The journey of life is different for all people. For some, the days of youth are punctuated by joy and it is there for them as remembrance of what it is to be in touch with their carefree divine true natures. Their homes are filled with love, their bodies with health, and their spirit with peace of mind. These are the ones we say are the lucky ones.
For others, the journey home takes them from a past of chaotic minds, health struggles, and a house that is filled with violence and rage. For them, the choices they will make through their life to find and be the love will require unfolding, forgiveness and they will wander far to find in metaphors and daily interactions love that is healing and restores their belief in, touches a special part of them and brings them back to soul.
Still others, though coming from a place of love will have trials and be refined by the fires of time and life. They will come to learn the value of their innocence and they will come to know what it is to cause their own suffering by the choices they make.
Regardless of where we are coming from, the journey is the same.
How the journey begins is not as important as where we end up. The real test is at the end and whether we can come back to, find the way, or even maintain in the face of adversity our true selves.
These are the selves that exist within us all....the real self that is beyond doubts and seeds of fear or lack of self-worth that are planted by negative experience....the real self that is beyond entitlement and ego that stem from easily achieved successes and though, perhaps not knowing their own failures must then come, somehow, to compassion, vulnerability, and support the fragile journey of humanity as a collective.
The gateway to home is through the heart, the breath is vehicle, union is the arms that embrace, leads us, and teaches us the way to a warm meal, hot cup of tea, and a home filled with love. Connection, in every way from my hands and heart to yours. And even, if our focus tends to the external and not enough on our own life, then it is from my own hand to my own heart, I am listening.
Having travelled now for 12 years, I have begun to hear a little teeny child voice inside of myself say, "I wanna go home." And an older version of me asks, "Darlin, where is home?"
With all the places I have been I am eternally missing someone somewhere. But the voice has resorted to squeezing my little heart and, though, I have thought myself listening in practice and prayer it has only been in the quiet of the jungle by the sea that external noises have dropped away.
Day by day, in the spaces between massage and yoga, the sounds of crickets and ocean waves drop me into places of my heart that have been singing songs of loss, of regret, of forgiveness, of peace.
In these places I have found the poems and verses that have inspired a deepening compassion for those things I have done and the time it takes to heal them with the wisdom of experience they impart.
In a society and a generation that teaches to live with no regrets, to claim what is yours and to do so at all costs, I might add a soft reminder that, "Regret is an honest and fair teacher."
Over the years Chacalla, with its Mexican heart, has danced its way into my heart and revived a passion for living, for dancing, for opening and has given me the opportunity to embrace new people from all over the world while being comfortably in one special place.
I feel into this experience and fall in love again and again with the sea, the sunsets, and the people with whom I work.
When I return, it is a sort of homecoming, not only to the people I have known but in the quiet of the night, I come home to myself. I come home to feeling. I come home to realizing I have been away from the places where I started for so long, and from those I have loved.
It is with a revived spirit of community that I write, not just about the courageous personal journey but with the knowing that true growth and a sense of self comes only from finding a place in community.
And real community? How is it to be found in these days of heirarchy? In true friendship, in heart centered connection, in the vulnerability of allowing ourselves to be seen and, truly, in small community nothing is hidden. In true community, everything is seen.
That is of course what makes a community so powerful either to lift us up when we are having trouble holding it together. And if you are unlucky, it has the power to tear you down and pull the last threads of your sweater. And, at times, our own self judgement and inability to face our own lives can contract us from fully embracing community to pushing it away.
So it is that really coming home, not only to our own souls but to the places that will know and love us through our best and worst takes courage. It also takes love on the part of everyone to become, not just the people at the gym, or coffee shop, but to become in some human way a family that passes through all levels of experience together. Ask any community that has passed through fire, hurricane, or flood and they will tell you what it is like to be in it together.
That in small community where you will see the same person many times, we are known. We are no longer blindly numbly paying at the register or getting our coffee but that we know each other by name. That we have a moment for a story. That we are connected.
That we come to realize that no matter what role we are playing in the drama of life, we all have a story, either ours or someone that we love, that makes it so that we understand, so that we can support the safety and trust to, hold our own joy and presence, with someone who is in the throes of suffering.
Some are in the circle stories of their own lives and will not jump the loop to the next ring. For them, it is not yet time.
Some are ready to let go, for them a new story shows them that everything is possible. In the never now exists miracles are possible. An experience of triumph is a map that shows there is a road that stems from experience and that the vulnerability born from being true to our hearts, natures, choices, however difficult they are to make or bear, can light the way.
True healing is knowing intentions are only one part of the journey, it is what we choose now forward, learn from life, and how we show we know life is long and regret, it is honest.
Regret has spoken to me of learning, of traveling and it has spoken to me of home. The home that is more than our own heart, but is the love of the favorite little coffee shop on the corner, the little whole foods market, and the little studios in gyms that remind you that day by day is actually found in the simplest of places.
It is found in the places that receive you back after you have faced the deepest hurts of your heart, that know you have been out in the world learning to trust your heart again, and to forgive the things done to live true to our heart, to do yoga, to breathe deep and to finally forgive everything by returning it to yourself.
It is in revisiting and returning to the love that found you in the beginning when yoga started, when Nature took you, and everyday was an embracing of what was known, including yourself. It is the knowing, the accepting, the peace and the return of what is nearest and dearest to our hearts. Reconciliation. Integration. Experience. Belief. Trust.
That though the way is not known or set for all people and the time needed to repair be different for all, and though we have love to give and gratitude to express for all the experiences we have had, that in the end, "man returns home to find what he was looking for."
And so may our wonderings return us to peace, may they teach us that choices affect not only ourselves but all those who touch us, and that, in the end, may the prayer for home bring us to the greatest reflection of our soul.
And so then, sit, and be quiet. Find a place of refuge with little to no external sound. Sit with your breath. Observe the memories as they flood in, feel them, be softer than they are and then dive through all barriers, all the things we know too much about ourselves, others or society.
Dare to believe again in the deep things of your little self speaking. Let go of mind and all the thoughts that limit you. Imagine for a moment that you are really embraced, that you are safe and ask for the real longings of heart so they may rise again and fill you with the light of joy.
And in your enlightenment, in your happiness, in the rising of spirit do not shrink back or hide alone but instead leave the light on to let others know...somebody is truly home.