Moving On

It has been a while since I’ve posted here.  Every so often I think of coming ’round to add a new post, but I never seem to get it done.  I think it is time to archive this particular blog.  South of Sabai has gone south, and I am moving in another direction.  Life has changed form, shifted shapes,  scattered new seeds of awakening, awareness, awfulness.

Awful, as in awe-full, as in “to inspire reverence” – the real meaning of the word before it came to mean something terrible.  Well, and for that matter, the word terrible once upon a time not only meant something to be feared, but also to be revered.

Odd, isn’t it, that fear and reverence were so closely intertwined?  But that’s the way with life, I think.  Pain and beauty, life and death – the pairs feed each other, need each other.  We never really grow and expand, or even become fully human until we’ve gone into the depths of awfulness. Pain and ugliness awaken beauty and compassion.  Isn’t it always the most intense experiences that cause us to say…. “I have changed” and give us a deeper understanding of who we are?

I have learned this: Life is sacred, holy, and beautiful in all of its forms.  Even in death.  Maybe especially in death.  When we acknowledge death we can really learn to live.

Hey you, yes you.  You reading this blog post…. do you know that you will die? No, I mean really, do you KNOW it?  It’s a hard thing for us humans to grasp.  And mostly, we don’t grasp it.  Even when it happens to those closest to us we have a hard time believing that this ego called me will ever end.

Partly, I think that’s because on some level we don’t really die.  What I mean is: the part of us that exists beneath our identity, that bit of energy that animates us, that bit we can’t quite define… that part lives on.  We know this at an intuitive level, even if we can’t quite say so.  Energy simply changes form.  But this ego, this identity called Amy, this body that claims to be Amy…. all the bits and pieces that make up the story of Amy…  this will die.

Here’s what I need to do before I die:   Live.  Yep, that simple.  I’m not talking about the kind of life that is a living death.  I am talking about awakening to the beauty that is all around.  I’m talking about following my passions and trusting that the unfolding paths will take me exactly where I need to be.

So.  I am archiving this blog and moving on. There will be no more posts here.  Not to worry, however, if you are so inclined to follow me around the web I do have a couple of new projects starting.  Because I am a blog addict 😉  I am starting up a new personal blog –  you are welcome to follow me there. I will continue to post on A Yoga Year (yes I know, I am way behind on my posts there too, but I will come back to it!)  I am also in the process of setting up my business web pages, and who knows what else will show up for me to work on.  So I will be around ~ in and out of cyberspace.  Feel free to continue to connect – I do love hearing from you.

Meanwhile, I leave this particular blog with a challenge (or is it an invitation?) issued to you as well as to me:  Let yourself know that your body will die.  Live with that knowing, and see if you can live with it joyfully.  Because I think (and I could be wrong) that if you live with it, and come to really know that your identity will die,  you might just discover that you have a deep gratitude for your life.

Gratitude is a huge gift.

Maybe you will also come to know that you actually love the life you live.  Now, there’s a gift!  And if you don’t love it, you will know that you can change it, and change it again and again and again until you find your passion, until you really fall in love with your life.

It’s a simple thing.  Remember what lights your fire and do that, be that.  If complaining that you will never do what you want to do is the thing that you love best… well then keep on complaining.  That’s ok too.  But if you want more, go for it. Is there something that calls you and you don’t heed that call because there are other things you “should” do….?

Here’s a suggestion: let go of the “should” and follow your muse.  Get wild, live outside the box.  Appreciate who you are, be grateful for what you have, and go on… be uniquely You.

Really, what else can we do?

 

“Go… be the flower, be the star…. go, and be the love you are… ”   (lyrics by Spring from Be the Light)

~ Many Blessings ~

be glad

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 14:29  Comments (4)  
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Happy Is

August 19, 2010

It is cold this morning, and Autumn is in the air here.  The sky is clouding over, and it will rain again today, like it does in this part of the world: Rain, unrelenting.  You have to wonder about the weather in a place where “wellies” are part of the fashion statement.  Yesterday, at the train station, a woman wore wellies with her mini-skirt, making my birkenstock clad feet feel woefully under shod.  It was a fore-warning: at the other end of the journey, stepping off the train in Osende, my body was completely drenched within 2 minutes, and my feet had the long forgotten experience of wading in puddles.  I really felt as if I should have a yellow raincoat, rubber boots, and matching umbrella, just like the pictures in children’s books.

Early this morning tho, back here in Humlegaarden, birds were chirping, chattering, lively.  Someone mowed the grass yesterday (there is nothing they don’t do in the rain here!) and so the birds were in fresh grass heaven.  Lying in bed, I heard the birds, and imagined a warm summer day….

Well, it’s not quite warm, but the sun was out for a bit, and before the clouds returned, we walked down to the sea and soaked up the bright blue sky and drenched ourselves in sun and sand.  By the time we walked back for breakfast the clouds were already returning, the wind picking up, the chill in the air.

What makes you happy? What makes your heart sing? she asked.

Lots of things…

The sun, after days of rain.
Good conversation, easy company.
Yoga.          Breathing.
Teaching.  Yes, teaching.         Sharing with an open heart.
My cats.  and Kona.
Seeing new things,    learning new things.
Places i’ve never been before.
Writing, sometimes.          Morning coffee.
Sharing a laugh with jb.

Simple things.

I’m a simple person, really.

But here’s a truth.  None of those things make me happy.  I mean, sometimes I can do or be all of that and not be happy.  In fact, I can be unhappy, and do any one of those things and not come out the other side happy.

Here’s what I know: the happy comes first, and only then I can rest in the joy of the simple things.  The magnificence of morning sun only stirs the joy in my heart when I am willing to be present to it.

So what is it that makes me happy?  Being present?   Being open?   Where does happy come from?

I want you to be happy (she says, I say, you say) and I recognize that when we want others to be happy around us, it is really our own deep longing to feel our own state of natural happiness.

surise after a stormIt is true that when the sun shines, it is easier for me to tap in to joy.  And yet, even in the midst of deep fatigue, even in the presence of pain, even in constant rain, and with a gray day headache, or a migraine  –  I can stop for a moment, just stop, and breathe, and drop in to my center.  I can notice the beauty around me, notice the magic of a moment, and touch in to a place of “being happy” deep within my soul.

With that knowing, I can be happy anywhere, even in a clinic with crazy doctors, and radiology departments in hospitals where I don’t speak the language. I can be happy in the presence of pain, and suffering.  It does not minimize the pain, nor does it necessarily take away the pain, or the sadness, or the helplessness of any moment.  Maybe though, happy can exist along side the pain, along with the suffering.  Happy is a deeper state, a place of wellness beyond the sick, a place of joy beyond the pain.

We all have happy in us, somewhere.  Even in the depths of depression, happiness exists.  It has to.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  At our core, at our very essence, is laughter, and joy, and real love.  It is not based on anything outside of us… it is who we are.

How do we get there? How do we access that, and remember that truth?   When pain is unrelenting, when suffering seems the state of the world, when all it ever does is rain, rain, rain….  how do we drop in, and know that behind the clouds the sun is still shining?

Sometimes, we just forget, and that’s ok.  Somewhere, somehow, sometimes, we remember. In a moment, we see differently, suddenly present to the beauty around us, to the life that exists beyond stories, beyond pain, beyond identity…. and we remember, we awaken.

We are the Life that we live, we are the Love that rises up within us, unexpectedly. We are the beauty in a sunrise, the magic in a forest, the song in a heart.  We are here, having this experience called Life, with all its ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and pains… And we are the Joy that exists always beneath it… the pure joy of experience in this human body….

What makes me happy?

Laughing. Suddenly, for no reason.

Who knows, maybe pure, honest laughter is the cure for everything.

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 04:30  Comments (2)  
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Thank You, La Pine Yoginis

Live Large. That’s what I would leave you with. Live Big. Live beyond limitation and expectation, and continue to feel the expanding breath within you.

Together we have played with this thing called yoga.  We may have come to it thinking it is all about physical posture and fitness, yet we found it to be so much more.  Together, we played with the deepening breath, found new ways to feel asanas, encountered limitations, moved beyond them. We have explored the edge, and discovered the surrender that takes us deeper. We have met ourselves in difficult poses, noted the impatience, the anger or frustration, the tendency to want to quit, the places we say I can’t, or I won’t.  We have courageously held those poses, felt those feelings, watched as we found ways to transmute, to release, to relax and strengthen simultaneously.  We have learned that a smile makes a pose feel easier, while struggle and tension makes it more difficult. We have learned how to use our breath to release the effort, and to move through uncomfortable places.  We have learned an amazing thing about yoga…. that all of this is useful when we encounter difficult and uncomfortable places “out there.”

We have discovered, maybe, that “out there” is really all about “in here.”La Pine Yoginis

Notice my use of We. (Whee! or maybe Oui!) I have been your teacher, yes, but I have also been your student, and your class mate.  You taught me how to teach, guided me when I veered off course, kept me to what it was you needed, and maybe not surprisingly, what I needed.  It’s no accident, no coincidence that we came together when we did. This was a journey that was meant to be, and while it changes now, it does not end.

Once, many years ago, I was on an airplane,  intent on my destination.  In the row behind me, there was a little boy, maybe 3 or 4 years old.  The airplane began to move, picking up speed. I heard a squeal of delight from behind me, and then as the airplane angled up, lifting off the ground, the boy sang out:  WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I laughed out loud, delighted with the boy’s delight. Yes, I had a destination, but there, in that moment, it was all about the journey.

Years later, in an unlikely yoga class in an obscure little town, during a spinal roll, a spontaneous WHEEEE! rose up out of the class.  HA! Yes! Here it is again! You, yoginis of La Pine, know a secret of yoga… one that it takes many people years to understand.

It’s all about the journey, it’s all about being here, right now, and loving this moment of life.  Yes, we have things to do, places to be, plans to make…. but if we focus too  much on the destination, we miss the entire journey.

So Live Large, Yoginis of La Pine! Feel everything, fear nothing, use your breath, let your yoga shine in your every day life!  Through ups and downs, hard times and joyful times, you know the power of laughter. You know the power of this community you have created here. You know the power of your breath, your movement, your Love.

As I leave you now, I carry you with me, always in my heart. I don’t yet know my eventual destination, but I guarantee you this: Forever on my journey, I will hear your voices in my head singing…

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With deep gratitude, Namaste, my friends.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
— A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

La Pine Yoginis

Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 23:41  Leave a Comment  
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