I’m convinced that humans are designed to grow with environmental change. Some of that change is tangible, for example, we search for a larger home because we have more stuff (or people) pushing our current home to capacity. We continue to strive in our careers, taking more responsibility, to grow into another role. Most of the change affects our bodies, both physically and mentally – perhaps we can not comprehend how to love another child, but our hearts grow to be filled with love for both (or all) of our children or pets. Quite simply, I believe, this is what maturity is all about; maybe you’d like to refer to it as evolution of the self. The past two months I’ve experienced a peak of soul searching moments – a few were forced upon me.
In a post from early January I informed my five readers that I was going to ‘finish what I started’ by signing up for a 200 hour yoga teacher training. At the time I dropped the check in the mail, I felt this training would be good for me and my practice. I didn’t realize that it would be the healing salve that I would require. As the world probably knows, our dog, Pez, passed in February. I used my rejuvenated practice to help me through that process. Writing about it, talking about it and laying in stillness after each yoga session slowly quieted my mind and put my heart at ease. The crinkle of my third eye eventually released and I was able to move through time with grace.
Only a short month later, we learned of a family member’s passing. This life milestone opened the door to a room with questions, but not a lot of answers. In death, we cling to those close to us hoping for a soft shoulder, understanding eyes, and an open ear. I felt the need to be strong amidst my internal turmoil. I think I became that shoulder…those eyes…that ear. I applied the teachings of patience and contentment (santosa) to be that rock. More beautiful is the fact of knowing that, when needed, a rock will be provided for me.
This morning, I had the pleasure of spending 8.5 miles of trail, a yoyo of elevation, with a good friend. We surrendered to the land while basking in the sunshine and conversation. At one point, with about 1.5 miles left, I spotted a beautiful eagle soaring in circles high above. The sight stopped me in my tracks (or maybe it was my inability to catch my breath as my heart pounded through my chest). Nevertheless, my arms dropped to my sides as I lifted my head to the sky. The eagle glided flawlessly above the tree tops; I focused in silence, hearing nothing but the breeze and clapping of the supple spring branches. I internalized my gaze to see stillness in my heart…in my mind. A soft smile slowly painted itself across my face.
Just like today’s trail, life will show me a path of steep climbs and short down hills; soft patches of grass and an unsuspecting stream of water peppered with slippery rocks. At times I may focus on my footing, but pause to lift my heart high capturing a moment of peace.