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Shannon Ingram

what are your transformational places?

[caption id="attachment_107249" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Makaha Resort"][/caption]

Transformation is on my mind this week. I was thinking about the places that have supported me in a big aha moment, overcoming a deep-set fear, letting go of something or someone, taking a critical next step. This little thought process started today while I was driving to pick up my husband because he had to take his truck for repairs. Alone on the road, I started thinking about what it would be like to live in my car. What starts to play on my satellite radio but The Beach Boys' In My Room. Pure serendipity.

My room was transformational when I was a teenager. My car became one of my best transformational places when I got my first VW beetle in 1969. Since then, I have had all kinds of conversations with myself and God in my car. I've practiced speeches, screamed in despair, laughed and cried while alone on the road over the years. My car is not my favorite transformational place, though.

My favorite transformational place is Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands envelope me in the luscious, fragrant, crazy beauty of life. Walking along Poipu Beach on Kauai, or on a path in the Koolau Mountains of Oahu, even around my old neighborhood of Manoa Valley was - and still is - always a rich and thoughtful experience. One of the most magical places I've ever been is a Makaha resort at the base of Oahu's Waianae Mountains. My first visit there was to attend a four-day experiential workshop. It was so transformational that I bolted and drove home to Honolulu before it ended. But in the month that followed, I kept thinking about what I had learned, what I had resisted about my learning and how I might change if I returned sometime. Naturally, I did return and that workshop became an important part of my life and being, completely transforming me and giving me the profound gift of lifelong friends and mentors. I went back to Makaha many times while I lived in Honolulu. Thinking about it now, I feel a divine sense of peace. And I'm craving a hot fudge sundae, which my "synergy sister," Ann, and I would always have for breakfast at Makaha.

Another special spot for me to grow was the little beach at the end of my street when I lived on an island in Newport Harbor. It was a real escape hatch where I could go and sit and think and sometimes drink a margarita. I would take my journal there and write for awhile before returning to my duties as a family caregiver. Listening to quacking ducks and dozens of halyards clanking against metal sailboat masts, taking in the smell of the saltwater and coconut sunscreen, watching pelicans dive for food, all served to transform a stressful day and bring me back to a simple place of gratitude and joy. I think I'll go back to that beach one afternoon next week because I know I have some transforming to do!

Do you have any special transformational places? Your bathtub? An outdoor symphony concert? Your art studio?  Please let us know.




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