Growing up in the woods my fondest childhood memories are of the times I spent outside. The feel of the forest in early spring when the trees are just beginning to bud out. Sitting in an ocean of yellow buttercups. Bullfrog croaking, hazy summer afternoon, Patter of rain on countless leaves. Somehow on the way to becoming an adult I learned that laundry, grocery shopping and email were more important than making time for myself to get outside. I have deprived myself of this potent medicine oh, how I have been deprived… Yet sometimes when I get over myself and I take time to get outside, my soul is pretty much instantly restored. I get to bask in this incredible feeling of clarity, insight and harmony. When I am outside I receive the beauty, the space, the inspiration to move, dance, BE with what is. In my dreaming I merge with the Universal Intelligence. In that place I am sending blessings of love in all directions.
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, watching me. 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 birdsong, 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, breathe, 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.