I read this. I read this for three days. I read it and stare into eternity. I read this and I feel into the faith of CS Lewis. I read it again pausing with the book on my chest. I read it to the yoga class. I encourage a writing assignment. I ponder. I think. I feel.
I consider one of my students. She has said nothing to anyone. She is choosing life. She is choosing to have a moment to dream goodness and spirit back into her body. She laughs. She plays. She prays. She engages with everyone. I can tell she is in a deep place inside her heart. She needs the relief. This is her moment. I know it. She knows it too.
We say this in private in my healing space in the jungle. I give her amethyst and green calcite. She is sparkly faced, literally (the airport spilled my sprinkles so they are on everyone, even the ones who cry...actually especially the ones who cry.) She is giggly like a little girl the way I imagine I probably looked when I was 7, covered in dirt, running freely in the Colorado prairie behind my house finding amethyst and petrified wood.
I tell her, this is your moment, but I think that you won't have to unwind it. It the defining moment that is springing you forward into your life. She nods crying tears of joy.
I hold her story in my heart for the week and wonder if she will share it with others, just knowing brings the day into a balance between life and death. Her father was not a spiritual man. He wrote a book about death and mused on the futility of existence. He believed each person's life was their own to live or not. In a not so shocking, but tragic moment he acts on this and takes his life. Only one month has passed.
She's holding the family together but in a brave moment she decides that everyone will have to deal with their own grief and flies to this magical place where the jungle meets the sea for healing and to touch the divine, to have someone speak of God, spirit and heart. To fill this futile life with meaning, infuse every moment with life, I imagine her father who is present in her sessions is opening her spirit to the ocean teeming with life and streaming forward in front of her is a life different from anything she has ever experienced.
Its a transformative moment for all of us as she unfolds and embraces spirit and we all embrace her and I know that in her future she will unwind to this moment and it will not need to be undone or redone. It will be the beginning from which all life springs.
I'm told class will begin in the afternoon at 4. I'm in pajamas after a long week of healings. Listening to the ocean, taking deep breaths.
Zonia? Slight urgency.
Zonia?! More urgency.
I open the door and peer down the spiral staircase, one eyebrow cocked and a sideways smile. Si?
The yoga room is full everyone is waiting for you.
Wide eyed. What?! Ha ha oh shit!
I change and descend in less than 5 minutes running up the path to the selva, the tower.
It is definitely full and I begin class the moment I step in.
I'm laughing. Bed head. Somewhere around child's pose I say, "Hi, everyone!" We all laugh. "Hi!" they say.
I come back to the front to look at all the cutie faces. There they are, like it was yesterday. They are looking at me like 7 year olds hoping they are memorable. They are so memorable.
Hey! I remember you! You are here!
Yeah! They say in unison.
The Rotarians. Midwesterners, first time yogis, here to facilitate the many retreat center social projects.
Two Mexican ladies who don't speak English, one recovering from breast cancer.
A retreat yoga teacher needing to return to student.
And my inspiration of beauty in transformation.
Other guests float in and out, every class is different.
Together we will journey the week.
Biotensegrity. Qi gong. Asana. Pranayama. Feldenkris. Cortical Re-education. Joint mobility. Spinal Exploration. Brazilian Oraixias hand movements to the Sacred Elements. Yin. Props. Until finally we are on the beach, no towels.
They are in horse stance with Brazilian water container, except this time when they hold the water the whole ocean lay in front of them. Hands over head, wrists cocked at the crown, light, with the sun above them. Air hands in at the chest and exhale the full expanse of the container that is our Mother. Triangle down at the pubic bone, sand under bare feet.
We understand this movements now they exclaim!
We flow, hold, breathe, pray laugh our way to our backs. I can't resist.
Flat on their backs, covered in sand: "Go ahead and slide your arms from your sides to shoulder level and back to your side. Do that three more times. Great. Now slide your heels out to the side and back together again. Now do both at the same time."
It takes about three sweeps for them to realize what we are doing. Sand Angels. Ha ha now everyone is doing it on their own, heads rolling side to side, giant smiles, and laughing. I make them roll right, then left, just in case there is one place on their body that isn't covered in sand, it's everywhere.
I remember the laughing swami. "I am happy. I am relaxed. I am happy. I am relaxed."
This radiant smiling childlike expression, this is yoga. This is soul. This is connection. This is rebirth.
We bounce off into the ocean. One older student holds back.
"I'm just gonna head back."
"Ok!" we all shout bouncing off into the ocean like dolphins, splashing, diving, swimming. I pop up out of the water. I see her at the edge to her knees.
I give her a giant smile. "Yah!" I wave her in, "Come on!" I go towards her. "Yah! Come on!" I say with a smile.
She looks at me a little chagrin, "I just couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to be having so much fun."
"I'm glad you changed your mind."
"You're here!" The group exclaims.
She smiles shyly and we all go back to parallel play. Some talk in shallower waters. Others go far.
I have healing sessions so I leave them all in their childlike glee.
I leave tomorrow. It's been a whirlwind tour to my second home where I used to stay 3-4 months. In two weeks 80 sessions will pass and a yoga retreat.
People will ask, "How are you doing this?"
I will smile and touch them. I don't know but I do know, I get a lot of help.
That is the beauty of the exhaustion. In the midst when I realize 10 sessions a day isn't possible. Five and two yoga classes a day, not possible. But it's happening. And I feel the energy there to support the healing of others. I am humbled. I bow my head and I know there is a force that is here for all of us. It arrives in support of love.
And this place, this Mexico, it is love.
From the moment you wake up you will say good morning to 20-30 people. You will pass them again. You will say good afternoon. You will pass them again. You will say good evening. You will see them again. You will say good night, sleep with the angels. And in the morning, you will ask how they slept and it will continue all day with hugs like it's been so long and each time you will be so happy to see them again.
Faces. Here you see faces. Wifi works only in one places and water destroys phones. They jungle wakes people up in their hearts. You see them coming back to feeling. You see it all rising. You see the power of connection and you remember. Life is about this community. This human family. Face to face. Slower paced. In rhythm and tune with nature.
It's Saturday. Grand opening for my friends little restaurant. They haven't given up despite all the palapa issues, they have had to rebuild three times. They never quit.
It's been a theme. Don't quit. Don't ask too many questions. Just begin. Don't ask how. Obstacles. Summon your internal fire.
I remember the students Friday before we jump in the ocean heels of hands resting on crown. Fire. I remember the people in 33 CE filled with holy spirit. And what would that spirit have us do?
The whole town passes through. A couple who had me teach them fire and run sweat lodge years ago. They now have their own land with a tipi site. They asked me to attend. No time. But I tune in during sessions and feel the prayer is good.
"I feel you into my heart." She tells me. "I feel I have watched you pray for all of us. I feel I know how and I speak. The fire talks me and I am loving you wishing you were there."
"I wish I were too."
Its a moment for me when after years of wondering if what i do in the quiet of life matters. The times i don't know if i have the energy to do sessions, yoga and run lodge...teach lodge to the younger humble hearts afraid to ask anyone else. Train the elders to pass on the ways. Move the fireman to the door man have him teach fire. Listen with a smile as i hear him give directions.
"Approach the fire. Sin Miedo! Sin Miedo! Without fear! Without fear!"
Feel in my heart how important the teaching is, especially from elders such as this many who was a temple dancer for 20 years and never fails to approach ceremony with humble heart, "Please, Mother, may we say this prayer. Please those from the North will you pray with us? Please those from the south will you pray with us? Please those from the east, west, above, below....calling you with a conch...will you please pray with our hearts for our hearts?"
And always the answer is yes. A woman water pourer. He wasn't sure.
After first lodge. What did you do, Zonia?
“What do you mean?”
“The fire was so bright and hardly any wood was used.”
Love. Its the love. The heartfire makes everything burn bright.
Always I will do your fire. Just ask.
I will honor him with half of what I am paid though he is usually given only a drop. He will feel shy to accept. I will remind him, no fire, no ceremony. Thank you.
I will move him to the door for the first lodge he has left the fire to enter in three years and he will train on the fire.
Now these kids are young adults. They are strong, they are humble, they are full of heart and love. She teaches at the school. They ask me to come back in spring to bless their seeds with a lodge. I will. It magically works out that the retreat center needs me again in spring. Everything according to God's will.
The night winds down.
I am laying on the lava rocks in the pitch black praying to the stars, giving thanks. Thank you. Thank you for my life. Thank you for this life. Please hear all the prayers that have been said.
I am doing yoga on the rocks, my finger tips attached to the stars.
Strings of light. I am a marenanet puppet. Hands to the sky.
My friends husband says, only one person could explain the hands popping up out of the rocks.
We sit. Talk about the divine and the stars. He leaves me to ponder the awesomeness of this life. I think of my students. I wonder if the dancers will really send for me to do yoga in Idaho. I wonder if my lovely butterfly will have enough light and if my crystal friends will comfort her when she returns home. I wonder about my radiant teacher sister. I laugh inside remembering one of the Rotarians, six feet tall farmer, covered in sand, sitting cross legged looking up at me with a huge smile and sand even on his face, "This was my first yoga class!" There is a giggle in his heart and mine as well.
So cute. All these people are so cute. Creator God, bless your children in their hearts and bring us all to the infinite. Do teach us how to unwind all our stories and live forward from today. Choosing joy, peace, forgiveness and life. Do teach us to infuse life with meaning and faith. Do bring us together. Do hold us together. For truly...the only life worth living is the one in which we are here.