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My flight landed at DFW airport without fanfare. I watched black asphalt creep by as we journeyed to our gate. I sat in my seat to wait my turn to de-plane. The rush of the city surrounded me. I vehemently pushed it away as though doing so would render me eternally successful at maintaining what I presumed to be my summer travel bubble. But was it a travel bubble or the vibes of a place more aligned with my way of being in the world? 

A way of being akin to the slow meander of a sunlit creek winding its way through an old growth forest in spring. Like the delicate notes of songbirds fluttering by on soft streams of cool air. Or the subtle conversation of the trees as branches creak with each sway in the wind. In this place, a pulse can be felt beating through the musty, rich topsoil, dancing in each blade of tall grass, and caressing the leaves perched on the hundreds of tree branches overhead. 

It’s a pulse too slow and subtle to be noticed in a rushing, anxious city like Dallas. Even if one does manage to find this pulse (or bring it home with them), how could they ever dream of maintaining a connection with it when the fast-paced and noisy rhythm of the city unfairly beats them down? 

On my drive home, here is what I see: Masses of people driving, walking, and riding bikes here and there, doing things. People tail-gating and speeding into dangerously narrow spaces to get one car length ahead. People in office buildings leaving for the day, head down, phones in hand, car keys in the other hand. Parents driving kids to this, that, and the other. People picking up groceries or doing other errands. People exercising. People going to work. A whole city of people moving about at neck-breaking speed and each in their individual silos. And not just a few people. Tons of people. It’s nauseating. 

My soul yearns for something different. Something quieter and calmer. Something closer to and connected with nature. A place where people drive slowly or frequently ride their bikes. Where life is less about achieving greater and greater social status and more about embodying one’s soul deeper and deeper. Where our impact on the environment is considered a priority. Where people feel connected, known, and seen. Where my soul can languish in loving openness day-in and day-out. 

Yes, an idealistic vision. Parts of which are more likely than others. But a vision greatly enhanced with potential avenues for manifestation thanks to my most recent travels. So, as I weaved my way through traffic on my way home from the airport, I clung to this vision. I stoked its presence as a feeling deep within my body. Which eventually felt like a full-time job as I crossed the threshold of returning to work and the chaos of sick family members and being temporarily displaced from my home. 

Even though it’s been tremendously challenging to keep a link to the feeling of this vision it hasn’t been impossible. In fact, I’ve learned a lot in the process. First of all, it’s simply not sustainable for me, not in any meaningful sense at least, to harbor this feeling and vision in the midst of a city scurrying about at a completely different pace. But before I explain why, I need to explain the basics of energy and vibration, assuming this understanding may not be something you’re familiar with. 

The City of Dallas (aka DFW, aka the metroplex) carries a particular feeling also known as a vibration. What contributes to the vibration of a place are things like you and me, the land itself, including plant and animal life, as well as the not-so-subtle presence of structures, energy/power grids, vehicles, and technological devices. Each of these things in varying proportions contributes to a dominant vibration of a place.

In the DFW metroplex, each city carries a slightly different vibration but all contribute to the whole to coalesce as one dominant vibration. And due to the sheer size of the metroplex, the strength of the dominant vibration is quite high. In other words, the feeling of the city is palpable and strong. If you pay attention, you can feel the difference between being in the metroplex versus being in the flat, open plains of west Texas. There’s a hum and buzz and increased pace and rhythm, unlike other places.

If someone wanted to change the vibration of a place or alter it for better or for worse, then there would need to be collective consensus to do so. It would require a majority of the population to make changes to the infrastructure of the city as well as to manipulate (either to heal or to create) mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual disturbances and to generate or destroy natural habitat. If the majority wasn’t on board, then it would be like going against the grain. Critical mass is needed to make any permanent and profound change in a place as large as this. (It’s not impossible as evidenced by how quickly city and state governments reacted in the wake of the pandemic.)

All of this to say, there are really only three options available for someone like me who carries a tender seedling of a vibration that stands at great discord with the surrounding energy. The first option, which is scary to even mention, is that we become entrained to the dominant energy. When this happens we lose sight of the tender vibration within. What was once loved and cherished vanishes. We give way to the energy around us.

This happens to a lot of people. People return from travels to lands distant and near or they return from a transformational experience with newly discovered visions for their lives but these visions and feelings (vibrations) quickly disperse as they re-enter their chosen village. While there are many reasons for this occurrence, one often overlooked reason is the impact of the physical environment. Our environments are not only laden with our habitual energy patterns (each vying to keep us in old ways of being) but there’s also the dominant energy of the city, which might likely stand at great odds against the fresh energy alive within us. 

Nonetheless, maybe we manage to nurture the tender embers of our new vision. We cultivate it until it’s a constant albeit potentially subtle presence in our lives. We then have a couple of likely paths forward depending on a few factors. If the vision is strong and at direct odds with the standing energy of our present environment (home, city, or work), then it’s likely that we’ll be drawn to relocate. 

Our vibration will strengthen and pull us towards a location more precisely aligned with the vision we harbor within ourselves, the vision soul is calling us towards. Maybe this is what we imagined from the outset, and it comes as no surprise. But maybe it’s not what we’ve expected, and we’re thrown off-kilter by being asked to vacate our lives and step into the unknown. This can be challenging even though what’s occurring is in alignment with the very desires we’ve been nurturing within ourselves.

One of the remaining paths forward is a bit of a blend of the two. Our inner vision grows and permeates our home and immediate environment. The people living closest to us easily adapt to the new energy. We create a bubble. When we venture outside the bubble we feel the difference, which may strengthen our resolve to anchor our vision in this place. And over time it could have the strength to expand and impact a greater area than merely our home. We may do this successfully for reasons based in soul such as being called to offer our soul gifts to the specific community within which we already reside.

There’s no one way forward for everybody. Our unique souls guide and direct our paths. Over the years my increasing sensitivity to environmental stimuli has called me to seriously look at what type of environment I am creating for myself. My nervous system craves a place at a pace much slower than where I’m at now. A place connected with the rhythms of nature. 

The true pace my soul desires has been gifted to me over the last months through my various travels. And as I return to Dallas on Tuesday afternoon at the start of rush hour, I sense the city’s demand on my seedling of a vision to change and match the chaos around me. While I’m working to employ all my practices to stay connected with my inner spark, I know this isn’t sustainable. There’s no place here that will safely nurture my inner vision to a full-blown outer reality. Lands much different than these hold that reality for me. My soul is calling me forward towards this second path: relocation. 

Relocation is very much still a minimum of a few months away. So, in the meantime, I hunker in whatever bubble I’m able to generate. I slow my pace when I’m able, reminding myself constantly that there is no rush, nowhere to hurry to. I meditate, contemplate, and reflect. I take my time with eating, reading, talking with friends and family. I say no to the near-constant onslaught of “opportunities.” I take walks in nature connecting with the trees, the sun, the wind, and the clouds. I honor the summer blossoms and cherish the land on which I walk. I feel nature loving me right back as she throws some fuel on my inner spark. We dance together in this intimate way as our means of slowly but surely moving me closer to my dream.

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash