He has two gods: nature and music. The notes were his companion, the former rests somewhere beyond the view, begging to be graced with his footsteps. “Don’t look at me. Be with me,” Mother Nature commanded, knowing he was afraid of the dark. Did he need more strength to be strong? Burying the barbed wire beneath the brush, a toll was paid to the cheribum, Fear and Desire, to enter the garden at Giverny. The forest was disenchanted, the wolf his companion as the path was marked with art.
For seven days, he ran. He collapsed and shouted his hands skyward, seeking the mother he never had in a tree. This was his other.
She was concerned about the depth of his faith so decided to practice hers. She already survived Hades resting place where creativity’s marrow was sucked from her soul and she sought counsel in the clouds.
Sounds of a ritualized morning beckoned her from the sky. He opened the aperture of her life and grew himself in her womb. The body of his home now received her touch, the echoes of laughter and love making swam through stone and wood. She held her lion’s hand as his compass for navigating the shadow. He always had courage and seeing Waxing Gibbous reminded him of her light. He knew his light was lovable and finally had proof the entirety of his makeup being dressed down was loved, too.
She was his shelter. She was his light. They were love.
Investing their dividends, they wrote a business plan for their perspectives: luxurious utilitarianism and altruistic indulgence.
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.
We are all on a hero’s journey. Some of us know what we seek and others are completely unaware they are living a life of purpose. Joseph Campbell wrote a book called A Hero with a Thousand faces that outlines the myth of the hero. You can think of it as if your life is a book and you are the hero of the book. The hero changes the world. The hero helps others. The hero lives an extraordinary life.
In order to live this type of larger-than-life myth, the hero is put through a series of tests that give him the wisdom he needs to continue on his path. He learns the truths of the universe.
There is usually a refusal to go once he has been called on the adventure of life. Typically, he is in a place of comfort and security and he knows by moving outside of his comfort zone, there will be the void of the unknown. At least there is a nice little graphic that can help navigate the process.
The more we deny our purpose and ignore the call… the more we convince ourselves we want to live our lives according to our own plans, the more we suffer. Suffering can come in the form of bad relationships, illness, a desire to numb out, or distractions of any kind.
When we practice surrendering, we can observe how much we are clinging to our own ideals. We want to get closer to universal truth and further away from ego and mind-constructs. A practice that helps with this is Yin and Restorative yoga. The best pose I’ve found to notice how to surrender is Balasana, or Child’s Pose: Come to all fours, lower hips to heels, forehead comes to floor, hands move beside body, palms face up. As you breathe, notice the gripping within the muscles of the legs… the face… the shoulders. Practice letting go.
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.
We held a funeral
for a piece of her
only in darkness.
her dreams lay
only comes once.
goes on, and on, and on,
I fly to you.
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.