New Day Herald

Jackie Peterson Relaxing into the Unknown

Relaxing Into the Unknown


This article is featured in Volume 2 of the New Day Herald Magazine.

On Friday, November 9, 2018 I wake up for the last time in my beautiful home in the hills above Malibu, CA. I look out to see the ocean and the blue sky, but only a little blue sky. The rest is rapidly filling with white, grey, black smoke from the nearby fires.

I’m almost relaxed as I pack a three-day bag, check my list of what to bring and clean the kitchen being sure to take out the trash so that it won’t be stinky when I return. I look around and have the inner prompt to pack more. I do pack a few more things, but mostly damp down that inner voice with the statement that it would be so much work to put it all away when I come back. Ah, the old inner dialogue of intuition or logic. Which voice do I listen to and follow? I’m still learning, and I do a bit of both. I take more than I ever have before when evacuating, and not as much as is suggested intuitively inside of me.

With my car trunk half full, I drive down the hill and arrive on Pacific Coast Highway to find it gridlocked going south towards Santa Monica, my destination. My phone pings and I look down. It’s a text from Rachael, my friend in Ojai, to the north, “Are you OK? Do you need a place to stay?” Perfect. I make a U-turn and head north, towards the smoke and the fire. I know I will get through and when I get to the roadblock being set up, the Sheriff waves me through and shouts, “Keep going!” All of us on the road gun it and take the curves of PCH at over 60 m.p.h. It gets darker and darker with smoke and I start coughing. Finally, we all break through to blue sky over Oxnard and I drive up to Ojai.

By Saturday I find out my house is gone, along with everything I own except my poodle and the few things I packed. Basically, I’m homeless with almost no possessions in this world. All the family heirlooms, photos, my late husband Jim’s things, treasures I have found all over the world in my travels, the house that I called my dream house for the last 23 years and still loved as much as the day I moved in — they are all gone. It’s a similar feeling to the profound realization I had when Jim died, just five years ago, when I watched him leave his body and he took nothing in this world yet he took everything he was.

I haven’t asked, “Why?” The thought to ask occurred to me, but it’s not my question. My questions are, “What’s this about? What is my learning? Where is my attachment to things? What’s next? What does Spirit have in store for me that I needed to be free of all that stuff?”

It’s been interesting talking to strangers about losing my house. They look at me and comment that I am so positive, smiling, strong, etc. I’m just being me. It’s my nature and it’s my training as a Minister and as an Initiate of the Traveler. This is the time when I get to see how well I’m doing with MSIA’s teachings. I do go down. I get sad. I occasionally cry and feel sorry for myself. And, when I’m finished with that, I turn inside to the loving and fill up. My years of spiritual exercises have created such a solid foundation to stand on that I am supported and buoyed by Spirit.

I was offered a completely furnished apartment in Santa Barbara with an ocean view and it is a place of peace. It’s exactly what I need right now.

Every day I experience that I am provided with exactly what I need right now. I’m happy and taking my life slowly. There is no need for me to figure out much beyond the next few days or weeks. I am relaxing into the unknown of my life.

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