Getting behind the wheel is something that gives me a feeling of freedom… the car door is like the door to a secret passage way that you KNOW will lead you to adventure. I packed up my car with my dog in the backseat, Joseph Campbell and Kahlil Gibran audiobooks, two new music albums and headed from Texas to Colorado with hope. I’m not sure what I was hopeful for or hoping would happen but I was inspired to the very core of my soul. My sense of sound was bathed in truth by these sonic muses as a new awareness permeated my being.
Back when I started training to be a yoga teacher, I sold my TV because I didn’t want it as a distraction from the work I felt ready to do. I decided to follow my bliss and figure out what I could do to help make the world a better place. I felt a strong calling and I needed to use my time wisely. This trip taught me that I was consumed with my work and it became an easy way to hide from love by making myself busy.
The time in the car helped me see my television addiction just shifted to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, & Instagram. What was my motivation for all this checking in? I wanted to connect with more people but instead I avoided connecting to the silence and depth of my love. Afraid of my own sensitivity, I used my library card.
I can’t wait to get back into teaching this week so I can keep having the conversations that really matter to me. I start my new Creative Process Yoga class when I do a month-long residency at The Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas. My hope is to provide space for deeper listening and honesty with this class… Both for myself and my students.
Are you in the water
or on the shore?
Do you navigate
or do you stand?
Because navigation is, itself,
taking a stand.
The answer isn’t wrong
The truth lives in your sole
as you find your wings
an essence in the unseen.
Ever since I saw my first TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor describing her experience during her stroke, I was enchanted with TED talks.
I, too, had a series of small strokes that left me with double vision and debilitating headaches. My left eye could no longer move and I had resigned myself to always rely on other people to take care of me – a huge feat for a person who craves solitude and independence. I was sad. I was depressed. I needed help taking myself to the bathroom. My life looked so much different than what I had dreamed of as a little girl.
To cheer me up, I was given art supplies because I had said in passing, “I always wanted to be an artist.” I never took lessons but I discovered how to play and tap into the rhythm of oil painting. It was the biggest gift I had been given – relief from the pain, joy from expression, and a love of color that still charms me today.
The creative process is what healed me back to my version of normal (notice I didn’t say “normal” but “my version of normal” because I am definitely a little off-center)… but this time, I had a mission – to live a creative life and teach others how to heal themselves through creative process.
My mind seeks connection in its isolation so I seek to find ways of joining things together. Yoga was the best medium I found for joining people to a deeper connection within and outside of themselves. My teachers always talked about energy in class. Though I understood its meaning in an abstract way, I couldn’t stop thinking about the E in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I’ve re-imagined his theory to show how our lives and connection to source/spirit/universe can be enhanced through simple conscious breathing and movement as a meditation. I found conscious breathing is the single most beneficial thing we can do to enhance brain function, spiritual connection and overall wellness. So I need a platform to share this with more people.
I decided I wanted to give my own TED talk so I applied and was accepted to audition a 5 minute talk at TEDxSMU. I learned so much about myself, my expectations, my hopes, my dreams and my desire to communicate effectively. The stillness was palpable when the crowd was observing their senses.
This was an experience I will always treasure despite it being a horrible record of my public speaking skills. I couldn’t remember any of my jokes or any of the points I wanted to make. All in all, I sucked but at least I can say I did it.
There is a man who pushes a cart around the neighborhood, collecting cans from recycle bins. I’m assuming he is homeless. He’s become as familiar as my next door neighbor with his routine stop in front of my house and we always wave, give the obligatory smile, and the neighborly exchange of conversational pleasantries.
At first, I felt pity for this man… how it must feel to not have a home… how he must be living in fear. My ability to project my own fears of survival on this man led me to see there is no indication from him that he is afraid. He actually seems quite happy as he delivers a nugget of wisdom in conversation, “You deserve the truth.”
Then I felt envious of his reality – time is simply measured by sunlight. He need not wear a watch as he is free to do anything with his time. The watch is my albatross. Freedom exists in the mind and reality is what we make of it.
I aim to live more like this man – wandering with the sun as my guide, wondering with my shadow behind.
Perfume of coffee and taste of unshaven legs… the anticipation of art as a container for infinite expression. How does a shadow dance? Where do glances fall? As she approached the tarmac, she wasn’t yet cleared for landing. Baited in breath, the path became clear. There is something rich in mistaken identity as the winter’s trees pretend to have no protection. Just as in every theory, it has yet to be proven.
Her shade was taken away so the sun was in connection – more directly this time. Who was it? Where is that voice?
Belief – faith, even – is what resonates. Recalling bleeding retinas, her grandfather hadn’t warned her about looking into the sun. She assumed it was necessary to go into the light – to bathe in the rays of glorified nothingness.
To become who you truly are and imbibe power beyond form is what creates discernment. Just as the clouds scraped the rays from her skin, she exhaled. Guilt became an extension in the call directory of her thoughts; the number rarely dialed. This unwavering disregard for punishment along the gallows resulted in a sensation between her shoulder blades. What would she do with this new sense of freedom?
She put in place a policy of truth-seeking and truth-speaking that became the touchstone in her future conversations that always pierced into the essence of now. Ultimately, she was her own beneficiary and time an imagined jaded lover. She became provocative… pro-active. Gentle in her approach, the blending of creative energies was her offering.
Inspire me beyond illusion
In the space where
we are both seen
Taming the wild dream
Love into your vision
Let’s tie you up
in my apron strings
A week ago, I was out walking and came across this pond. It seemed magical as I looked at it from the shore. It is as if the pond wanted to insulate itself with this covering… a security blanket adding an aura of solidarity, protecting the fragile and sensitive nature of the water.
Algae is the most basic natural food source in a pond and helps balance the entire ecosystem. If there was no algae, the food system would fall apart.
I think sometimes we feel that if we don’t have our blanket of security to distance us from true heart and spirit connection, we would fall apart. The truth is, we want to appear strong as a survival instinct. Beneath all the layers, we all just want to be loved.