She walked alone in the woods today,
the wind following her with its whispers.
She climbed up the steep slope,
finding spots of bare earth to plant her feet
in a slippery sea of fallen leaves.
She found her favorite stone outcropping,
sat and closed her eyes.
Breathing slowly and deeply
she received a vision of
great warmth and delight,
a future that waits for her
willingness to let the past go.
The cold began to seep in
and she carefully picked her way
here and there along the downward slope,
superimposing the future vision
upon the present matrix,
thinking thoughts of integration.
This evening at dusk
I hiked down to the reservoir,
admired the beauty of the water,
the sky, the play of light on everything,
the way the breeze was ruffling my hair…
I put in my ear buds,
played a medicine song* on my phone
and sang along.
I stepped barefoot onto some rock slabs
that sloped into the water,
stretched my arms to the sky.
Then I began to dance.
I felt so wonderful and free.
Then I noticed across the way,
on the other side of the water,
maybe fifty yards away
someone was sitting there
on an outcropping of rock with a dog,
A young man, he was too far away
for me to tell how old…maybe a teenager?
And guess what?
I KEPT DANCING.
I thought to myself,
Well, he gets to be entertained, then.
And I kept dancing, and doing yoga,
because it felt good.
I just kept singing and dancing,
and he just kept watching me
from across the water, with his dog.
I danced unselfconsciously.
I danced for the wind and the water
and for my heart that was yearning open
in the setting sun.
I danced for the woman who grieved for two years
the loss of her husband’s love
and who is now free to love herself
better than any man ever has.
Then the breeze picked up
as twilight descended.
I collected my things, slipped my shoes back on,
ready to hike back up to my car.
I turned around to see the young man across the water
beginning his climb up the rocks with his dog.
I put my hands together at my heart and bowed to him.
I silently wished that he would find his heart’s true joy.
I’ll never know who my audience of one was…
I’m just glad that I kept dancing.
*I listened to “Healing Angels,” “Amataye,” and “Ayahuasca Takimuki” from the Sacred Valley Tribe collection of medicine songs.
When life asks you to change
by pulling the rug out from under you,
when your relationship falls apart,
when your health suddenly fails,
when a source of abundance suddenly dries up,
when nothing makes sense anymore,
to cling to the past is sheer insanity.
At that point, the most lucid response would be
to take a deep breath and feel into the moment,
to see what the moment is asking of you.
The answers are here, now,
in your beating heart,
in leaves stirred by an invisible wind,
in the changing of the seasons,
in the rhythm of your days and nights.
Release the past that is no longer relevant
to the person you are becoming.
Face your future with open arms,
and see what the moment is asking of you.
I was talking with a friend about wealth…
She said that I am far wealthier
than some ultra wealthy people
who have amassed incredible material wealth.
She said that I am far wealthier than they
in terms of my ability to feel happy and fulfilled
and to experience peace in the present moment…
And I got to thinking about my two children,
how bright, and healthy and beautiful they are,
and my yoga and meditation practice,
my work teaching yoga,
the talents God has given me
to write, to draw, to sing, to move
with my heart.
I thought about my bank account,
and although it’s presently modest,
I can feel grateful and proud about
how hard I’ve been working
to achieve financial stability,
several months of sobriety under my belt,
maintaining consistency in my spiritual practice,
gratitude journaling every night,
pausing and appreciating nature in its many forms,
the changes of the seasons,
the fact I can see and hear and smell and taste and touch
this present moment, alive in my body,
alive all around me…
And the connection, the human connection
that my work gives me,
spending time with beloveds who actually
choose me as their teacher,
who come back not because they have to,
but because they want to—
And I realize that yes, yes indeed—
I am ultra wealthy.
Focus on the positive
Even when you’re crazy tired
or feeling just plain crazy
This moment will pass.
Nothing lasts forever.
Everything is temporary.
Even when you think all is lost,
Flowers grow in the cracks of cement,
rains come to drench the parched earth.
The stars come out whether we see them or not
and the cicadas hum their strange song
whether or not we can hear them.
In this great medicine wheel of life
there is always something being offered by this moment.
Summon your courage
and be willing to take your medicine.
I’m writing this ahead of time.
By the time you read this,
I’ll be in the mountain forest
saying prayers for healing.
Please, take a deep breath and receive them.
I’m sending my prayers to you and all beings.
When you receive my prayers breathing,
when your pain dislodges, moves, and is set free,
we will evolve this planet, this universe, together.
Om. Amen. Shalom. Shanti shanti shanti…