You could not guess how I spent my 29th birthday…
It started off with magic, the kind where you feel like you’re gliding along with the universe and everything is just going your way. I woke up without a hangover despite the fact I had literally barfed my whole insides (and then some) on the sidewalk outside of the salsa club my friends and I went to the night before.
My friend Lindsay and I proceeded to wake up our bodies (and our bowels) by finding coffee. I asked the girl behind the counter at the cafe if they give free coffee if it’s your bday. It was no secret that I was determined to get as much free shit on my birthday as possible.
She kindly replied that unfortunately they didn’t give free birthday coffees. She paused then continue to say, “But what do you want to drink today? It’s on me.”
Like two teenage girls, Lindsay and I cackled out a huge, “Yassss! Thank you!”
It was a simple and short exchange but it made my day. I declared to Lindsay, “This is the best day ever. I feel so in sync with the universe. Nothing can touch me!”
It’s these short but powerful connections that make life worth savoring. They remind me that the best things in life (like the kindness of a stranger) are truly free.
After a short trip to Goodwill and the little girl’s room, we were on our way to my favorite beach in Malibu to spend the rest of the day soaking in the most perfect sunshine I have ever seen. A week ago, Lindsay had thoughtfully gifted me a beach photoshoot.
You see, I mentioned to her months ago how I thought it would be cool to take shamelessly hot photos of myself for my birthday to celebrate where I am in my life right now. I can’t say whether I am in the best shape of my life right now, but I don’t think it matters because I do know I am the most happy and fulfilled I have ever been and I just wanted to capture that.
We bumped dancehall music and danced in our seats through 27 miles of pristine Malibu coastline. About an hour later, we made it to my favorite LA beach Lechuza Beach, a secret spot I only share with my most trusted friends. Lechuza’s hush-hush entrance is in an isolated neighborhood in Malibu’s Broad Beach making it the most secluded and intimate slices of beach on the LA coastline. You have to walk through this shaded path and down a flight of stairs in a forest (yes, forest) before you catch your first glimpses of the crystal blue waters. Even most Angelinos are unfamiliar with this kind of Santa Cruz type landscape, but I truly love it – it makes me feel like I’ve traveled far to some exotic island off the coast of Madagascar.
We ‘oohed’ and ‘awwed’ at the beautiful beach and found a place to rest our stuff under a low hanging bush like tree that created a of canopy out of its leaves and branches.
This is so perfect. This day is so perfect. I thought to myself.
We chilled in the sun for a bit and then I took a couple of test shots of Lindsay to get the exposure just right. It was showtime! I ducked under one of the branches to hand Lindsay the camera and sliced the top of my head an appendage of the branch. She asked if I was ok and that’s when everything began to move in slow motion.
I didn’t know if I was ok, I was so surprised with everything. I wasn’t running or even moving that fast and I could have sworn I cleared the branch completely. I fell to my knees and grabbed my head, “What the fuck just happened?”
Lindsay gasped and said “Don’t move.”
I looked at my hand that had touched my head and there was a pool of blood in it. I couldn’t even cry I was so confused. She came over and tried to help me clean up the blood that was dripping down my neck and onto my bathing suit.
Still in shock I asked her, “What should I do? Is it bad?” I couldn’t see where the blood was coming from. It continued to bleed relentlessly all over my brand new bikini but I didn’t care. I just wanted to know if I was going to be ok.
Adrenaline kicked in as we began to realize that we were hours away from the nearest hospital and I remembered that I didn’t have health coverage.
I was flooded with fast thoughts & heavy feelings.
F*CK MY LIFE. My day was going so well.
How could I be so clumsy & ruin the day?
Can I even afford to get the right treatment?
Is it possible for me to bleed to death right now?
I began to cry, not because of the pain but because I felt irresponsible. It’s crazy what your mind can convince you of sometimes. It was clearly an accident but somehow I felt the inability to take care of myself and it broke my heart in two.
We were on our way to a clinic an hour away when we called my boyfriend who is in nursing school to ask for his advice. He said to find a place where I could clean and find the wound on my head. If we sent him a picture of the wound, he could tell us whether it’s something that needed stitches or not.
I remembered that I had a friend named Dani (who I met at a tantric yoga retreat) who ran a wellness center called Malibu White Lotus Temple. I didn’t have her number and was hoped that she would be home. I prayed that could even remember how to get there.
As fate would have it, we found the spot and a couple of people were home.
I was nervous since I had not seen her in a while and I was walking up with blood all over my face and body. I didn’t want to scare anyone because I looked like a total shit show.
I explained to her and her partner Adam what had happened as we began to wash my blood stained blond hair and search for the wound. As my fingers grazed over the wound, my stomach began to turn. It felt deep.
Adam, who is also a next-level botanical alchemist, offered a healing medicine consisting of copaiba, sangre de drago & silica. He explained it’s mending abilities and shared that it completely healed a deep cut on his hand in just a few days. As he applied the concoction to my head, Dani prayed over me and I began to sob heavily.
I felt a sense of calm wash over me. Clarity. Gratitude.
I felt God wash over me.
Clear as crystal, I realized the value of this seemly unfortunate accident. My birthday gift, disguised in blood and tears, was an opportunity to see my life from a new lens. My life was already awesome, but I gained an even stronger sense of how I want to live. I want to believe and open my eyes to all the magic around me – even if it’s covered in blood or shit. Magic is bigger than being in the flow and thinking positive, it’s begin able to truly appreciate all the colors, textures and exposures of life – including when you find yourself scared shitless. My journey of life is my greatest adventure and design.
I kid you not, minutes after applying the medicine the wound closed. Lindsay flipped out. It was the closest thing to magical healing she’d ever seen in her life.
We spent the next hour meditating overlooking an expansive view of the ocean thanking God for the gift of self awareness that never stops giving. I thank Lindsay, Dani, Adam and Steve for being there for me in this transformational unexpected birthday gift. It is truly one I’ll always remember!
I am still recovering so please keep me in your prayers. Love & light, Jazz