LA Paris LA
It was an 11,000-mile journey that took a lifetime.
I’m a seeker. Always have been. My resolve to seek Meaning and Truth was crystal clear from a very young age, although deciding how Meaning and Truth would show up through my work in the world was anything but clear. For four decades, my life had been a painful study in trial, error, and scattershot careers. I’d been a CPA, a standup comic, a massage therapist, a soap opera actor. Then there was that seedy gay bar I managed in downtown Manhattan in the early ‘90’s.
Like a Pollack painting, my life’s canvas was vast and messy at first glance but was also guided by an intelligent intuition. Such was the paradox of my restless spirit:
An outer reality screaming “Aimless Dilettante” and an inner reality whispering “Resolute Seeker.”
Edging towards 40, I migrated from NYC to Los Angeles to mend a broken heart, win an Oscar, and upgrade my status from “seeker” to “finder.” I’ve long believed that the future comes to live in LA. As a futurist and an evolution junkie, my future and I were ready.
Soon after arrival, I took my first yoga class. It shines as a seminal moment in my life because while my spirituality ran deep, it was also shapeless and inarticulate. Its restlessness was born of homelessness. There, on my rented yoga mat in Santa Monica, spirit found expression and a home. Yoga became the fertile landing pad where the seeds of my spirit could take root, find potency, and thrive. I was all in.
For the next decade, I dove passionately and with a voracious appetite into all-things-yoga. I took full advantage of a city where some of the best teachers in the world were at my fingertips for only $18 a shot.
It was better than an Oscar. Here, in L.A., I became a teacher. Here, in L.A., I became the man I was meant to be in the world.
If L.A. is where the future comes to live, France is where Tradition nobly resides.
My restless spirit was rearing its familiar head in response to complacency.
I turned to my Bucket List where “Move to Paris” held an exalted slot.
Approaching 50, I wondered if uprooting so dramatically was a foolhardy midlife crisis decision or if my inner compass was clearing its voice and making itself heard.
I listened. I waited. I packed my bags. I spent the next five years on the Left Bank.
Paris has a heft and a gravitas that is in direct contrast to easy-breezy Los Angeles. Her beauty is intoxicating and seductive, but it was not love at first sight.
I languished for the first few years, weary from the dense bureaucracy and what I perceived as a casual negativity that permeated most aspects of life.
We had to earn each other’s love, and what ultimately transpired was one of the most profoundly fiery and exhilarating love affairs of my life.
She taught me exactly what I needed to learn: patience and perseverance.
I taught her of hope, possibility, and the value of holding simultaneous space for both tradition and evolution.
We tamed each other. We learned to love each other.
When it was time to bid each other adieu, nearly 100 students assembled, and we collectively cried in gratitude for mutual lessons learned.
And because crossing any item off a bucket list is a monumental achievement.
And so my evolutionary trajectory brings me full circle to L.A.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition that required immediate surgery. It was during that dark hour that I was introduced to Dr. Parla Jayagopal, an Ayurveda doctor who lovingly bathed me in oil, recited mantra, and ignited my passion for this most sacred healing modality. Over the years, Dr. Jay-ji has repeatedly extended an invitation to formally study Ayurveda with him. I don’t take such invitations lightly. The time is now, and this appointment with destiny must be honored.
The practitioner program begins in a few weeks, and I am giddy as a schoolboy as I sharpen my pencils.
With these pencils I will learn an ancient tradition.
With these pencils I continue to reconcile and refine Swadharma and Dharma.
Just weeks ago I was unpacking my boxes in my new home here in L.A. and found a CD recording of a session with a psychic I had visited just days prior to moving to Paris. I was eager to assess the accuracy of her predictions, so I listened.
I remember her peeling off the first tarot card.
“I see people from different countries sitting around you. Are you planning a trip?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m moving to Paris next week.”
“I’m not exactly sure,” I said.
“You know, when you have an unexplained impulse to move far away, it means the love of your life is calling for you.”
Ah, well, she got it half right, I mused. A husband never materialized in Paris.
And then something occurred to me.
She never specified that the “love of my life” was a person.
What if the “love of my life” that was beckoning from afar was not a person after all but, quite literally, The Love of My LIFE?
What if the love of my life is the tender voice of my restless spirit, ever nudging my seeker soul to co-create with evolution?
I listen. I wait. I grab a brush and add another stroke to my beautiful, messy, canvas.