So, for a little context, I spent my mid- to late-twenties living, working, and studying at Esalen after doing a 180 with my path at age 25 and leaving my Washington, DC-based healthcare consulting job to head West in search of a life that felt more meaningful, more connected, and more authentic than the one I was living at the time.
I arrived at Esalen Institute a few days before Christmas 2007 and spent nearly four years living on the cliffs of Big Sur learning how to be in better relationship with myself, others, and the world in general.
Those precious years were – hands down – some of the most formative, challenging, and healing times of my life (it’s where I met my husband and formed some of the deepest friendships of my life, not to mention the place where I clarified and acted on my desire to become a therapist).
It was there at Esalen, thanks to my many teachers — my facilitators, my workshop leaders, my coworkers, my friends, and even the workshop participants themselves — that I learned lessons that helped me then (and now) in my quest to live a more enlivened life.
The very thing I set out looking for in my mid-twenties.
These are the same lessons I weave into all of my psychotherapy work, helping my clients likewise craft more enlivened, authentic, and connected lives for themselves.
So in today’s post, I want to share these 44 lessons — filtered through my unique experience and interpretation — learned from my nearly four years of living at Esalen and now almost 7 years living away, in the hopes that these ideas may feel helpful to you, too, no matter where you are on your life journey.
I invite you to read this latest letter from the archive while on maternity leave post, and, when you’re done, please leave me a message in the comments on the blog to let me know which of the 44 lessons resonated with you the most. I would love to hear from you.