Free shipping on all orders! (U.S. only)

June 18 2023, Elk Park to NJ Route 94:
Voodoo stayed behind at home to help Ray with some house work/construction while I slack-packed another section of NJ. As soon as I got dropped off at the trailhead, there were some people handing out trail magic! They were grilling up chicken, burgers and giving out all sorts of candy and snacks.
Today’s hike consisted of a lot of rock hopping, or should I say boulder hopping. Eventually, the sections of jagged rocks turned into long rock slabs! It made the trail pretty difficult to follow. I found myself getting lost a few times, but I really enjoyed it because it made me feel like a true adventurer.
When I hiked into the NY state line, I met a woman named Pixie who was almost 60 years old, but I swear she looked to be in her 30s. She couldn’t believe that I thought she was so young and I couldn’t believe she held so much youthful energy. She seemed to appear so light and free in her movements, very childlike and joyous about life. I found happiness to be such an attractive energy on people, and, very contagious.
“I love seeing young girls your age,” she said, “you look so beautiful. You remind me of my daughters and how beautiful they are.”
I loved the way that people offered my mind different perspectives. I seemed to experience a pattern of jealousy, so when I was able to meet people who had such an open mind around women who were younger than them, it showed my mind that I could look at it differently and be more playful with my perception. It was always a reminder that I didn’t have to be so serious with what myself and what I perceived.
Then, I met a guy hiking north.
“Aloha,” I said with a smile.
Perplexed, he turned around and said, “I just want to make sure you said ‘aloha.’
“Yes, I did,” I said.
Turned out he also lived on the Big Island in close proximity to me! We hung out and talked about Hawaii and reconnected to the energy of the aina. We shared stories of our personal experiences when the lava was flowing and how grateful we were to be there and witness such raw magnificence. At the end of our conversation, we put our hands together in prayer, acknowledging our gratitude for our running into each other.
As we were walking away, I said, “Aloha!”
He turned around and replied, “A hui hou.”
I felt so warm and soft. It reminded me what a blessing it was to have connected with the island and the community out there. One of the best decisions I apparently made in my life was to book a ticket and take a chance on the not knowing. It was what started the crazy, adventurous life I lived now.
When I made it to Route 94, I hitched a ride back to Stockholm and got picked up by a former 1997 thru-hiker.
“I pick up anyone who has trekking poles,” he said.
When I made it back to Ray’s, his wife took me to her salon to touch up my hair. She was a professional hairstylist, so she took me to her studio and we had the whole place to ourselves.
The majority of the time, we talked about romantic relationships and God. I could feel how I energetically wanted to console in someone about the difficulty I was experiencing with Voodoo. I felt curious and open to her perspective, especially when I perceived her experiencing a healthy marriage with her husband.
It was sweet because right before we had left her house, her and Ray were all lovey dovey with each other. They were kissing each other goodbye, using their cute baby voices saying how much they were going to miss each other while away. Then, I thought of Hope Johnson, because she was also in a deep loving bonded relationship similar to that. It felt so rare to see that in my perception, but over the past few years, I’ve been seeing more and more couples that were genuinely happy, growing with each other, such like close best friends. Although rare, it was enough for me to know it existed and a reminder that I could have it for myself if I just chose it for myself.
She shared her story of her first marriage and how painful it was for her.
“The day that we got married, he turned into a completely different person,” she said, “it was as though in his mind, I was now his wife and nothing else. I was expected to cook and clean—that was it. He didn’t want to talk to me, he didn’t want to be affectionate or give me any attention. I realized how important it was for me to have a best friend. I needed to connect with my man as a best friend as well as a husband.”
Instead, he would flirt with other women in front of her or be at home on the couch watching TV. She said she had a pattern where she would pack her things and threaten to run away, all the while not having anywhere to go so she would stay. All she really wanted in those moments was to be held and he couldn’t even give her that.
What was weird was that on the outside they appeared to be a perfect couple, but at home they lived like ghosts. She mentioned how when they had people over or went out to eat with friends, that he was super charismatic and was the party man. Everyone loved him and he made everyone laugh.
“When he would come home, I would ask him about his day,” she said, “I just felt so excited to see him. I wanted to know everything that he went through and experienced, but he would just shrug his shoulders and say nothing. But then, when we went out with our friends, he would be sharing all these fun and crazy things that happened at work and it would be my first time hearing it. I would be thinking to myself, ‘Why did he never tell me this?’”
When they were alone, he was a totally different person. He never complimented her and it made her feel like she wasn’t pretty or maybe not good enough in the bedroom since she didn’t have any prior experience. She said she would hold onto the compliments that other men would give her, holding onto them so strongly in her mind for days and even weeks because she wouldn’t receive it at home. She would get high off that moment in her mind because she never got that from her own man. She felt dead inside. All of what she shared started to sound really familiar in my own experience.
She mentioned that she came from a family where her Dad used to beat her and her Mom, however she actually felt grateful for the experience rather than victimized. She was able to see it as a gift, because she learned to read her Dad’s energy when he came home, and through that, she was able to sense what she could do around the house so she wouldn’t get hit. Now, she could read people any time they entered a room.
She talked about how she met Ray and how they were talking during her marriage. He was never pushy, but rather confident that they would end up together.
When they finally did get together, she told him, “I am a very difficult woman to please. The moment you stop trying, I’m gone. I’m not afraid to leave you like I left the other guy.”
As I talked to her, I was able to receive more clarity. I realized the 50/50 thing wasn’t necessarily about money, it was more about feeling into what you could do for your partner if they needed your help or were feeling down. She expressed how she never felt love for any other man such as the way she felt for Ray.
“He still looks at me the same exact way he did when we first started dating,” she said.
She wholeheartedly believed that when people stopped doing things that they did when they were dating was exactly what caused them to grow apart.
Later, when I came home to Voodoo, I could tell by the look in his eyes that he just wanted to kiss me and hold me. We both felt awkward making a move because Ray and his wife were standing there on the sidelines as if they were our parents watching us in sweet adornment.
Instead, Voodoo complimented me with sweet words, expressing to me how beautiful and lovely he found me. Shortly after, Asta and I went back inside. She looked out the window at Voodoo working on the shed.
“It is such a great gift to receive a compliment from your man,” she says to me.
“Yes,” I said, “I love being adored and cherished.”
Later on, when I sat with Voodoo at the dinner table, I brought awareness to my facial expressions and body language. I noticed I looked and felt just like my Mom. I had the same mannerisms and that same “annoyed” look that she had pierced my Dad with. I didn’t want to be like that. I didn’t want to project the pain that I couldn’t seem to repress. I really just wanted to be happy.
Voodoo was helping me understand that what a person appeared to be like in my perception had nothing to do with the sadness that was showing up in my field. The sadness was already there, I just used people and things to justify the feeling. Yet still, I wondered why I felt so unsatisfied, feeling as if I was such a difficult woman to please. Yet, at other times, I felt so simple, as if I required the most basic things from a man, such as attention, connection and presence.