For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with death. As soon as I learned what a death doula is I became one. When I first started talking to dead people I was kinda anxious to join them. I always hated closing the channel and coming back “down to earth” because the afterlife seemed so much more simple and peaceful than the world I was living in.
It’s no surprise that seeing the body casts of Pompeii was my second top priority in Italy after our retreat.
When I told the folks on the retreat this, their eyes got big and faces showed concern. They couldn’t relate.
So I get to Pompeii, only the body casts aren’t there anymore. As I walk through the ruins of their cities I’m taken aback by how lavish their lives were! Have you been? Besides the amphitheaters, stages and gorgeous sculptures, there were cute tile-adorn pathways that led to rows and rows of shops!
I got the message real quick that I wasn’t there to witness their death, I was there to witness their LIFE. They spoke to me.
“LIVE!” they said.
They had no qualms about living a leisurely life of luxury. Like, none at all. They were ecstatic and proud to have such decadent lives and encouraged me to drop my survivor’s guilt and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
They didn’t want me to stay in Pompeii. I was just a short, scenic and euphoric drive away from the Amalfi coast. The people of Pompeii wanted me to experience the Amalfi coast- that’s why they had called me to Pompeii! It was never about Pompeii or dying- it was about luxury and living!
As I’m driving through the windy road I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the glory of it all. Each turn was more gorgeous than the last! I thanked them a million times over during that car ride. They laughed- this is just the beginning I could hear them say.
The thing is everything changed for me after our closing ceremony.
I dropped the struggle.
I dropped my addiction to suffering and my identity around my resilience and strength.
It was an outdated version of me that was drawn to Pompeii. This new version of me wanted freedom and all things fancy!
I’m now unafraid to say I want to be pampered and prioritized! I was to be romanced and to feel more alive with each passing day!
I’m thinking to myself, a boat ride would be nice today. I’m sure I can find something once I’m there.
Welp, I get to the coast and all parking lots are full. I keep driving and a guy asks if I’m looking for parking. “My hero!” I think to myself- and in a way he kinda was. He walks alongside my car and directs me to his own personal parking lot. It’s 6 euro per hour, a bit pricey, but, hey, so am I, hehe.
It’s not until I get out of the car that I notice a public parking lot right next door to his private one. And there were spaces available! And it was more affordable. I quickly turn around and get back into my car, thank the kind man for his help and let him know I’ve decided to park elsewhere and drive off.
He tries to tell me the public parking lot is more expensive than his private lot. I want to roll my eyes and feel insulted but instead I just smile and laugh and say, “okay,” recognizing him as a helper in my story.
I exit the lot and there’s a man in an orange vest that looks like he works for the city. The parking lot owner says something to him in Italian and the vested man comes up to my window and says, “you want to park here?” I reply, “si.” And he says it’s 7 euro an hour. He looks official but I still suspect he’s lying because the sign says 5 so I say, “okay.”
They both kind of chased after me insisting I’d save money if I parked in the guy’s lot. I just smile and say, “That’s okay. I’ll spend the extra money.”
I drove all the way to the end of the lot- as far away as I could get from them, haha. I exit the car and there’s a parking attendant right in front of me so I ask how much it is to park there and sure enough, it is 5 euro an hour.
I laugh to myself and do a little twirl! Even though I’m an intuition expert, I still get proud of myself when I trust my intuition- especially in cases like these when I’m new to something.
I was trying to avoid passing by those two guys again so I attempted to exit the parking lot near where the boats were- it wasn’t an option. I go to turn around and these three men run up to Bentley who is in his backpack on my back. They swoon over him and I welcomed it after feeling somewhat harassed by the previous two men.
One of them asks if I want to go on a boat ride with him. The New Yorker in me pauses and starts looking for the catch. How much is it? Who will be on the boat? Are there life vests? Why are you offering me a free boat ride? I’m skeptical AF but he passes all the tests and the main theme of our retreat was to RECEIVE more so I said, “yes!”
I’m sure most women can relate to this next part but the second I got on the boat I was guarded and kept a safe distance from Giuseppe. I always have pepper spray on me and I was ready to use it.
We sail out, have some prosecco, get to connecting and actually, Giuseppe is a dreamboat (pun intended, hehe).
We start to make out, dip in the water, and continue to sip. We’re having a blast! I had to pinch myself.
Did I seriously just step out of my car and onto this boat?!
AND I don’t have to share the boat with anyone else?! After 16 years in NYC, I have a very low tolerance for strangers or crowds, haha.
Like, could it get any better?
Endless waters, kisses, prosecco and giddiness!
THIS is what the people of Pompeii wanted for me!
To say that I felt pampered would be an epic understatement. All I had to do was exist, accept and receive!
I didn’t want to leave but he had to get back to shore. As I get off the boat he sets me up with water and prosecco for the road (swoon) and suggests a few places for me to visit.
Just, wow! The whole day felt like a fairy tale and all I had to do was say, “thank you!”
Life’s hard enough, I’m not sure why we’re so committed to making it even harder on ourselves?
Feeling so grateful for the portals we opened during that retreat and for the people of Pompeii showing me the way!