Doing Your Work In 2023

My world and ours have changed profoundly in the three years since I last posted.

I left Tahoe in 2021 after 23 years in Truckee and moved to Santa Barbara with my fiance, Carly, during the pandemic. Due to Covid, I switched to Zoom sessions with my clients, allowing me to move easily and find the new life I needed deeply in my soul. This is why:

Working with clients all those years in Tahoe gave me a great depth of experience, for which I am very grateful, yet living there also took its toll. While Lake Tahoe itself is incredibly beautiful and possesses a tangible spiritual power, the community surrounding the lake – both human and natural – has long been a resource and a commodity to be used and exploited, absorbing the impact of people who have pushed Tahoe to its limits in recent years.

Tahoe is, for many people, an addiction -both residents and tourists. Whether being the most fabulous party destination for overworked Bay Area people, a fantastic skiing and sports resort, or just a place to escape Sacramento or Reno for the day, people come to or move to Tahoe to escape and to live their fantasies–at the expense of the environment and sustainable community infrastructure.

Many other locals I spoke with in my last years agreed that between housing prices driving out the middle class, the intense crowds abusing the beaches and parks, posing reckless fire hazards, and the rise in massive hot summer fires threatening to create evacuation nightmares, Tahoe had in many ways become a traumatic place to live.

I work with trauma for a living, so I knew when I had reached my breaking point, and we got out to a life that is very healing and as safe as we can find. And my story is just one of the millions of stories of people since the pandemic who have been pushed into some form of trauma in their lives, from loved ones dying of Covid to the social mutations that have changed communities and relationships. The culture war has escalated, climate change is showing itself in extreme weather and fire patterns, and the war in Ukraine has created a new global instability.

Trauma can be defined in many ways, one of which is the loss of safety and normalcy that isn’t easily restored. Trauma imposes a new “normal”- an insecurity and anxiety that we can’t mentally make disappear. Now more than ever, we need to become–and are becoming–a trauma-informed world.

Now that I have been able to decompress from Tahoe and put down new roots with someone I love, I am returning to the work I started in Tahoe: books, courses, and videos on emotional and spiritual healing, trauma recovery, and emotional sobriety. This time, though, I’m speaking to a profoundly different world than I was in when I wrote back in 2020.

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