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I grew up in St. Helena and I have seen the slow shift of the long-time locals selling their homes for a fantastic price and moving away.

Last week I meandered through town, and I was hard-pressed to find a home that doesn’t look like it belongs in a magazine. While that adds to the daydream of living here, it also made me feel a bit sad inside. There is a piece of me that longs for the days when there was variety and authentic hometown charm. I miss Keller’s Market, Connecticut Yankee, Sprouse Reitz, and NuWay Drugs. These have all been replaced with terrific new businesses, but it doesn’t change the fact that I will never feel the same about my little town.

Napa was the place we would come to go to the movies, get school clothes, or go bowling. But other than that, there wasn’t much happening.

I have been living here for eight years now, and I am witnessing the same transition occur in Napa that I saw in St. Helena. Although it is quite exciting, it is met with a hint of apprehension. Being in my thirties and still being a renter makes me nervous due to the rising real estate costs. Add in the pressure that was created due to the wildfires, and it is enough to make my mind spin.

We have a wonderful landlord now, but will the time come when we could be pushed out due to the rising cost of living? With the insane prices of the Bay Area showing no signs of slowing down, the astronomical rent craze has officially reached the city of Napa.

Even as I sit writing this at a local coffee spot, I am overhearing two women talk about the unbelievable price their neighbors are selling their homes for. It seems that many of us locals are wondering how this will affect our future in this community. This topic frequently comes up in conversations I have with my family and friends.

A few months ago, I became increasingly aware of a slight panic that was stirring inside of me. It was then that I decided there was only one thing I could do: change the way I think about it.

You see, if I let fear and panic be the energy that I connect with this topic, I am likely to attract an undesirable situation. But, if I hold in my heart the truth that everything will work out in exactly the way it should, then it alleviates the anxiety of it all.

There are many old-timers in this valley that want their homes to be filled with the local spirit, even if that means accepting a lower price for their property. (This was how my parents were able to buy my childhood home back in 1984.) So, I have shifted my thinking to the possibility that a beautiful home that is perfect for us in all ways will present itself in the exact timing that it is supposed to. That takes all the worry out of it and creates the space to let the positive outcome in.

If the day should come that we need to consider different areas to live in, then we will. However, fretting over it will only cause more suffering in the present.

And, even if you don’t believe in the saying “what you think about you bring about,” it is still much more favorable than dwelling in the overwhelming scenario where we are forced to move away from a place that we hold so dear to our hearts. There is nothing we can do to control this wave of growth that we are experiencing, nor would we want to. It is bringing so much life into our lovely valley, and for that I am truly grateful.

Spiritual Seed: Keep your thoughts positive and you will experience peace in your heart.

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Kate Messmer Jessup is a spiritual Coach. You can contact her at or find out more about her services at She wrote this for the weekly Thursday Pulpit series that runs in the St. Helena Star and Weekly Calistogan.