Omega Institute of Holistic Studies

One day my mom got a catalog in the mail from Omega Institute. This was the only issue she ever received and we have no idea how she ended up on the mailing list. She showed it to me after she flipped though it and noticed that my favorite folk singer Arlo Guthrie was running a writing workshop. My heart skipped. She also showed me the page where it said they hire people to work at the institute. Working there meant you got a discount on one workshop.

A few months later I was hired and packed, had saved money for a plane ticket to New York, and was on my way to go work thirty-hours a week and live in a tent in the woods. Omega is a heavenly retreat center with everything you could imagine – fake sand next to a lake you can swim in, a spa, library, multiple gardens to walk in, meditation areas, vegetarian food, endless holistic workshops, yoga to the max, and much-much more.

Living in a tent was an experience. I was a hike away from a bathroom. I had a co-ed shower with no curtain. Working in the kitchen and housekeeping were hard work. I had to mop vast floors and serve food to hundreds of people at once. However, it was all I could eat, and when I wasn’t sweating in the kitchen I was walking around in paradise. Amazing spiritual speakers from all places come to Omega and help to make it a magical place. I could have never afforded to attend Omega, but my motivation to get there was strong enough that I found another way in. I ended up encountering two famous people. I had a strange conversation with the director of the movie Amélie, and ‘I spied with my little eye’ the character Janice from the television show Friends. I also got to meet Alex Grey who is an amazing artist and does a lot of artwork for the band Tool.

Hard work pays off. I got to meet Arlo Gurthrie, confess my undying love to him and even get a hug. The workshop was dry because Robert Bly was there and I’m not a huge fan. They were talking about how to put poetry into music. I wanted to say… “well, Bob Dylan and Hip-hop have already been there, done that”, but being one of the only females in the workshop, it was hard to get a word in.  But I had followed my heart and dream and managed to get to New York. The whole time I sat five feet away from Arlo. My mission was accomplished.

I wanted to share with you a few photos from my trip to New York because it was a beautiful place that meant a lot. After three hot summer months in a tent I was a different person. Just thinking about the trip makes me insanely nostalgic. The point of this blog is a cheesy one about following your dreams. Sometimes you have to take a chance. This chance brought clarity to my life. It can be hard to take chances when you are tied down to emotion, physical stuff, a career. Still, there are smaller ways to make changes. It’s good to keep your eye out for the possibility of who knows what.

Category: Photo Journal

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