Posts Tagged ‘Hyde Park’

Gratitude!

It’s 80 degrees in Chicago and a beautiful, sunny Spring day. Walking around Hyde Park today I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude that I decided to post about it. Tomorrow marks two months in my new apartment, and I cannot believe how blessed I’ve been during this time!

Friends, an organic juice bar within walking distance, actually EVERYTHING I need within walking distance or a quick train ride, an attic full of vintage doors to paint, wonderful apartment management and maintenance. I even had fun getting interviewed for the 2010 Census when they lost my form!

On Monday night I fulfilled a long held dream to see Krishna Das and Deva Premal in concert. Together, no less! The concert was fun, blissful, energizing and felt like a shower for the soul. I loved it, and as I’m typing this entry listening to Krishna Das belt out Jaya Jagatambe I feel even more grateful for the synchronicities that led me back to Chicago, back to Hyde Park and to the concert.

I’m hard at work on sessions and door number 6. I painted the back of this one first, so when I finish the images on the front, I’ll actually be … done. I also found a way to paint with the doors upright, thereby saving my living room from the previous disaster that was “Laura painting doors.” Much nicer!

A few things I’ve been especially enjoying lately:

Elixer of the Lake — I’m not sure what the difference is between this and other Klamath Lake blue green algaes, but I feel super alkaline since starting it a week ago.

Hemp seed-spirulina-cacao nib-maple syrup desserts — OMG are these good! I use just enough syrup to wet the ingredients, but not enough to make it soupy. The perfect late night painting companion. 😉

Brown rice — I don’t know what to say. Maybe I’m channeling my inner macrobiotic lover, but a little brown rice gives me a sound night sleep and happy thoughts.

Gotu Kola — Herb of the yogi’s, I use this off and on. Right now I’m on. It balances the left and right sides of your brain and increases the ability to meditate. I live in pretty much a permanently meditative state, but I like the extra juice.

Speaking of juice — Bonne Sante Health Food Store’s Juice Bar has the nicest employees and some of the best juice I’ve ever had … anywhere. Always with a smile, too!

Superfood green smoothies for breakfast with cucumbers and one Schizandra berry — More than one berry makes it too tart, but one berry gives an amazing depth of flavor to any and all crazy ingredients I add.

Lake Michigan — Oh, I love the Lake! Always have. It’s so big it looks like the ocean, and so windy here we usually have waves.

MSM face cream — Love it and then I don’t have to megadose QUITE so much with the MSM to control my allergies. If you have hay fever and haven’t tried MSM powder, it’s miraculous. For the second year in a row, I have zero hay fever, and I used to be the kind of person who carried an entire roll of toilet paper or an entire box of tissues with her every single day from March through June and then again in August when rag weed season hit. Nothing, not prescription meds, not herbs, not a 100% raw diet, NOTHING made a dent in my allergies until I tried MSM in doses of 8-10 grams per day. This is not medical advice. Please do your own research and if you decide to use it beware you’ll need to ramp up slowly … but for me … nothing short of a miracle.

Instant Manifestation — I was at Starbucks yesterday waiting for an appointment. While in line to buy my tea, I thought, “I WISH Starbucks carried some kind of vegan raw food treat.” I didn’t even look because I have never, not even in Northern California, seen a raw food anything besides a banana at Starbucks. I happened to glance down while paying, though, and what to my wandering eyes should appear … but a Two Mom’s in the Raw Goji Berry Granola Bar. And it was good!

Have a great day today!!! Many blessings to you … Laura

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. 😉

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