~ This is the first Christmas which I spent alone in Los Angeles, and ironically the Christmas that I’ve experienced the deepest connection to the true spirit of the holidays. Furthermore, it was triggered by a 22-year-old girl whom I’ve never met, and sadly, never will.
My day was off to a great start. I spent the morning with a women visiting from Peru, who played an intricate part in some life altering insights during a recent retreat in the jungles of Peru, working with shamanic healers and the Ayahuasca plant. After dropping her off at the airport, I went for a swim in Manhattan beach to meditate and connect with my mother, in the water where I had spread some of her ashes earlier this year. It was peaceful. It was beautiful. It was as good as it gets for a Christmas without snow. After about an hour in the cold waters of the Ocean, I got my fix of Montreal-like weather, and proceeded to buy some groceries. I prepared myself a nice Christmas eve dinner. Fresh organic food, candles lit, fireplace going, and a movie cued, it was shaping up to be the perfect solo Christmas Eve. However, It’s wasn’t until I received the news that a friend of my brothers had just been in a fatal car accident on her way to spending Christmas eve dinner with my family, that I got my most heartfelt insight of how precious life really is. We are all just a heart beat away from our last chance to express how much love we have for each other. I’m not advocating we go around telling everybody we see how much we love them, just in case something happens. But rather, to express it through our daily actions.
Although we’ve never met, I’ve heard so many great things about this young women over the past couple of years from our common friends. Regardless, I felt a deep sense of loss and sadness. I really got to thinking about the few things that truly matter in life. Things we all know, but too often push aside in favor of secondary priorities. How did we get so disconnected?
I’m sure people will forget what kind of clothes she wore, the phone she had, and the size of her TV, but they will always remember who she WAS. So why does it take a holiday or an unfortunate tragedy for us to come together and express what should be an everyday practice?
I decided to go to the midnight mass (after not having gone in years) to say a prayer for her spirit and also her family during this very difficult time. The choir was angelic, the people were amazing, and love was everywhere. With stirred emotions, I came out of the church and stumble upon a beautiful heart just out front. I was unable to take a good picture as it was dark, but I’ll snap one today, and post it tomorrow to honor her memory. In death, she birthed a truly powerful light deep within, reminding me to focus on the only thing that matters. LOVE! Everything else in life stems from that. And although many things may seem important, they are dependent and thus secondary to the realization and cultivation of abundant, unconditional love.
So, with deep gratitude mixed with sorrow, I wish you all the very best this holiday season. May it be filled with love, peace and appreciation. Go forth with the paintbrush of love, and paint the light in the darkest of places.