Souvenirs are overrated. And they sure don't last forever. Most of them end up smashed to smithereens in your suitcase by the time you get home. But the sweet, tender, endearing, inspiring people you meet in your travels can remain in your memory for the rest of your life. The advice from these people, who I like to call angels, can help keep you whole when you feel like you're falling apart.
I recently went on an eight-day trip to Provincetown, Massachusetts with my dear friend Ryan. If you didn't know, Provincetown is a very artsy community. It's also a primarily gay and lesbian community. As a (very) heterosexual female who drools over guys (guilty!), you'd think I'd feel so out of place. Not even for one second. I actually felt more creatively inspired and at peace in P-Town than I've felt anywhere else. Why?
Well, yes, because of the fabulous art galleries, beaches and bed & breakfasts. But more so because of one woman with a radiant soul who seems as though she's been your best friend all your life.
Two extremely creative people always thinking of new projects and ideas, Ryan and I were desperate for inspiration. So, while Ryan was taking a nap, I Googled "inspirational shop" near the place we were staying, and "Recovering Hearts" came up in the search. The next day, we figured we'd take a walk, since the name of the shop sounded like something that would heal and inspire us: the perfect remedy for two bohemian entrepreneurs in search of love, abundance and success.
Recovering Hearts is THE sanctuary Ryan and I had searched for, complete with soul-soothing music, wind chimes, stones, crystals, stained-glass windows and some of the most beautiful inspirational books to help people heal their heartbreaks, addictions, abuse, physical illnesses and self-esteem problems. If I could open up an inspirational shop myself, this would be it. And I couldn't find one clichéd self-help book in the whole place; every single book on every single shelf seemed to have been hand-selected and written entirely from the heart; no B.S.
This place is all about truth; being honest with yourself about what you want to heal and what you'd like to accomplish in this crazy little thing called life.
As Ryan and I browsed the bookshelves, swooning over the adorable angel trinkets, candles and other beautiful metaphysical merchandise, a woman with blue eyes and a warm, gentle smile greeted us from behind the register. Although there were other customers in the store, she specifically walked over to us and introduced herself. Her name? Leslie. She owns the shop.
After a brief conversation, she picked two postcards from the rack, smiled and handed one to me and one to Ryan - each a different card. Mine read, "She who looks outside, dreams. She who looks inside, awakens."~Jung.
At that moment I could feel my whole body become warm and completely at peace. Leslie didn't need to say much; I knew this woman understood me at first glance, and even more so after we'd chatted for a few minutes. What I'd realized is that I had lived a lot of my life looking for outside approval instead of letting my creative, innermost self guide me. I'd been so afraid, for example, that others would think my hopes and ideas for a successful, peaceful lifestyle were unattainable and ridiculous. I'd been so scared to trust my inner guidance, thinking I'd make a mistake and, as a result, never trust myself again. Have you been there? I think a lot of us have. I think we're on this earth to learn lessons along the way.
After chatting with Leslie, I immediately knew something had changed in me; that I was no longer afraid to make a mistake; that although I am not perfect, I am extremely intuitive, powerful, creative and wise - I have the ability to live a great life. I am truly beautiful on the inside. I'm proud of myself, but in a humble way, if that makes sense.
Leslie reinforced that fear is an illusion; it's just an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Ever hear of that one before? We are much so more powerful than the things that scare us. We cannot control all of the circumstances in our lives, but we do have the power to prevent these situations from controlling us. How will we resist fear? By keeping a positive attitude, taking baby steps with each endeavor, knowing that we're ultimately going to succeed no matter what (even if we think we've "failed"), and acknowledging the spiritual guides (gut feelings, signs, and "Earth Angels" like Leslie!) placed before us along our journey.
Interestingly enough, the name "Leslie" means "Holly Garden." In the few days I spent in and out of her store, she's certainly helped my soul to blossom.