If you need a reminder of the magical land and life we live in and all the nourishment she provides, head to Big Sur, California, stand on the Earth, listen to the waves, and watch the sun rise and set. It will inspire, energize, and connect you to all the good feels and may even help clarify some matters of the mind.
I recently made a big life decision that has had some significant and moving effects. After a year of wishy-washy thoughts, wobbling back and forth trying to make it work, I finally got clear and brave enough to end a relationship that deep down I knew wasn't right for either us. Within a week of that decision, I found a new place to call home and moved in with a sweet friend from college. The timing was incredible. The day before the break up, my friend emailed me asking if she knew of any apartment openings. She got a job in Oakland and was moving back to the Bay Area. I didn't know of any off the top of my head but I threw out the idea of us potentially finding a place together. A quick Craigslist search led me to a fully furnished and recently remodeled flat with a beautiful backyard and yoga deck (pictures and practice videos to come!)! Things were in movement and I met with the owners who were lovely and kind and passionate about life. They were looking for someone to take good care of their home while they took some time off to travel the world.
Done and done. We got the place, signed the lease, and moved in the next week. My friend had already had her flight booked from Korea to SFO, landing on November 20th. The apartment happened to be available November 19th. The process moved swiftly and effortlessly, and I seriously couldn't have crafted a better plan or executed it more efficiently.
But that's how life is sometimes, especially when you make a decision based on some solid intuition. I'm certainly still digesting and processing all that has happened and all that is still evolving but one thing is for sure- the universe is full of energy. There are flows, tides, and rhythms that are strong and fierce and awe-inspiring. As humans we are a PART of nature and have the potential to be swept up by the flow. I made a choice that I knew was going to put me in a period of transition; however, the experience has been nothing but gentle and graceful and that is something I am utterly thankful for. I felt like I was in a strong current getting pulled tenderly through the vast and mysterious ocean, all wide-eyed and curious as to what the present moment had to offer.
Which brings me to this week's mediation and contemplation...
In this mediation I guide you to the bottom of the exhale and encourage you to linger in the emptiness, only to observe and experience the new and life-giving inhale. The teachings of yoga suggest a life-death-life again cycle and the breath teaches us that everything exists in one breath. It's from the bottom or the death of the exhale that we begin again and feel into the fullness and richness of this life. Yoga teaches us that everything arises, unfolds, and then passes away. This body, our work, and our relationships are all impermanent and ever-changing and evolving. It's when we live in the illusion of permanence that we tend to get stuck or experience suffering in some way. It's when we cling or grip too tightly to an idea that we often lose sight of what is actually happening in this moment. In yoga, this is avidya, or the inability to see things or be with things as they are. It arises from the notion of wanting this moment to be different in some way. We think if only this relationship was like... or if only I had that job... or if only I had more experience... THEN I would be more satisfied, happier, or more content. This is a dangerous illusion and only causes dukkha, or suffering, pain, or dissatisfaction.
Yoga is a way of being and meditation is a practice of returning, over and over again, to the present moment. Everything exists in this moment. All the love, magic, and life we long for exists in THIS moment because all we really have is the present. Even when the shit hits the fan and we lose a job, end a relationship, or watch a loved one pass away, we still have this moment and this life. And even though we can't control very much, we can control where and how we place our attention. Meditation is the art of attention, a gathering back to and a remembrance of all that we do have in this moment. This moment is the home of great potential, serendipitous interactions, and beautiful relationships with the world.
So whether you are going through your own transition or you simply want to hone your sense of attention, this practice is for you. I hope you find it as rich and life-giving as I do.
Lots of Love,