Classes I'm in are getting stiller, students more focused, and I remember what led me to teaching in the beginning. Profound changes in me, were recognizable. I morphed from editor, ghost writer, at-risk teacher, to yoga teacher, retreat facilitator, ceremonialist, bodyworker. I run into students now adults and they look at me declaring I am eternally ageless, forever young.
What's your secret? Everything I used to talk about, I still do it. Privately and with no words, of course, my time of directing hung over students to the back row and those truly training to the front have passed. I'm not detoxing, I'm remembering what it is like to not be travelling alone. I am opening and fluttering at falling so madly deeply in love with everyone at the check stands of my favorite grocery, librarians, baristas and getting to see them again. Leo Buscaglia style.
It isn't easy. People think I'm crazy, or on mushrooms. I open slower than I really want to, which is to say I want to pull people all the way in. Just love each other now. Why wait? Ok. Gotta get the details. Know where we are coming from...which is? Where did I come from?
Courage. A willingness to walk away from anything that was preventing me from freely being able to follow the voice I heard so clearly inside, that had been trying to communicate with me since I was a child and before church and society told me that I had to focus on linear tasks or I'd be doomed. Better to say, we will all be doomed if we don't listen to the voice of our souls that leads us along the path meant for us.
Spiritualists. Artists. Musicians. Body Movers and shakers. Visionaries.
We were ahead of our time. But the time is now. The hardest part about starting out ahead is the waiting. The feeling of fighting. The realizing that you can't fight. The tired but must keep pushing. The absolute joy over experiencing transformation that touches a few and then watching it spiral out...it takes years...sometimes 20.
The other day my dad got excited after having read an article about yoga and healing. I told him, yup...if I had started what I had been doing the last 20 years now, it would have made more sense to you. If I were just beginning and you had a context, you would have been more supportive silly. Made me feel less crazy. Invested in my journey, of which, I was actually ahead at one point. I forged ahead without support, found what I was looking for, or rather it found me. Strong in my determination.
Feeling a little behind as the herd passes, I stop. I know I let them pass me, especially during my phases of fashion doesn't make yoga clothes doesn't make yogini phases. I now have a few Mika teeki and Onzies...they are cute. Tshirts worked too for a while.
For the same reason, I put away my feathers and wings, my medicine bag my hands and hearts. After all the only real medicine women I truly knew were my grandmothers with their humble hearts and warm hands. In truth, somewhere deep inside I knew healing is who you are not what you wear. It's how you love even more than what you do. Many times, with my grandmother and parents it was really just a look in their eyes.
I found it more important for a long period of time to stop needing, to have and remember.
There was me and my crazy. There was a voice and a still listening. There was me running up cathedral rock. Working weird jobs and meeting my mentors. There was me being sick and finding my way to wellness of heart, acceptance of spirit, wholeness of body. There was the personal journey and there was the one I shared for the next 12 years skidding into homeplate having forged rivers with no bridges and mountains with no rope. There was exhaustion, isolation, and devotion. Deep seated devotion. Especially to family. Grandma and parents over festivals. On the outside a bit I dance on the fringes. I know people will see my spirit dance spirithorse and realize we are all same same just different ways of getting to our hearts, which was the magical life we prayed for...at least I did.
Trust that when it was time to rest, it was because the flood is here. Our collective hearts have opened.
And rest. I tell myself. You aren't behind. You are home. Welcome back from that journey.
This is the starting point. Now. Here. The end of a twelve year cycle of travelling that culminated in a social media frenzy that I couldn't, no...wouldn't...keep up with. I decided I couldn't run and decided to walk. To slow down. To plant gardens. Write only for my own joy. Paint...just because. Run trails when the energy that propelled me rises because stopping travelling after twelve years is a commitment to sit through the uncomfortable. And to take yoga, dance do all the things that require home.
Travelling had its own magic.
This is a new journey. Into the still center core essence and letting it build around me instead of chasing it around the globe. Although there are still places I want to visit, and so many more people I am open to loving, this little place is vast and my current eternity. Changing the listening from endings, winds blowing, saying yes to everything new, into beginnings, calm, familiar. I now find myself in a state of wonder, that if I spent my whole life here, in this one place, I could never get to know it.
I tell my nephews, much in the Benjamin Button style, that the hardest lesson of this life is you will never know when it of greatest benefit to hold onto the things and people you love at all costs, or to let them go to be free and grow. And you won't know until a long way down the road. But if you are true and listening, not following the herd, you will at least end up in the place your heart directs. You can own the experiences you yourself have chosen and trust, somehow in the end it all works out the way your own soul intended. Don't compare. Certainly don't compete with your life. Its yours. Just fall in love with it and, if you aren't, make space for more of what you do love to enter.
A metaphor for love relationships, my polygamous earth adventure has given way to monogamous commitment to my home in the sierras where I have been coming since I was 11.
A touchstone like people who have known you forever, I feel a sense of all my selves, the ones that traveled, that returned in circles to continue relationships with people I was drifting away from. And then, arrival.
No emergencies. Spreading the experiences out. Taking my time. This year. The river is showing me all her curves and meandering through the expanses within me to show me that nothing is ever the same. Time wears away at the stones and softens the edges. Time brings us deeper into changes and remembrance teaches us that presence is the imprinting of a time and place that will never exist exactly in this way again.
Slow down. Listen. Accept.
Sometimes the thing to do is say, write, think...nothing...and just let the river of experience pass through you and to you. Softening the edges. Making changes fluidly.
I rarely sit tipi anymore but after sitting with a dear friend in memorial of one of our mentors and adopted uncles, he asks how my quiet life is now, I say I am praying for us all to remember who we were before we all thought we were someone. Humble. Friends. Less Posh Spice fashion show selfy, more earth lovers kind spirited unique. The get along gang without matching costumes.
It's why I love the river, no phone service, everything quiet, the journey to remembering comes easily. We came into this world with everything we need and our earth mother divine spirit adds the rest.
I hope as it flows I keep ending up at the river banks remembering where the waters flow from...mother lake in the blue world and where it flows...ocean tides into infinite seas.