Lessons learned from LA Fire Evacuation

Since Friday I have been evacuated from my beautiful home in Topanga. As the fires continue in Los Angeles, it’s unclear when I’ll return. Despite being displaced from home it has been a rich time filled with lessons and a deepening of community.

Having heard about the fires in the next county on Thursday evening, it was frightening to wake up the next morning without any electricity or cell phone service. I packed a bag, grabbed the most important things and drove out of the canyon. When I saw the smoke coming over the mountain I gasped. 

It’s moments like these that put life into perspective. When tragedy, disaster and death hit close to home, we often reflect on what’s most important to us. We’re forced to decide which material possessions actually have meaning. We think of loved ones and those we wish to be near. We can even get a wake up call to really start living. 

Times like these also deepen our sense of community. People come together. My classes have been filled with even more students this week seeking some solace and connection.

My relationships with friends have deepened as so many have reached out to check on me as well as with those who are so generously hosted me in their home. Many of us are creating fundraisers to help those affected by the fires. 

Somehow emotionally I’m not so affected by the displacement. Sure I’d love to be sleeping in my own bed instead of a guest room, but life goes on. I had to reschedule a few online clients but otherwise my life continued without any hiccups.

If anything, I can find the blessings in this situation that allow me to be a better facilitator and guide for others during this time because I am experiencing the situation first hand. 

Having to leave my home with just the most important things, made me realize how few material possessions I am attached to. There were a few irreplaceable things but the rest I can obviously do without.

Over the past years of moving and traveling so much, it was a great practice in living like a minimalist and cleansing my life of most unnecessary things. I realize some more downsizing and clearing of things can happen if I so choose to create more space in my life.

Everything is transient. All situations. Even the Earth has her cycles. Even if you’re not in Los Angeles, may this serve as a time to remind us all to count our blessings.

May it remind us to be mindful of our consumption because as we burn more fossil fuels and create more waste we exacerbate climate change, which exacerbate these natural disasters.

May we trust that everything is in perfect order.

May we be reminded to come together and with our kind hearts help our fellow humans, especially those who are in need. 

May you remember and feel how lucky you are to be alive, safe, healthy and free.

Sending prayers and blessings to all those who have been affected by these fires.