I struggled with these questions for a long time. I always felt not-quite-rooted. It had nothing to do with my family members; I feel very connected with those I had the honor of growing up with. It was me, inside, not feeling at ease. I felt like I didn’t belong where I was, like I should be looking for another place to go. Running, or at least constantly searching for something just over the horizon.

At 17 years old, I left home for college (in Florida). After graduating 3 years later, I left to Oregon for law school. 3 years later, I left for New York. About 3 years later, I left for Washington (Seattle). About 3 years later, we came to Spokane. That was in 2012. (See a pattern?). I’m still here. However, but for the far, far away trip I took in 2017, I’m not sure how I’d be feeling about that now.

In 2011, I turned 30 and got married. Our first daughter was born in 2012 and I started a business while she was an infant. We had our second daughter in 2015. By early 2016, I was feeling antsy. I couldn’t put my finger on the WHY, but it was like an itch I just couldn’t ever get at. SUPER frustrating. I punished myself for feeling uneasy. I wagged a ‘shame, shame’ finger at myself for not just ‘being grateful’ for what I had. Who can relate here? I had a growing business, a loving and healthy family, supportive friends, opportunities forthcoming. What was ‘the matter?’ I just didn’t know, but it felt empty and lonely. Up until that point, I’d never owned a house. In retrospect, that was by design. I never wanted to feel stuck, held back, or limited by a ‘thing.’ I tried to own as few actual things as possible. I was ‘on the go’ and wherever that could be, I needed nothing to hold me back. But by 2016, with a husband and 2 kids (with ALL the ‘stuff’ that goes with them), 2 community-oriented businesses and no plans for moving again, there was an incredible internal struggle happening.

I start really focusing my meditation and prayer on seeking guidance. I needed to know where ‘home’ was? But it really starts with answering: What does home FEEL like, emotionally and spiritually?

One August morning in 2016, my sister in law called to ask if I’d like to go to Bali with her to dance, connect with nature, and to myself. “Yes,” I blurted out before she could finish! She said, “but I haven’t even told you how much it would cost and when it is.” “I don’t care. I’ll figure it out.” So the trip happened 365 days later, give or take a few days. I learned I’d be gone nearly 3 weeks – from my little babes, from my business. I learned that it cost more than I had available to pay at that point. “I’ll figure it out,” I declared to myself and to the Universe.

T – minus 1 year: I started one of those passive savings accounts. I marked out the dates on my calendar. I find $500 as a deposit. I speak Life into this trip. I know I have to leave my comforts and my People to find myself. I needed to unplug from the roles we, as women, so readily and passionately take on: wife, mother, professional, sister, friend, daughter, problem-solver, boo boo-tender, manager of all things family-oriented/household.

T – minus 8 weeks: There’s enough money in that passive savings account, to the DOLLAR, for the plane ticket and the retreat cost. How life affirming and comforting to know when you’re on the right path!

With some creative planning and tremendous support from my husband and family, we figure out childcare without too much stress. We set up systems and supports in place for my business. This thing is really happening.

I get on the plane. All I know is that flying to Indonesia is going to help me find my way Home. Days and days of dancing, meditation, massage, journaling, swimming in the sea during sunrise, unplugged from technology and the only True Work to do is the BE WITH MYSELF. First few days….terrifying. It’s so easy to avoid the spiritual work when there’s the daily grind happening all around at home. Being still and quiet made me cry every day. Deep, emptying, detoxifying sobs. Remembering the Voice, recalling that Wisdom. That’s heavy stuff.

“Why can’t I feel at Home,” I asked the Wise Healers attending this trip with us? Why do I feel always ready to pivot and run, even when I know I’m happy? Why can’t I just feel rooted? We Soul Journeyed within. Deep places. Ancestral places. My soul recalled so many generations of running for survival. To save children. To save self. That trauma, remaining unhealed, continued to plague my very Being, my DNA. It’s in ALL of us. We carry those stories. For me, it was a sense of insecurity, anxiety. And it was showing up in my life by this feeling of never-ending emptiness, uprootedness, restlessness. I sought spiritual guidance for how to slow down. How to be present. How to feel safely rooted. How to ENJOY where I am. Many visions and answers were graciously revealed.

I returned, invigorated. It was September 2017. We had absolutely zero savings set aside for the purchase of a home. I arrived in Spokane, NEEDING a parcel of land that had my name on it. Money manifested. On March 1, 2018 we closed on my first house.

One year later, I’m typing this while sitting in my home office. And I’m free. I feel liberated in the spiritual work along the way: where I’d been, leading up to that 2016 invitation; the year in preparation for Bali, and the 18 months of integration (and more Journey work) since them. Before Bali, I wasn’t new to Soul Journey work, but the intention was different and very specific in my year leading up to the trip. I had to travel away 8,344 miles for my first Homecoming celebration.

So, “where” is home? It’s where I am authentically me. Where I am safe, valued and loved. It feels like ground under my feet, it feels like warmth in my heart, it feels like ‘one thought at a time.’

Randi L. Johnson, 3/3/19

Randi Johnson