Patience in the Process: Healing and Transformation in Family Relationships.
“When looking for adventure … leave the map behind.”
I truly discovered what it means to find peace in the process when I went on a recent road trip with my Dad to California, where my new hippie home would be apart from my small town of Tecumseh in Ontario. It was expected to be an eight-day trip, with a general idea of the states and route we were going to hit, however, we left plenty of room for thrill-seeking adventures along the way. My dad and I are both adventure junkies and were a craving a rush of adrenaline while being surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Utah, Colarado, and Arizona on the drive to sunny California.
Back Story on my Relationship with my Father…
It has taken me a long time to forgive my father to which I had thought I had forgiven him during my yoga teacher training. He was always a negative and angry figure in my life, and not only damaged his relationship with my mother in many ways, but ultimately, lost my trust and my love for him. As a child he would fulfill my adventure needs by taking me to Cedar Point (rollercoaster park in Ohio) and signing me up for snowmobile grass-drag races. However, as I grew up and apart from him, my love for nature grew and my dis-interest in motorized sports caused an even bigger void in our relationship.
Throughout my yoga teacher training, I had worked on healing the damage he had caused me throughout my life. I had plenty of realizations through discovering my voice as a teacher, as well as sitting with plenty of plant medicine during and post-training. I released tears and shed layers of my anger towards him for another two months while in Peru.
When I made my way to Guatemala to attend my sound ceremony training, I experienced yet another way of healing. We had a sound shamanic journey with blind folds in the forest, to which I screamed and hollered to let go of the anger and resentment I had towards him. I thought I released it all … but healing is also a process, and comes in waves. It wasn’t until I was back in the same vicinity as him did I really have to face the ultimate test of my journey of release, of non-judgment, and of unconditional love.
Life is a Highway …
My parents recently got a divorce, and this created much more peace and harmony in my life and living situation when I returned home. My parents had both taken on their own yoga practices, and my dad seemed much more peaceful and calm. I thought the adventure to California would be less painful than usual, not only with my new self, but with his. And I knew I needed his navigational skills so that I wouldn’t end up in Alaska.
Our journey began with two days of straight driving to end up in the fun state of Colorado! It was my first time there; I marveled at the majestic mountains and the plethora of 28 ski lodges to choose from! Being a snowmobiling and motorcycle-riding lover, my dad was used to the whole riding-a-bike feeling and got all pumped up about these snow-bikes. They were like skiing, but less dangerous (not like that stopped us) and easier to catch on to ride. Since I knew I would get another opportunity to ski up in Lake Tahoe, I decided that the snow bikes would be a refreshing and exciting way to connect with my dad and the snow.
We had a lesson on how to use the bikes for about 2-3 hours with this awesome instructor, then had our own time to catch the slopes. We spend the rest of the day going on riveting trails while enjoying our time together and experiencing something new and exciting. We were on an altitude and adrenaline high for the rest of the day; we ate some amazing Himalayan food for dinner and melted in the hot springs for dessert!
We proceed to Utah and went to Zion National Park. Dad humored me to finally go on a hike.
Well this was an intense hike.
It was beginning to rain, and the natural sandstone of the cliffs began to change colors as they held the water, but also created cascading natural waterfalls in the cracks of the rocks. We reached the end of the path to a sheer canyon, overlooking the river flowing at the bottom, and the waterfalls sprinkling around us. It was incredible. When we hiked back, it began to SNOW! We had snow and rushing waterfalls to crawl through when we made our way back to the car covered by a white blanket of snowflakes. My dad was soaking wet in his running shoes and I was laughing in my snow boats and furry, waterproof jacket.
The night before we reached the next state, we would decide what park or sight we wanted to go to next. A lot of the roads were closed because it was winter, so no to the Grand Canyon. While I was disappointed, I accepted what the journey wanted to reveal and decided that Antelope Canyon would suffice. And boy did it ever! Pictures don’t do the canyon justice.
California is where dreams come true!
When we finally made it to California, I was getting antsy and wanted to get to Nevada City already. I was so over driving (even though I mostly sat and had my Dad drive) and the weather was starting to turn on us. But there was one place I really wanted to go: Sequoia National Park to see the largest trees in the world!
Then there was the whole snow chain debacle.
I never knew that snow chains (you attach them to your car wheels so you don’t fall off the many cliffs) were a thing … until we needed them to enter the park and had to backtrack in order to return them. It added money and time to the trip that my Dad was not prepared for, and he became annoyed and dwelled on the whole situation for the rest of the day. Old patterns of his were starting to emerge, but I remained clear, positive, and non-judgmental about the situation and told him that it would be so worth it!
I stood in wonder and awe of the Sequoia trees … General Sherman was the name of the largest and tallest tree in the WORLD! The snow was magical, the trees were gentle giants, and my soul was singing. I didn’t want the trip to end… even when I was eating consecutive dinners at every Mexican restaurant we could hit when there wasn’t a health-conscious one within radius. Even when we would be in the car longer than I wanted to be. Even when my dad would trigger old patterns and memories in me. Even then.
We attempted to get to our last stop of the eight day trip: Yosemite National Park.
But again with the snow chains.
We didn’t have them and the visibility of the park was little to none. We decided to leave because frankly, we were tired and out of time. We listened to our hearts at that time of the trip and I believe, made the right choice… my Dad already went to Yosemite and it was only an hour from my new home.
Watch Yourself …
My dad was making videos of every park and adventure along the way. I was amazed to see my Dad’s potential as a YouTube star, and warmed up to the idea of being filmed by the end. In one of the videos, you could my subconscious patterns of annoyance and anger come out in my body language. My dad said his friend could see this when we sent it to them and thought I was mad at him. That’s when I started to become conscious of old patterns. It was then that I made the decision to alter my ways of thinking and being with fresh eyes towards my dad.
The time came to drop my dad off at the airport, after settling me into Nevada City’s mountain road driving, and helping me to navigate my way around the town. I went to hug him and felt a new feeling – a feeling of love, a feeling of missing, and a feeling of comfort leaving me. On the drive home, I couldn’t hold back the tears. I could feel a true shift, a true forgiveness wash over me.
The next day, I went to a sound healing and that’s when I had time to process the trip and really let release happen. I released the old me… the old feelings of shyness being around my loud and obnoxious father, and the accumulated resentment and anger towards his actions. I let a new relationship evolve – an adult friendship – one of love, support, encouragement and enjoyment. I began to see the Spirit within him … the Divinity and oneness that connects us all, minus the samskaras or cyclical tendencies that prevent us from furthering us on our spiritual journeys. He was just a baby in his spiritual journey, and it was my turn to recognize and accept that, and unconditionally love him for all that he was created to be - in Divine perfection.
Healing is not Linear …
It has been a long process of healing – beginning in Peru and hitting a peak in Cali. I can’t say it’s over because healing continues on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I feel the more I can change old ways of thinking and release what no longer serves, the closer I can get to revealing my true nature… the Divine within.
We can re-program our thoughts, our words, and our actions by becoming an observer to this experience called life. When we come from a place of non-judgment, and see people as vessels of pure love and light instead of how their past actions made us feel like, we can start to see progress and transformation in our relationship with them.
Become a witness to yourself, to the people around you, and to the Divine. Show up for your higher Self by being present in each moment. Know that each moment is a beautiful opportunity to begin again and to see life with fresh eyes and a renewed heart.
Peace & Love,
Jill – your veggie villager xx
Jill is a health enthusiast passionate about holistic living through being conscious of the mind, body and spirit connection. She is a free-spirited yoga teacher and sound healer that embraces any adventure that comes her way, whether that is rock climbing, paddle boarding, waterfall rappelling, cliff jumping or learning a new inversion. She finds balance and inspiration in her happy place of being in nature and swimming in the ocean. She ensures that everything she does is in alignment with her truth – to share her heart with others in a vulnerable way in order to spread positivity and unconditional love and light.
She loves to travel and learn from other cultures and the experiences of new people she meets along the way. She loves to be creative through writing on her blog, flowing through yoga sequences, playing the harp, and learning new things. Her bold and bright spirit leads the way in helping shape her simple, community-based and nomadic life where she can inspire, teach and motivate others to live with mindfulness and purpose.