Thursday, December 19, 2013

Another Take on Christmas Cheer

This is a blog that has been swirling in my mind since the beginning of December, and I have hesitated to write it for reasons that will become apparent as you read on. It is an exercise in humility for me. I am a "stiff upper lip" New England girl, a "sunshine and rainbows" yogini, a steady and grounded meditator. I am not often one to share the struggles until they are resolved, to air the discontent until it has been transmuted into equanimity.  But I have concluded that there may be as much value in exposing my vulnerability as there is in demonstrating my strength. I hope that in doing so, we can all begin to shed the masks that we put on for one another and embrace the fullness of our emotional experience even when it is raw and unsettled.

As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop. Acoustic Christmas music is playing overhead, a mother with three children dressed in look-alike holiday outfits is in line, and a group of ladies in sweaters that should have been retired in the early 90s is exchanging gifts. I am quite literally surrounded by holiday cheer, and the more I see of it, the more I want to crawl under the covers until it is over.

Don't get me wrong, I used to love Christmas. It was my absolute favorite time of year. As a child, I lived in awe of the magic. I believed wholeheartedly in Santa Clause, looked for elves behind my bedroom curtains, and dreamed of reindeer hoofs on my roof. When I was in college, I dragged my roommates out to buy a tree for our apartment and took the bus to downtown Baltimore to see the decorations and choose gifts for my family. At 20, I got engaged after a performance of the Nutcracker, and at 22, I got married 3 days after Christmas surrounded by Poinsettias and Evergreen. As a young mother, I spent days baking cookies and decorating my house, hosting parties and writing cards. My heart would fill to overflowing when I sat on the couch in the light of the tree with my kids snuggled up at my side, and when I woke up on Christmas morning, I would literally weep with gratitude at the abundance in my life.

That was then.

Two years ago in the first week of December, on the very day that we put the tree up, my marriage of almost 20 years ended. My life fell into complete disarray, and the curtain closed forever on Christmas magic. I still go through the motions. I send gifts to everyone I know, and I decorate. I even manage to bake a couple of batches of cookies, but my heart is heavy, and I know I am not alone.

My ache is painful, and my longing for Christmas Past is palpable, but there are others like me. In fact, there are those who suffer from much deeper heart ache. There are parents who have lost children, widows and widowers spending the season alone for the first time. There are those who don't have money to buy a gift for their loved ones, and those who live far away from family members. There are people who have just been diagnosed with life threatening diseases, who have lost their homes or their jobs, who live in places in the world where there is no security or freedom. The list of things that could compromise Christmas Cheer is long, and the number of people on that list is beyond measure.

I am not writing this to elicit sympathy. The truth is that despite the sadness I feel around this time of year, I am very blessed. I have two beautiful teenagers, a business that I love passionately, a comfortable home, extended family support and wonderful friends.  I am writing to shed light on those for whom this time is dark. I hope to offer a reminder that as we move through the season it might be worthwhile to be a little more tender right now. The busy-ness factor picks up in these last few days before the 25th, the amount of stress increases in direct proportion and the amount of patience decreases. Take the time to pause, take a breath, open your heart, and consider what some of the people around you might be experiencing. Offer a smile instead of a scowl, a kind word instead of a rebuke, a prayer instead of a curse. Let that be your gift to the world, and you may just notice that it is a gift to yourself as well.

And if, like me, you are one of the ones who struggles through this month, know that you are not alone. I offer my own heavy heart to you. May our joining together in spirit bring us the joy we cannot find apart.

A Very Merry Christmas to each of you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"To the destructive element, submit"

"The way is to the destructive element submit yourself, and with the exertions of your hands and feet in the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up."  Joseph Conrad

When I was a child, my family spent part of every summer in Cape Cod where we languished all day on the beaches of the National Seashore and bundled up for nights watching baseball games or sitting on the cliff overlooking the moonlit bay. We synched our rhythms to the tides and the sun, and we sought out the beaches with the biggest surf to satisfy our thirst for adventure. 

At many of the ocean beaches on the Cape, the waves are unpredictable, coming in short intervals and rising quickly to huge heights before crashing powerfully onto the rocks below at high tide and rolling gracefully over sandbars in long whirlpools of crested spray at low tide. Lovers of the water, like my family and me, needed to know how to navigate these fluctiations to avoid being bashed into the rocky shoreline or dragged into the vast ocean. I learned as a small girl that there were only three possible choices for staying safe in the tumult. You could face the horizon and dive into the belly of the wave, emerging in the tranquil waters on the other side. You could get beyond the crest and float above as it rolled beneath you, or you could turn to face the shore, lift your feet off of the ground and take your chances with a ride all the way in to the beach. This third option was always my preference. I loved being carried along by the rolling energy beneath me, stretching my body over the top, connecting my breath to the flow of the water, and taking my chances with the landing. Most of the time, I would arrive safely onshore in a swirl of receding ocean, but every so often, if I miscalculated, or resisted, I would get tossed about underneath, swirling and scraping, bumping and bouncing between the rocks and the surf. I would find my way out bruised and disoriented, often just in time for the next wave to knock me down again, and until I could steady and soften myself to reconnect to the rhythm of the sea, I would continue to fall.

It turns out, these early forays into the water have served me well as an adult. For the past 18 months, I have been caught in an incredibly powerful series of potentially devastating waves.  Since December 2011, I have had a cancer scare and 2 surgeries (all is well, thankfully). I have gotten separated and divorced.  I have fallen in love and had my heart broken. I have opened a yoga studio. I have begun an advanced yoga teacher training and completed half of it. I have traveled to Costa Rica, the Bahamas (twice), Jamaica, the Berkshires of Massachusetts (twice), Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Paris, London and Africa.  I have adopted a puppy, and I have been steadily and mostly independently raising two teenagers and three dogs while maintaining a home. All of it has been much like riding that surf of my childhood. Each wave presented a choice to either resist, dive in, float over, or go for a ride, and, for the most part, true to my girlhood self, I have chosen to embrace the ride, but I have also made mistakes along the way. I have miscalculated and fallen out of synch with my own rhythms and the rhythms of the Infinite energy surrounding me, and I have learned my lessons the hard way by getting bashed into the rocks, emerging disoriented and afraid, and finding other waves looming ominously above me. 

I suspect that I am not alone in this experience.  Many of us are stumbling through rocky ground trying to find our way out of difficult currents.  

The good news is that this is an inquiry we get to explore every day that we come to the mat in yoga.  Every pose offers an opportunity to ride the wave, to surrender to sensation and find a way to deeply connect to the flow of the Prana Body. It is not always blissful…a miscalculation, a failure to attune to the subtleties of the alignment or energy, a choice to stiffen when we should surrender or to pull back when we should dive more deeply can render us exhausted and disoriented, leaving us flattened on the metaphorical beach ready to give up instead of moving back towards the infinite sea.  But we must remember again and again that crashing and getting tossed about is just as integral to the process of self discovery as floating effortlessly over the top.  Each experience deepens the next and recalibrates the natural inclinations of the body to find their way back to the rhythms of Nature.  

It seems that in the tumult of life experience both on and off the mat, whether we know it or not, the only way to gain safe passage in the end is to focus, flow, and finally... let go and ride the wave, and if you find yourself lost and rolling helplessly in the middle, take some advice from Rilke: 
In this immeasurable darkness, be the power
that rounds your senses in their magic ring,
the sense of their mysterious encounter.

And if the earthly no longer knows your name,
whisper to the silent earth: I'm flowing.
To the flashing water say: I am.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Now I Become Myself"

One year ago today, I opened Johns Creek Yoga.

It seems almost impossible that I am already celebrating this first anniversary, and yet virtually everything about my life has changed over the course of this year. 

As joyful as that opening day was, when I unlocked that door on February 13, 2012, my life was in ruins. Two months prior, my husband of 20 years and I had separated under paralyzingly painful circumstances, my children were struggling, I was healing from a major surgery, and I had no idea how I would find the strength to support my dream.  All I knew was that I NEEDED this.  A tiny voice had been whispering to me for years saying " need more....there is something more...find it." And when my husband moved out, the voice became a scream. I had no choice but to listen. I was yearning for a community of authentic, introspective people: people who were committed to making the world and themselves better and kinder; people who were thirsty for knowledge about the mysteries of the universe and interested in exploring the depths of their souls for answers. The creation of the studio was an "if you build it, they will come" invitation to people I didn't even know, and as much as I wanted them to show up, I was wracked with fear and doubt and my vision was clouded by the trauma in my life.

In the midst of my despair, I dove into my own yoga practice with a vigor that I never had before. I woke up early to practice and meditate, I took breaks from readying the studio to practice more, I ended each day with Pigeon Pose and more meditation, and I broke into a million pieces in the process. I shed more tears on the mat in those first few months than I knew a body could contain. And I healed. Little by little, day by day I grew stronger.  

What's more, I learned more about the power of Yoga during that time than I had in the whole 12 years I had practiced prior. All of the lovely words and philosophy, the information about the energetic body and how it connected to emotion, suddenly became completely visceral. I KNEW, without any doubt, that there was a completely whole, perfect, calm, strong, capable Self at the center of my being that could sustain me if I could access it.  I knew it because I could access it on the mat.  I found peace there and it began to seep into my life off of the mat. I found strength there, and it began to sustain me off the mat. I found compassion there, and it allowed me to forgive and leave the past behind. 

While I was healing, every day, amazing, inspiring, compassionate people were showing up in my life. Students came trickling in until they became a steady stream of visitors. Most of them had no idea what I was going through on a personal level, but their enthusiasm and willingness to explore the depths of their beautiful multidimensional selves inspired me. The teachers I had hired out of nothing more than gut instinct became dear friends and trusted colleagues.  The friends I had had for many years held me in their arms and carried me through on the days it seemed too much, and something magical happened.  I fell in love.... with yoga and with the beautiful Sangha that was emerging at JCY.

As I look back today, I believe that all I went through was necessary.  Every day is  more joyful than I ever dreamed possible. I feel deeply blessed, and I think that perhaps the losses I suffered then were necessary to clear space for this incredibly rich and full life that has emerged. 

On opening day last year, I copied a poem that inspired me into my journal.  I wrote it there as an intention...a wish...I hoped that at some point I would grow to feel completely aligned with the sentiment and the words.  Miraculously, I can say that today it speaks for exactly what I feel.  I share it with you as a reminder of the power of intention in your life, of the rewards of honoring the cry of your soul, and of the inexhaustible resiliency of the human spirit. 


Now I Become Myself
May Sarton

Now I become myself. It's taken 
Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before--"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yoga is Love

It's February, and love is being mass-marketed everywhere you look. The internet is full of lists of things to do, meals to prepare, gifts to give, and words to say on Valentine's Day. February 14th is both hailed as a day to show someone you love just how much you care, and scorned as an overly commercialized invention with too much pressure for couples who are in love and too much anxiety for those who are not.

Wherever you land on that spectrum, it seems to me that devoting a day to the glorification of Love is a worthwhile endeavor. In fact, at the studio, I've declared that the entire month is all about Love. There are love songs on our playlists, heart opening poses in our classes, partner focused asanas, and even a workshop on the Heart Chakra. And guess what? You don't have to be "in love" with a single person to be constantly in Love.  In fact, broadening the idea of what constitutes love and how it might show up in our world might just open your heart in ways you never dreamed possible.

To me, Yoga is Love.  

The Greeks differentiated between 3 different types of love:  Eros, the intimate love between a couple, rife with sexual attraction and desire; Philos, the platonic love between two people who are friends or family members, and Agape, unconditional, all-encompassing, selfless, spiritual, even divine, Love.

Most of the love that we encounter in our modern world falls into the first two categories and most of it, even while it nourishes and sustains us, is characterized by need and desire. We crave connection to other people. We need them to provide affirmation, affection, support.  This is the human condition which is why it is so astonishing to encounter Agape.  Agape is reserved for Gods and Saints whose self-less embrace of all of humanity demonstrates a love beyond the ordinary. In our time, Mother Theresa and Ghandi stand out. Jesus, of course, is the ultimate example, but we are all capable of this, and Yoga invites us to it.

At the heart of yoga is the idea that through the eight fold path, the lines between "you" and "I" dissolve. When we dive deep into our own consciousness and connect with our own soul, we also find the connection to divine consciousness, and we learn to recognize the same in every single being we encounter.  As Rumi so elequently puts it:

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field. 
I'll meet you there. 

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
each other
doesn't make any sense.

And the beauty of seeing the world through this lens (even if it only comes in glimpses) is that we might be able to live constantly and ecstatically in Love.  If I can remove my neediness and my desires, and understand that you are me, and I am you, then your joy becomes my joy, your happiness my happiness, your achievement my achievement, "every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you" (Song of Myself, Whitman).

There may never be greeting cards devoted to this kind of love, and it's unlikely that many of us will ever be able to completely live this way, but practicing yoga, dissolving the self through the physicality of asana, the stillness of meditation, the adherence to yamas and niyamas, might just give us a moment or two of clarity...and maybe, just maybe, those moment will grow longer and more sustained until they can resist the influences of the "I" culture in which we live. Can you dare to imagine a world where this is the norm?  

Let it begin by making February a meditation on just this kind of self-less Love.  Become like the Sun in the poem below by Hafiz. Love without restraint or expectation,  and let all of creation become your Valentine.

All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

"You owe me."

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.


Happy Valentine"s Day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Loving the Questions

I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rilke "Letters to a Young Poet"

I took a leadership assessment this week. Not to be confused with a personality test, this is an "attitudinal test." According to the introduction, it measures your level of energy based on your attitude or perception and perspective of your world."  Fascinating, right?  I'm still waiting on the debrief, so I'm sure I will have more to report next week, but the taking of the test was interesting and revealing all by itself.

This is one of those tests where the answers are numbered and range from "Always true" to Never true."  The questions are things like, "I believe that I alone am responsible for my success or failure." or "I think most people are selfish." or "I always need to win."  These are paraphrased, and may not even be on the test, but you get the idea. The interesting thing for me about answering questions like this is that I found it almost impossible to pin myself down. It was indescribably difficult for me to commit to how I think or feel because, really, what I think and feel changes constantly. My circumstances change constantly. The people around me change constantly.  My work changes constantly.  How then, can I answer questions like this or measure my attitude with anything like certainty? What I answer will be true right now. It might be true most of the time, but in a minute, everything could change.

There was a time in my not so distant past when I was certain of everything.  I would have comfortably, confidently and easily answered every question, sure of how I felt and what I thought. Certainty, in fact, was the hallmark of my life a year and a half ago.  I believed I knew exactly who I was.  I had an absolutely unshakeable belief in the plans I had laid out for my future. I could have articulated with clarity exactly what my life would look like in 10 years or 20 or 30. I knew who I would be with, where I would be living, how I would be feeling. And then, with two sentences from my former spouse, in less than 10 minutes, it all vanished.

(OK. Pause....I know that the vast majority of you are now eager for the salacious details.  Take a breath, lovely readers, we're not going there today.  More to be revealed on that front at some other time, smile)

The point is, there is no such thing as certainty. I had built a lovely house of cards, and when the winds of change blew through, at first I ran frantically about trying to gather the pieces and at least get them back into some sort of order. But it quickly became apparent that the destruction was too far reaching.  I grieved the loss of my dreams and plans, but it didn't take long before I began to feel a sense of adventure.  Suddenly, absolutely anything was possible.  My life could take shape in any one of a million different ways, and I had no idea which way it might turn.  That was interesting, I dare say, even exciting.

I've had some time now to really dwell in uncertainty, and I've come to realize that regardless of what I believed, my life was always uncertain.   Everyone's is, in fact, and that is one of the greatest and most delicious gifts of our existence.  Every day, every moment, offers a surprise. Sometimes the surprises are delightful: the trilling of a wren outside a kitchen window, the glimpse of a deer in the backyard, the  embrace of a friend you run into unexpectedly, the unsolicited hug from your child. Sometimes they are annoying: traffic on your way to work, burnt toast, a lost wallet. Sometimes they bring incredible joy, and sometimes unspeakable sorrow, but the truth is, we never really know what's coming.

Furthermore, if the circumstances of our life are uncertain, so are the things we think we know. Knowledge is slippery.  Just when we think we have a thing figured out, it changes. Science, Math, History, all are fraught with uncertainty, and so is every base of information we've ever had. Rather than find this unsettling, however, we ought to find this thrilling. As individuals, we are on a lifelong inquiry. We get to explore, dream, discover, unravel, question, and imagine over and over and over again. If we knew the answers to all of our questions, if we could see clearly how our futures would unfold, how stale and uninteresting it would all be!

I, for one, love the questions. I love waking up every day not knowing what the day might bring. I like that I have no idea where I will be in 10 years, or even one. The uncertainty deepens my thirst for life. It makes me want to know and feel all of it, the good and the bad. It makes me interested in other people in a more profound way. It makes me savor every drop of every moment. It reminds me of how small I am in the big scheme of things and how little control I have.

One of the Niyamas, or "rules" from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is Ishvara pranidhana.  Like all Sanskrit terms this can be translated in many ways, but mostly it means surrender to the divinity within. This is a tough one for many people. It requires an enormous separation from ego, but if we allow ourselves to live in uncertainty, to let go of our need for answers and clarity and control,  it becomes much easier to offer ourselves to a higher consciousness. What choice is there except to turn ourselves over in trust and faith to the divine that animates us all?

This is what yoga has become for me.  I am sure of nothing, but I sense a connection to something powerful, constant and loving when I sit in meditation. I feel an energy, a vibration, coursing through my body in asana practice. Each pose teaches me that every day is new and different. Sometimes I can recreate what came the day before. Sometimes I can't. Some days I am able to do something altogether new and unexpected, and some days, the simplest pose topples me over. And all of it is okay as long as I approach my practice with curiosity as an inquiry rather than something I need to master and control.

Somewhere along the way, I suspect, this is a lesson we all have to learn in yoga and in life. The path there is often painful and difficult, but once you arrive, you may just enjoy it... I know I do.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Creating Space

This week at Johns Creek Yoga, much of our focus has been on creating space.  It's January which means a recommitment to practice for some of our yogis, and we're running a special, so we've welcomed many new students into the studio.  Classes are very full, and it has been a challenge to fit everyone into the rooms. We've had to ask people to step outside of their comfort zone, to shift their mats, and to move back into beginner's mind in order to accommodate all of the students. This has required a generosity of spirit and an openness on everyone's part, and it has been touching to see so many people selflessly moving to make others comfortable. 

And here's a secret: this practice of creating space is really the essence of all we do when we begin to live consciously both on and off the mat.  In yoga, we spread the collar bones wide, drop the shoulders away from the ears, lengthen the spine, inner spiral the thighs, spread our toes and fingers wide apart and invite the breath to fill the vacuum, flooding the body with Prana and energizing every cell. The space we create deepens our experience of each pose; it strengthens our alignment and allows us to transcend the limitations we believe we have. 

Imagine if we could invite this same openness into other areas of our lives?  The good news is that we can, and here's how:

1. Claim a sacred space for yourself.  I am fortunate enough to have the studio, empty and silent in the early morning hours, but your space could be anywhere. It can be as big as an open field or sandy beach, or it can be as small as your 68 inches of yoga mat.  Make this an area where you can spend time undisturbed by the barrage of your electronic devices.  Make it clear to the people in your life that when you are in this space, you are unavailable. Then be sure that you really do check out. Sit down and quiet the chatter of your own mind. Tune into the flow of your breath and the rhythm of your heart, and into that quiet space invite inspiration. Follow the impulse of the body. If it prods you to move, Move. If it beckons you to stillness, Be Still. We have become a culture on the go, constantly connected to inanimate devices, removed from our own spirit and disengaged from our own bodies. Taking time every day to simply make your own acquaintance will open you to the abundance of the universe in the same way that creating space in the body can open you to a deeper pose.

2. Clean the clutter out of your life.  Most of us recognize that in our homes and businesses, every now and then we have to clear out what we no longer need.  The same is true in our relationships and personal development.  Take stock of the people and activities that claim your time and energy. Ask yourself if they still serve to strengthen you and help you grow or if they are limiting you in some way. Notice if you do things out of obligation rather than passion. Then eliminate what no longer brings you joy or invigorates you.  If you are longing for deeper connections with people who are awake in the world, you may have to remove yourself from shallow connections that served a need at one point but no longer resonate. If you want to cultivate habits and pursuits that align with your heart's deepest desires, you may have to eliminate the ones that have grown stale. Give yourself permission to do this and follow through.

3. Let go. Really. Let. Go. Yes. This is the biggest challenge, but it is the most significant step to truly create space for possibility. If you are holding on to resentments, injuries, heartbreaks or unfulfilled desires, let them go. We store every experience deep in our bodies, minds and hearts, so start on the mat. Practice breathing in possibility and breathing out negativity. Practice shining the heart forward into the space you create by drawing the shoulder blades together and tilting the head back. Open the hips to release whatever stresses and traumas you've been storing there. Then consciously let go of the emotions and sensations you discover. Forgive the people who've hurt you no matter how deep the injury. Forgive yourself if you have been the source of your own wounds.  Allow beauty and goodness to flood the space where negative emotions used to lie and bathe in the vitality you create there.

Easy? Of course not!  Growth never is.  It hasn't been easy to find the space for every new student at the studio this week, and it is never easy to find space in the architecture of the body to move deeper into our yoga poses. Creating space for personal development and self-realization is naturally even more difficult.  Like yoga, it's a practice, and we have a lifetime to get it right, but imagine what may await when we create even a little bit more room.... 

Perhaps, as Thoreau suggests, we will become,  "a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within... opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought." Perhaps we can even create the space for the life we dare to imagine.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Welcome to Yoga with Sheila!

After spending a great deal of time in my classes this week discussing the value or lack thereof in making New Year's Resolutions, I must confess that my personal list of resolutions is lengthy, and one of them is taking shape right now.  I resolved to (finally) start a yoga blog, and my first order of business is to offer you an enthusiastic and excited WELCOME!

My hope is that this blog will become a venue for all of us, our beautiful Johns Creek Yoga sangha, to supplement and enrich the discussions we so often have on the mat before and after classes. The practice of yoga is rich and layered, and what we do primarily with the body in our 90 minutes together can only touch the edges of it.

In this context, I look forward to sharing some of the lessons, inquiries and explorations that inform my own practice and my teaching, and I sincerely hope that each of you will lend your voices and responses in order to create an ongoing conversation. I will try to post at least once a week, and I will include many of the poems, songs and readings that I so often share in class.

Today I offer you the beautiful words of Oriah Mountain Dreamer, poet, spiritualist and beautiful soul.  If you don't know her work, I highly recommend you start with The Invitation.  The poem below is The Call  from the book of the same name. I write privately, and now publicly, in answer to the call she describes, and I invite each of you, as Oriah does, to discover and lend your word to the great poem we write together.

The Call
I have heard it all my life, A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper. Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep. There's no safety in that!
Remember what you are and let this knowing take you home to the Beloved with every breath.
Hold tenderly who you are and let a deeper knowing colour the shape of your humanness.
There is no where to go. What you are looking for is right here. 
Open the fist clenched in wanting and see what you already hold in your hand.
There is no waiting for something to happen, no point in the future to get to. 
All you have ever longed for is here in this moment, right now.
You are wearing yourself out with all this searching. Come home and rest.
How much longer can you live like this? Your hungry spirit is gaunt, your heart stumbles. 
All this trying. Give it up!
Let yourself be one of the God-mad, faithful only to the Beauty you are.
Let the Lover pull you to your feet and hold you close, dancing even when fear urges you to sit this one out.
Remember- there is one word you are here to say with your whole being. 
When it finds you, give your life to it. Don't be tight-lipped and stingy.
Spend yourself completely on the saying. 
Be one word in this great love poem we are writing together.

© Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Call, HarperONE, San Francisco 2003

I will end with the words of one of my favorite teachers..."More to be revealed."  Check back or, better yet, subscribe to receive your weekly update.