Today is the last day of 2017. On the eve of New Years Day I often feel liberated, free and like life will begin anew in the New Year. In a matter of a day, we get to start over, right? I know it’s just another day, a mark in the calendar year - and I really love to celebrate the energetic and renewing spirit of winter solstice - but 2018 feels special. It feels as though there is magic brewing in the air and that we will be making an energetic leap forward from all of the suffering and growth of 2017. 

The eclipses of 2017 pulled us back into our soul, reaffirming what we came here to do and for those who rose to the occasion it feels like go time. We received a golden ticket to expansion if we so chose to accept. Am I alone here? Maybe it’s all the growth I’ve experienced over the past few years. The workshops, books, meditations, energy work, expansion - 2017 was a big year for me. I manifested Altar into fruition. Actually, Altar came in my mind the year before and it started out as all things that eventually manifests into reality - a dream. I had a dream. A dream to create a sacred space where I could take my tattooing and the energy work I was doing with my clients behind the scenes and play them out fully, where I could live the life I know I was meant to live and help my clients in a more expanded way. A space that would match the vibration esthetically and energetically of the experience I want my clients to feel when they are with me. A safe space for them to work through any of the emotions and pain that comes up through the process of tattooing and energy work. A space where I could expand and grow energetically, as well. 

I thought this dream would be 5-10 years away but little did I know at the time, that the Universe wanted this dream to be, as well and it wanted to happen now. Less than a year of dreaming the dream of Altar I was signing the lease the day after thanksgiving of 2016. In December of that same year, we broke ground so to speak and construction continued until I moved over from my blessed home of ten years at Hidden Hand Tattoo and began working full time at Altar in the last week of February of 2017. I had a lot of reflection over the last year in the unexpected pain I felt leaving my home at HHT and the excitement and struggle of creating a new tattoo shop and healing space. With the ever expanding growth of my business and the connections I have with my clients I felt creating a blog on my experiences in life would be a wonderful way to stay connected with my current and future friends, clients and fellow humans who care to read of my adventures and join me on this path. 

So how did this all happen? Where did this journey begin? I truly feel I woke up in March of 2015. Although, I must say I can’t discredit where I had been before that. I saw the signs, like we all do along the way, but I didn’t want to listen to my inner knowing. I didn’t want to listen to the truth that I know things. I don’t know how I know them, I just do. I spent a large part of my life ignoring these intuitions and it got me in quite a bit of trouble. At that time in March 2015, my body was in pain. The universe kept trying to get my attention, but I felt like I was living my best life ever at this moment. I had rid myself of toxic relationships, I was feeling empowered like never before, I was in the best physical shape of my life, my business was thriving, everyone was healthy, my marriage was tops… But like life often does when we think we’ve got this life thing all figured out, it drops us on our ass and we get a major wake up call.              

My wake up call happened when I was hit from behind at a complete stop sitting in my car. I was on my way home from dropping four teenagers off at school. A woman driving to work was not paying attention and hit me doing about 40 miles an hour. I got hit and I got hit hard. Everything went black and after that moment of impact it took me several minutes to asses what had just happened. After making it home, I immediately began to feel pain in my body. My back was on fire and tensing up, my shoulder and neck were feeling hot and I started to feel panicked and in shock. I was already living with an unexplainable injury in my left leg. For 2 years my family Dr., physical therapist, acupuncturist, chiropractor and massage therapist were unable to tell me what was wrong. “Here are some pain meds and this is your life, kid”. That wasn’t going to fly. I wasn’t about to start taking pain meds to mask the pain in my leg so instead, I decided to ignore it. I’d work through the pain, I’d exercise through the pain, I’d pretend the best that I could that it wasn’t bothering me. Now a car accident?! How am I going to deal with this? My schedule is booked! I have clients who want appointments and I don’t know where to schedule them. I can’t cancel on people, they’ve been waiting! I have bills to pay! This isn’t happening!!! 

If you know me, then you know that I am a very determined person and I am highly motivated. If I want something, I will make it happen and it usually will happen fast, like Altar for example. So I immediately called the clinic I was going to for my leg pain maintenance and scheduled to begin seeing the doctors for the pain that was going on in my back, neck, shoulders and the increased pain I was feeling in my leg. Of course, they didn’t even want to touch my leg since that was a pre existing condition. So all of the years of work I was doing to stabilize that issue just got worse. I began physical therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic work. I changed my diet to eliminate all the foods that were causing inflammation. I went from being in the gym 6 days a week, eating pre planned meals for the last year and being in the best shape of my life to not being able to walk for 5 min on the treadmill without pain. 

To say that this felt defeating is an understatement. I had been working with a trainer for a year. I was in the gym for 2 hours a day, consistently. I was working my ass off to ignore the pain I had going on inside and I say that now because I didn’t realize it then. I was working really hard to make the physical manifestation of my outside cover up what I knew was festering inside (like the unexplainable leg pain - but more on that another day). I was receiving treatments several times a week for several months and it was becoming exhausting. The clinic that I went to was not near my home. It was draining to sit in traffic 3-4 times a week. Getting treatment, rushing to work, feeing pain, working all day, doing it all over again, barely getting any sleep because I hurt so bad. Meanwhile I had an overflowing abundance of clients that were booking with me and I wanted to do it all and be there for everyone but myself. I was ignoring so much pain in my physical and emotional body already and the accident brought it all to the surface. 

You want to live your best life? It’s time to stop and see what is. One day like any other day in physical therapy I was going through new exercises with my PT. I was really annoyed by these tiny movements because I just wanted to get back in the gym and lift weights again. I was seeing all my progress over the year fade away. The muscle tone I had built up, although still present, seemed as though I was watching it fade away. As I write this I am realizing how lucky I was that I had built up so much muscle in my body, it probably really helped my injuries from being worse than they were. Back to PT- So I’m running through exercises, trying not to feel sorry for myself, but I’m stressed, I feel alone, I feel defeated, it feels like none of these things I’ve been doing for months are helping.  I have so much work to do and drawings to get done, my house is a wreck, I haven’t slept comfortably in months… and then out of nowhere I hear, “MEDITATION!!” 

Now, when I say I heard a voice that was so loud and booming that it sounded as if my PT yelled in my face, that would be accurate. As if from the heavens above, a voice that was not male or female but the loudest thing I’ve ever heard got my attention quicker than any fire alarm or siren or heavy metal show ever has. Startled, I jumped back and looked at my PT.  He looked at me confused and I looked back at him confused and then I realized, great, I’m hearing things. Although this voice in my head, my clairaudience, is always present it doesn’t usually speak to me with such a booming tone. It was almost deafening and at this point in my life I had gotten pretty good at ignoring it to the point of thinking it didn’t exist at all. There was no ignoring it. Meditation. That’s what it said and it was loud. In the moment of hearing this voice I can only explain it as also a download of information. I had a meditation awakening. Perhaps some of you reading this have experienced this and know what I mean. Perhaps some of you reading this have experienced this and are ignoring it - and some of you may have no idea what I’m talking about. This download told me, in the vibration of that one single word – mediation, that I could heal myself. It told me that we are super beings and that I needed to sit in meditation every day and focus on healing myself. Meditate on imagining light on my injuries and rebuilding my body from the inside. That we have all we need within. You are a super being.  This moment felt like something out of a movie. There was no ignoring this voice and there was no way I was not going to listen. So to meditation I go. 

A few months prior to the accident, I was feeling stressed with work. I was attracting a lot of clientele and I was trying to find ways to keep up with all of the projects clients wanted me to do. I was so thankful and blessed-feeling that people wanted to see me, I had a hard time turning people away.  I had a family to take care of, a business to run, a marriage to nurture and an ever growing number of clients. I could no longer spend time with friends or create art just for the sake of creating art. I was feeling like I was missing out on my life and living for my clients and wanting to make everyone else happy. I found all of this rewarding, but I was feeling like I was drowning at times. I ran into a friend who owns several businesses and I asked him at that moment, “How do you do it? Are you on drugs? Like seriously, do you take uppers? Downers? How are you keeping up with your workload? What’s wrong with me that I feel all this pressure and I cant do all of these things? I see other people doing loads of work. You have a family, two business, you work out, how do you do it!?” 

He laughed and gave me a hug and he said, “You know, I was feeling just like you are now and as crazy as this sounds, I had the same conversation with a friend and before you laugh, I want you to just try something. Just try it. It will change your life and give you so much energy you will feel amazing!” 

     I said, “What is it? I want it! Give it to me now!”

    “ Meditation.”

     “ What?”

    “ Meditation. Yes April, start meditating. You will feel amazing.”

I did laugh and I shook my head and thought that was the craziest thing I’d heard and back to my after work decompression glass of wine I went. Until, you guessed it, a few months later a car accident and oh hey it sounds like God just spoke to me personally and I don’t even know what I think about God and… I’m supposed to meditate.  I’m a super being and I can heal myself.  All of the answers are within. Okay, here we go. Time to start meditating.

That was the beginning of my awakening, or rather the remembrance that I’ve been awake this whole time but have chosen to block out, numb out, ignore all of the signs and the messages and the knowing that led me to this moment of the universe crashing down and giving me the biggest gift I could have received – a car accident. A car accident that got me to start meditating and look within. 

I often describe meditation as being like a telephone. All of our thoughts, the things that we say, our desires, wishes, prayers and dreams are the energetic messages put into vibration that we are sending into the universe, whether we are doing that consciously or not. But like a telephone, the messages and the information, travel both ways.  You can’t receive those messages to your prayers, wants, needs, intentions and desires - whatever you want to call it - unless you sit down and receive, unless you pick up the phone.