll only share a few of the more striking highlights here in order to allay anyone’s concerns that I might be struggling with the winter weather or living on my own again. Quite the contrary, I am loving both!

The move began on February 6th with the movers working so efficiently that I considered catching an earlier flight than my intended redeye from San Francisco to Chicago. I checked availability and managed to squeeze in one last trip to Seed Restaurant before heading down to catch a 4:00 flight, which brought me into Chicago a day earlier than anticipated.

The flight itself “flew by” as I listened to Krishna Das’ “Door of Faith” the entire time. Getting ready to land, I looked out the window as the plane parted red clouds over the city lights. Krishna Das belted out chants on the last song, and the whole experience felt totally surreal and dramatic, like in a slow motion movie or something.

My brother and his wife picked me up and I spent about two weeks at my friend Wendy’s apartment in South Evanston. She and her Australian boyfriend, Matthew, are both incredible healers, so it was a highly nurturing and transformative two weeks. Synchronously, I gave Wendy my couch when I left Evanston in 2001, and that’s the very same couch I slept on while staying there. Full circle.

I had expected to rent a place in Evanston, and had my eye on a 1 BR apartment in Wendy’s building. With all my previous moving experience, I can normally just pick a spot and rent it sight unseen prior to arrival, but when I started to do that in California, something told me, “Wait. Do NOT rent anything until you get there, or you will be disappointed.” I listened and continued to get the message even while staying at Wendy’s that it was not the right time to look for a place. Meanwhile, her building’s management did not return five of my phone calls about the 1 BR they continued to advertise. She also called them, with no response. Closed door.

Wendy, Matthew and I were having so much fun that they offered me to stay there and just have my movers put my belongings in Wendy’s garage. This appealed to me as I have a strong sense my life is about to make another major shift and I had strong reservations about signing a lease. I had all but decided to exercise that option when some major synchronicities around Hyde Park started happening.

For those of you who don’t know, Hyde Park is on the South Side of Chicago, where I went to school at the University of Chicago. I got my Master’s Degree there in 1996, but truth be told, that was one of the most difficult, miserable nine months of my life! So much so that I had made a vow never to return to Hyde Park, and even with two years of living in Evanston and many visits to Chicago since, I had held to that vow for nearly fourteen years.

A strange thing happened, though. I was praying shortly after my arrival in Evanston and drawing cards from a variety of divination decks. (Wendy has several very cool ones!) I kept pulling the Forgiveness card — from multiple decks. At first I thought I just needed to forgive various people and myself for decisions and actions, but the words “Hyde Park” kept coming up. What?? “Forgive Hyde Park. Go, make peace with Hyde Park.” I toyed with the idea of visiting there the following day and that night I had a recurring dream five times:

I was looking through a slat in a door at a red planet or star and there were beings talking to me. We were waiting for something. All of a sudden, the beings would all say to me in an excited voice, “Alpha Centaurus is coming!” Then I would wake up and “know” I had to go to Hyde Park the following day. Don’t ask me the connection, or why one had to do with the other, but the message was clear.

So … I took a couple trains and a bus to Hyde Park on an unplanned, unrouted trip from Evanston. Because it was unplanned, I went through one of the worst areas of Chicago, but made it through unscathed and was dropped off right in front of … a giant juice bar! One of the things I was saddest about leaving in CA was the Juice Shack where I could get massive veggie juices. I thought the closest thing I’d get in this area would be a Jamba Juice with just a carrot juice and wheat grass option. I did have one pet peeve even with Juice Shack, though, and that was that I could not have a cucumber base for my juices. Yes, I’m a little odd. Sometimes I don’t like carrot or apple as the base. I just want green. So … there I was, on this dream-inspired journey to the one place I vowed never to return to, and I got dropped off at a juice bar that offers cucumber bases for their organic juices! They also have a large vegan and raw food selection, which I truly did not anticipate in Hyde Park.

Everyone was incredibly friendly, and to top things off, an old friend called me on the train on my way down to HP, and we got to meet for tea because we were both in the area at the same time. I walked past my old apartment at the exact moment I wondered if I would find it, and in general “forgave” Hyde Park for all my 1995-96 misery. I and it had seriously changed.

Back to Evanston: I still thought I would just ride out my changes at Wendy’s place, but on Valentine’s Day I awoke from more dreams with repeated messages. Specifically: “Go to Hyde Park tomorrow and find an apartment because your movers will be here Wednesday.” Craziness, but my whole divorce and move have been so synchronous that I didn’t argue. I just … negotiated.

I said, “OK, I will go to Hyde Park on Monday, but I am not putting a lot of effort into this search. I want a place by the Lake, and I want it to be the right place, and I want it to be obvious because this is NOT where I would have planned to live.” I went via a safer route and just wandered towards the Lake. I buzzed one place, and the manager said to call her cell phone, but she didn’t pick up. OK, not that place. I wandered a little more, found a place with good numbers (angel numbers) and looked at an apartment there. It was too small, but the manager was very nice. Exceptionally nice. She asked what I really wanted and said, “Let me make a call. I think I know just the place for you.”

I walked two blocks closer to the Lake, met a different manager, and was shown a top (ninth) floor apartment with a Lake view on one side and a view of the rest of Hyde Park on the other side. I liked the apartment, but my concern about a year’s lease kept boiling in the background. I asked for a six month lease, but she said she’d have to charge me a huge surcharge. If I would accept a 4.5 month lease, however, there would be no surcharge. Perfect! I signed on that day. My lease ends literally the day before my California divorce becomes final. After paying for the apartment, I got a call from my movers saying they were, indeed, coming on Wednesday and had I found a place yet?

So … I’m in my new place, and I love it. I walk to the Lake nearly every day, trudge through crisp snow and cold air that feels surprisingly invigorating. I walk to the juice bar, eat cheap Thai or Indian food at nearby restaurants, and paint and visit with my friends. A month ago I never would have believed these words would come out of my mouth, but I love Hyde Park!

I sense I am here for only a short, transitory time, tying up a lot of loose ends. Not only am I on the ninth floor (nine for completion), but all the numbers in my address and zip code add up to nine. My lease term is half of nine, and I keep getting signs that the end of June marks some kind of hinge point in my life. For now, though, I love where I am and how things are unfolding.

Some of the biggest observations:

1) I “need” much less cacao in Chicago. I don’t even think about it unless it’s in front of me, whereas in California and Sedona I had become quite the cacao junkie. šŸ˜‰

2) I can eat about 50% raw and still feel as good or better than when I ate 90-100% raw in California or Sedona.

3) I am beginning to feel very grounded. I have felt out of body for about twelve years, so this is a pretty big deal for me. I used to spend a lot of effort trying to anchor myself to this planet, concentrating on my feet, reigning in my energy, trying to be disciplined not to exit my body permanently. Since moving, this does not feel like nearly so much of a struggle. I have days where my energy just feels comfortable. I still feel like a visitor in my body, but at least I’m a regular guest — kind of like sleeping on my old couch at Wendy’s!

4) I keep seeing combinations of 5’s and 2’s, which means:

“2’s and 5’s, such as 255 or 225 – Your prayers and intentions have been clear, strong, and without reservations; therefore, expect a change to come about faster than you may have foreseen. Don’t let it throw you when your wishes come true. They may come about in unexpected ways, so hold on to your faith. Talk to God often, and ask for reassurance.” (You can find more angel number significance on Doreen Virtue’s website.) I saw these numbers before my move timing ramped up by four months, so I anticipate some other shifts soon.

5) I love winter! In Northern California, I always felt cold, like chilled to the bone. For some reason, even though the temperature is colder here, and often just as damp, I don’t feel chilled. I just feel good.

6) The Lake feels better to me than the Pacific Ocean. I didn’t anticipate that one, but it does.

7) Life feels really good without any boundaries or “nevers.” I should never say never, because I always end up doing the nevers anyway, but this move has freed up a large chunk of my heart and energy. Hyde Park and University of Chicago in many ways marked the most major way I had gone “off path” — seeking an academic lifestyle instead of a more artistic, creative, spiritual one. I feel like I’m integrating on a deep, deep level, and finding an old journal has helped me recognize that in a rational way as well.

8 ) I am going to start offering commissioned art pieces — canvases, found objects, wood panels and/or doors for sale. If you live in the Chicago area, I am available to do in-home decorative painting. If you live outside this area, I can offer anything that can be mailed or shipped. I infuse all my paintings with Reiki, Runic knowledge and symbols, Sacred Geometry and whatever intention seems appropriate, be it healing, transmutation, prosperity or something else. If you’re interested, please contact me for samples of my work or pricing.

That’s all for now. Happy almost Full Moon!

Laura

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Giacinta on February 26, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Thank you Laura for sharing from your heart the energy of this time for you. It’s beautiful and I wish you a journey more fulfilled than each moment before. Congratulations and infinite blessings! A big hug and much love! Giacinta

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  2. Posted by Wendy on February 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    You are amazing. So glad to hear about this smooth transition.

    Lots of love, Wendy

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  3. Hoping your new home surrounds you with all the love you deserve, beautiful one xxx

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  4. Posted by laurabruno on February 27, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you all! xxxx and lots of love

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  5. Posted by Melissa on March 5, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Laura, I enjoyed reading about your move and the synchronistic events. Congratulations!

    Numbers: This interests me because I had the number 10 (which is 1 in numerology terms) follow me around for a whole year, so I read up on numerology…

    When you mention 2 and 5 that makes me curious. Do you know your life path number & personal year? (According to numerologists one’s personal year is the world year — which is 3 for 2010 — plus your attitude number, which is the day you were born plus the month).

    For example, if you were born May 28th your attitude number would be 5 + 2 + 8 = 15, reduce to single digit 1 +5 = 6… So if your attitude number just happens to be 6, you’d be in a personal year of 9…. šŸ™‚

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  6. Posted by laurabruno on March 6, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for stopping by! I am an 11 life path number, and I am in a 3 year, so I’m aligned with the world’s year. šŸ™‚
    Blessings!

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  7. Posted by Melissa on March 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Aha! Just another reason I’m drawn to and enjoy your work. ( I’m an 11 life path, too). Oooo…3 the personal year of creativity and expression!

    I love your artwork – the doors are amazing!

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  8. Hi Laura, The magic of the unfolding of your life always inspires me. I’m filled with gratitude that you’re my RMT and friend. I wish you continued blessings always. Love ya, Denise

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  9. Posted by laurabruno on March 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you, Denise! Wishing you lots of love and light! It’s great to hear from you. XO

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  10. […] many emails and longing comments during sessions from people who “would love to move” like I do, who “would love to just pick up and go,” and “would love to inject a little more […]

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  11. […] of these photographs! I lost my in-house professional photographer when I got divorced and moved to Chicago, so these are BlackBerry images. I’ll eventually replace them with better quality photos from […]

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  12. […] I don’t usually get the idea until a door is in my “sphere.” It turns out this apartment was more suited to me than even I realized. Directly above me sit and attic full of … […]

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  13. […] Illinois, on the north side of Chicago, also right by Lake Michigan: essentially, the inverse of Hyde Park, with Northwestern instead of University of Chicago as the “college” in that […]

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  14. […] I lived in Chicago really brought this interrupted sleep idea home to me. I had been led — directly through dreams — to find an apartment on the 9th floor, 1.5 blocks from Lake Michigan, in Hyde Park. […]

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  15. […] apartment was its own layered and seemingly destined event. If interested, you can read about my Chicago Moving Story and the Mother Lode of Doors here, but it’s enough to know about the nines and that the […]

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