Deep Friendships Are Our Touchstones

Posted by Ele Keats on

I just returned from a transformative adventure back east. I went  to visit some of my absolute dearest friends who have been close to my heart for many decades. I began my journey in New Milford with my dear friend, Phyllis. We spent most of our time in her exquisite magical garden. There is a giant tree that reaches 200 feet in the air. She said that tree has been her friend her whole life. A huge protector with its arms stretching wide. Her grass was so soft. It felt like stepping on gentle feathers.

Her home and friendship have been special places of refuge for me since I was very young. She has been a sounding board and mentor throughout my life. I was grateful to be able to spend time together. 

One evening, my oldest friend, Pam, came to visit. We have been friends since I was 11 and it was just like we had been together yesterday. For me this level of friendship is everything.

The next stop was Woodstock to see two of my absolute favorite couples in the world, Charlotte and Doué. Charlotte and I met at an acting audition when we were in our very early 20s. Our friendship has spanned over 30 years. I was the officiate at their wedding in the south of France many moons ago.

When I walked into their new home in Woodstock, I could feel that it was needing a good energetic shift. I did a huge clearing and balancing of the house. There was a profound difference and we all felt it. The day I returned to L.A., Charlotte called me and said, “I don't know what you did at the house, but I just had a huge job opportunity come my way.”, and she burst into tears with gratitude.

We had such a magical time in Woodstock. In the evenings, we would watch the fireflies. We had so many deep talks, great laughs, incredible food, and new discoveries. We walked through the meadow and just simply enjoyed each other's presence. We stopped by the house that I lived in as a child. It's so surreal to see through adult eyes and step back in time. 

We also explored all the little special shops in the town of Woodstock. There was a little store that existed in the 70s called The Rainbow Shop. There would be a man who is dressed in all rainbow clothing who would stand outside and hand out little small rainbow cards to people passing by. Some of my most favorite childhood treasures were my little rainbow cards. I even based my business card on those cards.

When I was checking out at one of the oldest stores in Woodstock, this little chime shop that actually sells Woodstock chimes, I saw three of the little rainbow cards at the register! I was delighted as I said to the owner, "Oh my God, I can't believe you have those little rainbow cards!". She replied, "One day they just appeared. Wasn't that shop so magical?".

I told her how it used to be my favorite, and she said, "Here, choose one of the cards.". I was so touched. I now have my rainbow card again! I can't wait to frame it and put it somewhere special in my house.

I also spent time with my friends Nidhi and John Huba. John and I have been friends since I was 17. John is an incredibly gifted and talented photographer. We met through modeling and he's been my go to dude sounding board for decades. 

One of the best parts of the trip was bringing these couples together who have never met and connecting them. One of my greatest joys in life is connecting people. It was so sweet to see the beginnings of new friendships unfolding as we sat outside at John and Nidhi's place having dinner, laughing, talking, telling stories, and simply being together.

The afternoon of the fourth, John and I slipped away and had a photo shoot by the creek. Every decade of my life, John has captured me through the different phases. He is such a safe and fun photographer. I always feel a deep sense of remembering who I am after a photo shoot with John. Later that afternoon, Nidhi introduced me to some incredible transformative sprays that she created using the alchemy of crystals, sound mantra, and aromatherapy. They were so special that I brought them back to the shop and we are almost completely sold out! 

Nidhi is a kundalini yoga teacher and does feng shui. She crushed up selenite and added it to the paint of their home. When I came over she said, "Ele put your hand here.”. I felt her walls and they were buzzing. It was undeniable. It literally felt like a force field in the walls of protection.

It's always a pleasure to gather with friends who are on a similar journey. I absolutely loved my time with Nidhi, John, Doué and Charlotte in the magical town of Woodstock where I grew up. Next stop New York City!

The arrival into the city was magically timed as fireworks were starting to go off. This was my first time back in the city since 2016, and to be greeted by the joy and celebration of everyone gathering by the river for fireworks was truly incredible.

My friend, Sara Lavner, met me in the lobby of her building, and we raced up to the rooftop to find fireworks. We found a little balcony and watched the display of light, sound, and color. What a way to be welcomed back to my favorite city on the planet!

Sara, who in physical body is 76, but truly is an 11 year old inside, hosted the most fun, joyful, and transformative adventure. We explored Central Park and Koreatown, enjoying the Korean spa and Hangawi, one of my favorite restaurants. We checked out the Union Square farmers market, visited every tiny shop imaginable in Nolita and Soho, and rounded out the trip in Chinatown. Collectively we walked over 12 miles! And for both of us it was a truly transformative trip. 

I helped Sara re-organize her entire closet and rethink her space in a new way. This woman has the most incredible art collection, was married to Pablo Picasso’s son, Claude, and was friends with Andy Warhol amongst other amazing artists. It was a trip being with Sara, and as always we had some of the funniest moments of my entire life this past week.

The energy of New York is so special to me. I was conceived in New York, and spent my beginning years between the city of Woodstock and Europe. So, going to New York for me means visiting my roots and it’s a big piece of who I am. 

This trip was much needed for many reasons, most importantly for perspective. Sometimes it's easy to get caught in the myopic view of current situations. I am a big believer of traveling and getting out of our little boxes. I really went back-and-forth before I left because there were some specific circumstances that had me feeling that the timing was not right for me to take this trip. However, every morning I would wake up to hear, "You must go.", and I followed my inner guidance and intuition, and I am so grateful that I did.

I encourage you to travel, explore and most importantly connect with people that you love. Our deep long friendships are our touchstones that help us remember and ground us into the beings that we are. Happy summer, enjoy your adventures!

Xoxo, Ele

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