How are you, Lokita?

The typical question: “How are you, Lokita?” I find it impossible to answer. No adjective can quite describe how I am. And do I really want to get into the details? Do they really want to hear? When I look at photos of myself and see radiance, aliveness and joy, I am surprised.

Several of my loyal readers have asked me why there have been so few blog posts from me lately. They said they imagine that my life has settled down more, and therefore I am not writing that much. But as is the case with imagination – it is imagination! I am writing a lot, I just haven’t shared it.

In the past month or so, almost every morning I wake up feeling sad and depressed. Another day. Another day in paradise without Steve. Another day of wondering about it all. Who am I? Another day of surrendering to what is, rather than life being what I would like it to be.

Not wanting to  go down the slippery slope of despair, I usually get out of bed quickly, and take Coco to the beach. There, we go for a long walk; there, I celebrate my new knee! Something to celebrate for sure. No more pain. The roar of the ocean and the sun and the water and the sand and the tropical plants and the hermit crabs and throwing the stick for Coco make me feel better, every single time. Coco and the beach are my uplifts.

It’s been a difficult time because soon Steve’s killers (for the first time I am calling them that publicly) will be sentenced. I have been asking myself again and again if I want to attend the sentencing hearing. Why would I want to do that? Would I regret it if I did not go? Would I regret it if I did?

And then, if I did go, would I want to address the prisoners, via the judge? What might I want to say to them? Perhaps they would speak, too. How would I respond to that? Could I bear to actually hear their voices?

This whole thing is so intense, a very deep process. It’s simply horrible. 1001 questions, thoughts, and feelings; many written down, but inappropriate to share publicly right now.

Then of course there is the recovery from cancer and its grueling treatment. I have yet to integrate psychologically what actually happened there. Breast cancer! Me! Unbelievable! I am a positive human being with a healthy lifestyle. How could this have happened? Well, said the doctor, it was just “bad luck”. Hm.

My body is still healing from chemo and radiation. The brain is slower (= chemobrain), my eyesight has changed. My energy levels are lower, and I have to rest more. My hormones are different (instant menopause aka chemopausr), so I am getting to know many new aspects of myself. Multi-tasking is a thing of the past. I can only do one thing at a time. Let that sink in – doing one thing at a time. Quite healthy, really, when you think about it.

The good news is that my immune system is very strong. I feel healthy, I am eating well, and am almost back to my normal 110 lbs weight. Sleeping is another matter altogether. As soon as the lights go out, my heart starts racing. What is it trying to tell me?

And omnipresent is the loss of Steve, the grief, the utter bewilderment. The void where he used to be is glaringly obvious to me everywhere, always. I give my best to adjust, but it is challenging. For example: enjoying some homemade German potato salad last night, I looked over to Steve’s hammock, fully expecting him to be there. The hammock was empty. He will never ever again sit there with Coco in his lap, laughing, enthusing to me about yoga class and his plans for the garden tomorrow. It is incomprehensible to me, still, almost 18 months later.

So has my life settled down? Don’t know, really.

What I do know is that in photos I look radiant, alive and joyful. And yes, in my unchanging, ever-stable core I am that.

PS. For those of you who read my previous post – my bruised nose is all healed up.

“When joy has a reason, it is not going to last long. When joy is without any reason, it is going to be there forever.” ~Osho

46 replies
  1. melantha
    melantha says:

    Tears, dear Lokita, and this pain in my heart as I read. I am a mother/fixer and the instinct is to want to wrap you in love and safety and make it all right again. Silly notion, but comes with caring. I simply cannot imagine how difficult this is for you, just have glimpses, with tears and heart ache just imagining. You are a beautiful soul, a terrific writer with much to share with so many. Again, thank you for being here with us, sharing vibrant you. ❤️

  2. Edie
    Edie says:

    Crying with you as you attempt to make sense of the incomprehensible. Even though we don’t know each other personally, know that over here in the Philadelphia area is someone who sends love to help sustain you.

  3. victoria
    victoria says:

    One day at a time, step by step with move forward as we carry
    the memories of the past such is life. A life well lived with Conscious Devotion.
    I look forward to reading your book one day. Loving Grace Dearest Lokita

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Hello Louise ❤️ Thank you. You inspire me, too. I hope we will get to meet again one day. Sending love.

  4. Judy Hancock Holland
    Judy Hancock Holland says:

    I understand, having been widowed myself nearly 10 years ago now. Someone (CS Lewis?) wrote about being widowed “Her absence was everywhere, like the sky.” That struck me as so true when I read it. Ten years later, though, it is not everywhere. It is still there, a dull ache and sometimes quite strong, but it does get better. Blessings on you, Lokita. I still grieve Steve, too.

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Hi Judy, thanks for your comment. That quote definitely says it all for me. I especially like the “sky” bit because somehow the sky is everything. So I have hope that one day the places of void that are there now will merge into the sky that is always there. Lots of love to you. ❤️

  5. Adrienne Asher
    Adrienne Asher says:

    At least some for the feelings you’re experiencing can be laid at the feet of sudden menopause. Same with changing energy levels and lack of concentration. Even *without* all the trauma you’ve experienced, you would be going through all the hormonal fluctuations that menopause brings. The good news: it passes. And post traumatic stress is real and devastating, so nights filled with a racing heart is completely understandable, even expected. From your posts, I can read that you are doing everything right for dealing with all this havoc: exercise, spiritual practice, a balanced diet, writing (creative outlet), and (hopefully) counseling when you need compassionate advice and support. You are traveling through the hardest times a person can face with great strength and grace…even if it doesn’t always feel that way! Spending warm waves of love, Lokita…

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Hello Adrienne, thank you for the warm waves of love and the encouragement. ❤️ And yes, I do have a wonderful psychotherapist whose weekly sessions have been supportive, loving, filled with patience and insightfulness. He holds an amazing sacred space for me with mindfulness and true tantric teachings. Lots of love to you and John.

  6. Sara Firman
    Sara Firman says:

    You write so clearly that I could feel the challenge of getting out of bed and then the slow but sure shift in energy as you took in the vitalizing power of the beach and coco’s presence. I am sad and glad at the same time. I am glad that you have kept your voice and heart strong.

  7. Le'ema Kathleen Graham
    Le'ema Kathleen Graham says:

    So glad to hear about your life and process! I’ve been wondering and thanks for sharing. It helps us all. Yes hope you find some clarity around the thieves who stole your Beloved. I can’t even imagine having to go through any of this😱! But I’m delighted that Coco keeps you in the present moment with some simple sweet joy and playtime! Many blessings on this journey and Look forward to your writing!

  8. Judi Finney
    Judi Finney says:

    Your heartfelt and honest posts, I read every one of them, leave me speechless. I hope that you can feel the love and energy from me directed at you, especially when I don’t comment, which is most often. Please know that I am here and grateful to you for sharing yourself so intimately. Blessings to you and Coco.

  9. Diane
    Diane says:

    Thank you, Lokita, for having the courage to tell us the truth. No one can imagine the complexity of feelings and experience in your day, and you give it to us straight. I so appreciate you! Sending love.

  10. Andrew Burgess
    Andrew Burgess says:

    I want you to know Lokita that both you and Steve had a positive impact on my life. I remembered attending a workshop at Breitenbush in 2010 as I was still on active duty in the Army. Steve and you gave me hope! To this day I want to emulate yours and Steve’s capacity to love. Im thinking about you Lokita, and hope someday I will have the strength you have to live and love this mystery that we call life. -Andrew

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Thank you, Andrew. I remember you very well, and the intensity of your life. And your courage and commitment and conscience. You do have the strength, I have seen it! Hugs and love to you.

  11. Marcia
    Marcia says:

    I look forward to seeing your photos, hearing your words every time..and every time I am looking for resolution and process. You are such a gifted writer. I am blessed to be able to listen to your thoughts but I am helpless.. I try to make sense of the world and all you have gone through and it never makes sense..I am living each day to my fullest as it is all I have..I hold Steve carters photo from the memorial in my purse and when I am anxious I look at his warm smile and am so happy that I met him and you at age 50…I wish you lived across the street and I would come to you and hold you and walk to the beach with you and Coco..our lives are distant but the verbage you share keeps steve’s memory alive and keeps me loving you …I don’t know what life is all about but I know that each day is a gift and I am so fortunate to hear you, Lokita…so happy even my daughter was able to spend a weekend with you not that very long ago..thanks for continuing to share..I do love you

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Oh Marcia, thank you. Steve’s memory is alive in all the lovely souls we have touched in our workshops and in life at large. It is a pleasure knowing you, and I also would love to go for a nice long walk on the beach with you and Coco someday! We’ll see how life unfolds. Thank you for reading my blog and for having my back. Because that’s what it truly feels like. Hugs to you ❤️

  12. Amy
    Amy says:

    Dearest Lokita, I read a poem recently which moved me:

    Grief comes to you all at once,
    So you think it will be over all at once.
    But it your guest for a lifetime.

    How should I treat this guest?
    This unwelcome, uninvited guest.

    Think of the one who sent it to you….

    From Kayak Morning by Roger Rosenblatt

    I know you are a warrior and incredibly strong, and I hope you are not offended by this, but can’t help but feel it may not be the best time to be alone so much right now… are you living alone? Maybe consider — what friends would you like to spend time with right now? Sending love…

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Thanks for your concern, Amy and the poem. Yes, I am living alone right now with Coco, and that feels ok for the time being. I am surrounded by a supportive and loving community of friends whom Steve and I have known for many years, so I can spend time with others whenever I want. I am still in a very raw place, and being in company is often tiring for me. All is well in that regard, I am taking good care of myself ❤️

      Re the poem – I am not really sure who sent the grief. Steve? Those who murdered him? Life? hmmmm

  13. Emily Akemon
    Emily Akemon says:

    Thanks you for sharing your journey. In case it helps, we are all out here trying to make sense of it all. It is nice to hear we are not alone.

    I am glad you have the beach and Coco to find peace. I love the beach. I also love a forest. And I am glad your knee is pain free. Healing is a beautiful gift.

    If you do make it to California I hope we cross paths again.

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Hello Emily, I have been thinking about you and sent you a message via FB last week. Perhaps you did not receive it. And yes, we are all in the same boat, all of us. I also hope that we will see each other again if and when I come to CA. Sending love and a warm hug to you ❤️

  14. Sue Tobias
    Sue Tobias says:

    Dearest Lokita- Despite all of your unbelievable and unfathomable pain and trauma, your joy and love of life shines through. Another day of surrendering, another day of doing one thing at a time – thank you for sharing I hope you feel our love and support surrounding you! Love, Sue

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Hello dearest Sue, yes, I sure do ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ It is bewildering that love and joy can shine through anything, really anything.

  15. Jason Weston
    Jason Weston says:

    My heart aches as I read these words Lokita. As I knew it would when I chose to start reading your post. Your loss parallels my own loss of my brother who was also senselessly gunned down (we’ve shared together about this). And somehow this devastating shared experience, both similar and totally different, has me so right there with you when you speak of missing Steve, when you refer to his killers, the unfathomable…

    I say all this not to focus on me, but to say I hear you, I’m here with you, I get it, from very deep within. Yes, words fail…

    Loving you Lokita…

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Thank you, Jason. I still feel your love from the visit we had over a year ago in SR, and often recall that feeling. I also think about your brother, your experience, often. It does help and comfort to know that you and others whom I know were impacted in a similar way. I hope that we will get to visit with each other again before too long, and please know that I feel you, too ❤️

  16. Ava Kennedy
    Ava Kennedy says:

    Oh Lokita. The realness is palpable. And I’m feeling it with you. And, in the midst of it, I’m feeling Steve. His joy, his love. It’s so big.
    I love you, Lokita, and so happy we are birthday buddies. Somehow, that means something to me.

  17. Wahila Wilkie
    Wahila Wilkie says:

    Oh, my sweet sister! My heart aches for you again and again. I so wish there was something I could do to take this pain away from you. But I know that there is nothing any of us can do but to hold you in our hearts and pray for peace and comfort for you. I know the feeling you describe when the lights go out. I had that for years after my mothers murder. Only meditation helped me heal that. Only meditation took me back to what I truly am enough to bring me back to being ready to fully let love in again.

    I know that you are letting the radiance fill you and that over time this will heal your wounds. I just wish I could speed that process for you. But the mayakosha is what it is. Corporeal time will have its due. I send you and Coco all the love and blessings I can muster and which you so completely deserve. <3

  18. Kim Stanley
    Kim Stanley says:

    Lovley Lokita,

    You write/speak the grief that many do share also, and that is healing since you put it in such real honest open terms. It is what we all need, to FEEL deeply, even if it is through grief. You have experienced the unfathomable, and you are an icon and dichotomy of all things feeling: of strength/weakness, power/powerlessness, hope/despair, joy/grief….all of it, all of it….you help us/me to heal also. thank you. I lost my brother to multiple myeloma cancer last year just days before Harbin burned down, another friend dies of cancer, and weeks before Steve was taken, and then I broke my arm being knocked over in the BART station, and was off work for 3 weeks haling after surgery..all traumatic events so close together. And I did not have anyone to comfort me really, no beloved, no outside help of love and tenderness to help me heal. I grieve the NOT having a beloved every day, as a single person, so not the loss of one, but never truly having that feels like an ongoing grief, just so not right for being a human! God all that in a short time was very stressful. And I went through breast cancer and treatments 6 years ago that left me trashed for a while, and yet I recovered through positive action and natural healing remedies, and like you, I am a healthy vibrant being, with my own “scars”, emotional and physical. And I say all this to share the experience in some way, to connect to another, you, who has lived this nightmare so gracefully, and it helps me to read your beautifully written posts. So I understand loss and grief in my own way, and I can connect to you. What a wild ride. Grief is a strange one.
    I attended several of your workshops with you and Steve in 2006 or so, and felt so moved by your relationship and each of you as individuals. You are SO lucky to have had a hu-man like Steve in your life, and it is unfair he was ripped away from this earthly life. Drug addiction sucks, those addicts that took him may not even recall what they did, they were so disconnected from their own life force, and so they took another to fill the void. I attended Steve’s memorial, and loved seeing his LIFE, who he was, and your strength to be there for all of us. I have his picture on my fridge as a reminder. Coco is a true blessing, a spirit of how LIFE PREVAILS in strange ways, Coco could NOT leave you..he revived, and you have too. Even though Steve has not, and you have suffered immensely, you also have a blessed life to have had the best of relationship and living and expressing your passions, and you have embraced that so fully! I just LOVE your being that you are. Thank you for sharing, and allowing us to all share WITH you. we are WITH you. HUGS abuond…

  19. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    It is hard to know what to say to all of this pain that you have and are enduring. I can only imagine your heart’s deep sadness of not having Steve back in your life there. He was such a light in so many ways, to so many. But I send you great love in the hopes that some of it may seep into your bones and help you feel the radiance that you are. My love to you and Coco.

  20. Hans
    Hans says:

    How can you make sense of such tragic and violent events in your life ? As brutal and painful this is, the only way I can make sense of your ordeal is that its an entry into the shadow of life.

    Some years ago, I myself went through a painful process of betrayal and was the target of falls and intense persecutions. I was stripped of nearly everything I called my life. I was homeless and abandoned by most of friends. In the beginning I thought I did not deserve this but finally I accepted the fact as part of a death experience that send me into the shadows of the Underworld.

    I deeply feel for your pain, your loss and your grief. I am incredibly touch as I am reminded of my own vulnerability and that everything can change so quickly. Suffering is part of the Shamans initiation into the spirit world.
    We all like to avoid suffering but can we really bypass it ? Such a big question in the “New Age” movement.

    In your relationship with Steve and in your Tantra work it seems you both were teachers of joy, ecstasy and bliss. What a tremendous change of life as you are pushed into the experience of deep sorrow and pain.

    Nothing of what I say here may be new to you. You may have had similar insights long ago. If anything, I want to share here is my deepest honour and respect for the Shamans (female/male) journey and sacrifice. It seems to me you are on this journey, front and center.

    I like your photo thats showing above your Blog. Do you live in Hawaii now ?
    My prayers are with you, much love, Hans

  21. Lucy
    Lucy says:

    Your poignant words are always so right on target, eloquent descriptions of your heartache and struggle. They make me wish I could reach out with a hug. Know that comforting thoughts are always out there from everyone who loves you so much. If it would help you to have a troop of people go to the sentencing on your behalf, send the word. I’m not so sure that “justice” will ever be served, but I am certainly willing to stand up in support of Steve’s memory. Love, Lucy

  22. Sylvia W
    Sylvia W says:

    Dear Lokita, I think of you often. I attended your intro workshop three times around 2003-2005, and will never forget the love, wisdom, and joy you and Steve embodied. Love and blessings to you always

  23. Leslie Rundquist
    Leslie Rundquist says:


    I attended your final Women’s Weekend at Harbin in October 2014, with Kai as co facilitator. I did not, could not, have known the impact that workshop would have on my life. It was the beginning of my transformation. My life has changed completely and at age 60 I have finally come into my own. Though the journey is one I hadn’t asked for, as I am certain yours was not requested either, and included many us and downs I want you to know I am forever grateful for you setting me on my path!
    Though your journey has brought much sadness you have faced it head on. Thank you for showing me how to face adversity full on with all your emotions and vulnerability. Much peace, love and gratitude…Leslie

  24. Rachila
    Rachila says:

    So much love to you & Coco, dear Lokita. Thank you for being so open , sharing, &vulnerable. This life, lila, is a mystery. Resonating with the emotional & physical, heart wrenching loss & pain, and with your resilience & beautiful radience. The spirit that is you, is shining through!
    Prayers & warm soothing energy surrounding & blessing you at your deepest core.


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