Since this story has been popping into my head the past couple of days, obviously someone “up there” wants me to tell it.
Back in 1998 I was living in Los Angeles (since 1985) and minding my own business as a struggling actor with New Mexico never entering my thoughts. Quite frankly, I didn’t give a crud about New Mexico. But, things were about to change…forever. All of a sudden, and with increasing frequency, this weird word kept showing up everywhere: TAOS – I didn’t know what a Taos was. I’d be stuck in traffic and glance over to see that I was stopped in front of a store called “Taos Trading Company” or be in Trader Joe’s and glance over to see some guy’s t-shirt that had “Taos Ski Valley” on it. Things like that kept happening. It got so bad that just after leaving The Bodhi Tree Bookstore on Melrose Avenue and walking quickly down the sidewalk, something forced me to stop dead in my tracks and look down. It was like I hit an invisible wall and someone took their hand and shoved my head down. Engraved in the concrete at my feet was TAOS! By then, I’m like, “What the hell?!” When I mentioned this odd word showing up all over the place, someone said, “I think Taos is a town in New Mexico.” That, of course, led me to ask, “Well why is it showing up to me?!” Now, granted, my life had gotten interesting in 1996 after healer Eric Pearl blew open my chakras, but I couldn’t make sense of this. The final straw came when I had an out-of-body experience one night and flew to Taos.
I was only doing temp work at the time, and I was in-between assignments, so after the OBE I decided to get in my Mitsubishi and drive to Taos in August of 1998 for a week. I will never forget the first time I saw it (other than via the OBE). When you approach Taos from the south (Santa Fe) you drive along a winding mountain road towards the end. Suddenly, you go around this one curve and there is Taos in the distance, with the Rio Grande Gorge cutting through the land to the left of it. It looked surreal. It looked like Shangri-La to me…somehow mystical. The moment I saw it, I was slammed with emotion so strong I burst into sobbing tears. I didn’t know why I was crying but I couldn’t stop. A few times after that first trip, I’d start to cry when I saw it during other visits…but with time, although my heart still swells…the emotion has calmed. From the first time I saw Taos, I was in love.
The week I was there, I stayed at The Abominable Snowmansion hostel in the tiny town just next to Taos called Arroyo Seco. (By the way, I highly recommend this great hostel and still stay there sometimes.) I met great people while I was there and one couple who had just gotten back from living in Guatemala for a couple of years decided to make Taos there home for a while. Since then, I’ve met numerous people that have been called to Taos…some walking away from lucrative careers, homes, family, etc. to move there with nothing lined up. They moved on trust that they were meant to be there.
While looking for this Buddhist retreat I’d heard about, I randomly picked this one house and knocked on the door to ask if they knew where it was (I was feeling lost at the moment). The woman who answered the door was also from California and we got talking about how special the place felt. Then I mentioned, chronic dieter than I am, that ever since I’d gotten there, I was not hungry…at all. I had to force myself to eat. It was like the energy of the place fed me. She gasped and said she’d experienced the same thing. She NEVER felt hunger while she was there. We joked that if we could bottle Taos’ energy, we’d make a fortune as a diet aid! Since that first trip long ago, I’ve not noticed the same thing. But, it might be worth you trying!
Someone at the hostel mentioned this great natural mineral springs place to go to called Ojo Caliente. It sounded good to me, so I got into my car and drove out to the middle-of-nowhere location it’s in. I paid for one private soaking treatment and usage of the outdoor public mineral pools. I opted for the arsenic soak (I know that sounds concerning) because it was supposed to be good for bone problems and I was still dealing with neck damage pain from 1995. You were only supposed to soak for 10 minutes, I think, but I stayed in a couple of minutes longer…but not terribly longer. I think it was literally 2 or 3 minutes. Anyway, I started to feel not good and got out of the tub. The moment I got out, I felt REALLY not good. I felt sick and kind of like I was having a low blood sugar attack (although back then hypoglycemia wasn’t much of an issue for me) and that I was going to pass out. I wrapped myself in a towel and staggered out into the lobby and popped into a chair. That’s when things got really, really bad. My entire body freaked out. My entire body got pin-prickly numb, both of my arms bent inward and my hands clawed up do my chest, I was pale, my blood pressure/pulse was messed up big-time, I kept feeling like I was going to fall asleep (in a bad way), etc. I got very scared when I heard myself talk and realized I was slurring my speech badly. I thought I was having a stroke. People were looking at me very concernedly and running around about to call 911 when my eyes closed briefly, and reopened to see something I will never ever forget! It’s one thing to be taught that everything is energy and that everything is connected. It’s quite another thing to actually see that EVERYTHING IS ENERGY AND EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED! If I could have seen my face, I’m sure my eyes were huge and my mouth was dropped open in awe. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING was glowing internally with white light. Everything “breathed” together in unison. This light was emitting from everything and the light connected everything together. Even the air glowed and breathed with life force! The walls! The people! It was totally awesome, as a Valley Girl would say! I just kept looking around for I don’t know how many seconds now. Then my eyes closed again and when they reopened, my vision was back to normal. “Coincidentally” right at that moment, this woman came through who said, “I know what to do!” She knew acupressure and grabbed my left arm and pushed on something in my forearm, I believe. My left arm immediately let go and fell down off my chest that it had been clinging to all clawed up. Then this sensation went through my body and my right arm let go and gradually, the terrible pin-prickling throughout my body started to calm down. I was able to drink some juice and stabilize…with color coming back into my face. A gal who worked there said that she had seen a similar thing happen to a couple of other people who visited. Once I felt like I wasn’t going to die, I kept saying, “I feel like I released something.” I couldn’t really explain it, but something was let go…rather dramatically from a physical standpoint, but let go all the same. I was totally exhausted. The attack took everything out of me and I somehow drove back to the hostel.
As fate would have it, that night some Tibetan monks were performing in Taos. They had been touring the USA and I had wanted to see them in Los Angeles but never made it. Something told me to drag my exhausted body to the event. I was so glad I did. They did that 5 chords at the same time magical chanting/toning thing they do. When they did it, my body was filled with powerful tingling. Really, not only do I not understand how they do that, but it was powerful in a healing way. I went back to the hostel after seeing them, went to bed, and when I woke up the next morning felt fabulous! I was totally recovered.
At the hostel later, a guy who was half Apache and half Eastern Indian (talk about GORGEOUS long hair!) told me that Native Americans in the area had revered Ojo Caliente as a rebirthing location, and that even Geronimo would go there to rebirth. A year or two later at a party in Los Angeles, I was talking to a guy who was into rebirthing, and he said my symptoms that day were exactly what happens during a successful rebirthing session. No wonder I had felt like I released something.
The next adventure I had that week was driving to the “Lourdes of the Southwest” the healing El Santuario de Chimayo church in Chimayo, New Mexico. I had gotten directions and drove and drove. I thought I was lost because I didn’t think it was that far away from the main part of Taos. I was just about to turn around when I started tingling. As I kept driving, the tingling increased in intensity. Then, suddenly, there was a sign for the church and I turned off the main road and headed in. People make pilgrimages to Chimayo from far away because of the spontaneous healings that have happened there. There are crutches attached to the walls where people no longer needed them, etc. The power comes from the dirt the church is built on…the land. I went so far as to eat a mouthful of the dirt (note to self….do not try to chew dirt with rocks in it) and I also put some into a little container to take back home. Now, my chronic neck/head pain was not magically healed on the spot, but I have to admit that SOMETHING is there. The place feels powerful and it’s a lot easier to get to than France. 🙂
Needless to say, it was an amazing week…and was the beginning of my love affair with Taos. I need to document it with pictures, but every time I go up there now, my eyes change. They get greener. I’m probably supposed to live there instead of Albuquerque where I currently live, but earning a living in Taos isn’t easy and I might eventually get bored in such a small town. But you never know. I do know that Taos, like most of New Mexico, has a agenda. If it wants you…it keeps you.
Atheria (Atheria seems more fitting than Carrie today.)