A deep lavender breeze and radiant sunshine…… essential oil blends of sun-ripened citrus and spicy vanilla. Steel cut oatmeal, nutty and warm. Hot coffee vapors, steaming through the early morning cafe.
I recently started using the same shampoo and essential oils that I was using that summer; smell plays a large roll in memories through LIFE. I can close my eyes and feel my toes on the ground….. smell the fresh-cut grass,……the smell of summer and possibility and it brings me back. Today, I roll the vanilla and citrus over my wrist and remember my dear sangha.
After looking thru photographs today, I wonder what we were doing this time last year. What were we exploring? It has been a year since completing a month-long yoga teacher training and I am feeling this surge of gratitude that I have carried with me over the past year.
I am sure that if I thought about it long and hard, I could figure out what my day looked like. Afternoon sadhana; posture clinic or relaxing by the lake with friends; learning Mountain, teaching Mountain, or co-listening; fish taco’s for lunch or a thunderstorm outside late afternoon. I remember those nights of summer, starry skies paired with a soft cool breeze; much like the night tonight. I remember dancing until my feet hurt; sitting until I could not sit anymore; feeling so tired that I could hardly wait to get to my pillow, and so excited to wake up each morning and do it all over again. I would walk the halls at night, listening to music on my headphones, dancing and singing, integrating from the day. People would always catch me moon-walking through the halls and down the stairs, I would simply smile and laugh. Listening to music helped me to integrate from the heavy days, shedding some of the weight from the resistance I felt inside. Music helped me to stay balanced. Music better allowed me to be in the present moment, take in the fresh air, listen to the words in the music and find solace within myself.
Living in a community of strangers, strongly connected by this unique experience, was overwhelming. Strangers were we all at first, but slowly the faces became ingrained in my heart forever, without ever knowing it. Each day we spent together was filled with a lifetime of kindness and compassion. I formed connections that will forever teach me, allow me to stay open, feel LOVE, and embrace all parts of LIFE. The weekends were hard for me, the days we separated from our community and set free into the world, open our wings and leave the nest of our classroom. I always found myself gazing into the eyes in the hallways, seeking out those kind hearts that allowed me to feel grounded and connected. Sometimes I still look around corners and crowds, hoping to see one of those familiar faces and on some days it happens, we reconnect, reminisce and sigh as we both look into one another’s eyes and recall the experience that brought us together.
I remember a lot of laughing, dancing, sharing, crying and resisting, almost in that order…..every single day. I remember the anxiety, fear, beautiful vulnerability and excitement simultaneously racing through my body. I doubt anything could have shaken any of us during that time.
LIFE carried us through that month as if we were in a protective orb of light, a safety vessel, as we embarked on our journey. Ask anyone who has ever done a yoga teacher training, they know too well how raw, vulnerable and precious the experience is for all involved to live through and witness. All things fell into place for my training. I was able to leave my LIFE at the door and completely envelop myself in the experience. Don’t get me wrong I wanted to escape, but, once I stopped and allowed myself to settle in…. I felt as if I had finally arrived home. I felt more connected to myself, the people around me, nature and the universe while in this space, than any other time in my life. I understand now that the ‘space’ I speak of, is very much inside my very own heart. I finally felt connected, aware of the flow of LIFE, and most importantly of my own radiance. There were often cries of need, soon followed by a soft response from the universe and fellow classmates. My training was a magical time of learning, revealing, accepting and the start of recognizing my authentic self, apart from any expectations of the world I live in. As it turned out, I had all I needed, I have all I need, all it took was a matter of recognizing and embracing that truth.
My training took place in one room at the retreat center. I will forever have a sacred connection with that space, with the energy that was shared in that room and the realization I had inside those four walls. The energy of that room was protective and sacred, it held years of memories. Throughout the training, the energy grew…….it was palpable to all of us. I wondered how the energy stayed with us, as to protect us even when we were not in the actual space. Perhaps even now in our lives, we our carried by that same protective energy and light…… maybe it’ll be with us forever, I do not know. Each day I share the knowledge that was bestowed upon me in that space, it helps to keep me connected to self. Each day I share the light that helped me to recognize I was, I am, perfect, right now, as I am. Each day I share the gifts I received, and in return, have received so much more than I ever could have imagined, especially the gifts that are inside of us all. All that was needed was a key to unlock all of it; a desire to peel back the ‘should’s,’ the expectations of who we thought we should be, what we thought life should look like, and allowed ourselves to open up to our true nature, that of being able to share the divine LOVE that holds us all so dearly in this LIFE.
When I think about my teacher training, I don’t necessarily think about the asana practice. When I look back on the experience it is more about the vulnerability, connections, and the knowing that I felt in and throughout that entire experience. I still feel waves of that knowing, even today. I am grateful that I allowed each one of my classmates to see my vulnerability, my open heart and witness my journey. LIFE doesn’t hand you people who can hold that kind of space, LIFE blesses you with them. Sisters and brothers of spirit will walk alongside you on your journey, and when you find them, cherish them. Forever in my heart will all of my classmates and teachers be. I carry that energy and light with me each and every day. I hope their lives are filled with that same LOVE and light. I stand in my own radiance in hopes to share it with others that cross my path.
Jai Bhagwan brothers and sisters,
sincerely……blessings to the moon and back
here is a truly magical song….one that resonates with me deeply and that reminds me of my sangha.
in the beginning he says ‘…..we are all here together, then that means…..that there is a purpose for us…… and that there is a memory of us doing this all together…’
enjoy this day