One way to define love is "sustained, compassionate attention". These words came from John Muir Laws, a naturalist, educator, and artist who inspires stewardship of the land by sharing his practice of nature sketching. When I read these words, I began to see the importance of my own art practice in developing sustained, compassionate attention for myself.Read More
It’s freezing. All I know is it’s 11 miles out and back. The description on the website had said, “Participants must be in good cardiovascular condition. No single track/technical work. Climbing for sure.” I should have known when I saw the fat tires on everyone else’s bikes.
Oh, how we wish that learning would take place in the comfort of our familiar homes! A cozy blanket, a warm cup of tea, our favorite music playing, and the knowing that everything as we have chosen and arranged it now surrounds us.
Learning for me always looked like showing up in a classroom, or privately in front of a teacher, and demonstrating what I knew. I would then get feedback in the form of a critique, the next challenge chosen by the teacher, or a score on a test that told me how much what I thought I learned matched what I was expected to have learned.
What I learned on my first mountain bike ride this weekend is that learning – the fresh, raw experience of aha!wow! that’s new! – can be extremely uncomfortable. It can happen when we are placed (or we find ourselves) in a situation we did not know we chose (but we did) and that every fiber of our being is wanting to fix, alter, escape, or resist. But there we are. In my case, “there” was a guided 11-mile ride on a closed access trail. Turning back was not an option without taking the entire group with me.
There are questions, but none worth asking, because any answer provided verbally in advance would not actually provide helpful information. I could only get answers in the act of experiencing it. How steep are the hills? How will my bike hold up? Am I dressed warmly enough? What gears should I use? Am I in good enough shape for this?
I find out the answers to each of them as I encounter the first climb, and then the first big downhill. The first of many. Each one a little longer, a little steeper. They keep coming. My lungs are burning. My ears are burning from the freezing cold air. I am miserable, I am cursing my bike for not being a “mountain” bike, only a hybrid. I excuse myself from having to keep up with the group because of this. I don’t want anyone to talk to me. I just want to breathe without the burning in my lungs.
At one point I am hurtling down a steep hill. My tires slip a little, causing me to bounce and weave, and instead of trying to take control, I decide to just let the bike do its job. I had no ability – defined as knowledge through experience – to control the bike or determine whether I would even stay on it. Slamming on (or squeezing) the brakes was not going to guarantee any safe outcome. I briefly flash back to skiing, where I’d always tried to slow myself down at the steepest parts, and it wasn’t always the best way – it was resisting the flow down the mountain, and it took a lot of effort to go against gravity.
I see now that I was lucky not to have fallen. But in that moment I had no concept of “luck” or “no luck”. It just wasn’t my day to fall. I let go, and it was my day to witness that miracle.
I keep going only because no one really asks me if I want to stop. I cycle through struggle, resistance, surrender, and then surviving.
I take a rest, at the turnaround point, and just breathe. It feels good to cover my entire face and breathe normally. Now I really have no choice other than to go back along the trail the same way we came.
I become curious, and begin to play. That’s when the true experience of learning begins to happen.
What could I try to do differently to see if it will make my experience any different?
I stop telling myself I have the “wrong” bike and start playing with adjustments. I raise the seat up. That one small move helps a lot.
My mind so wants a binary “how to” on the gears. A set of instructions like, “When going downhill, do this….When going uphill, do that.” But it isn’t that linear. Every hill is slightly different. My ingoing speed determines which gear would match it best when coming out of the hill. I have to play. Constantly engage with what is happening in this very moment, and be open to discovering.
I discover an elaborate, moment-to-moment dance of body, bike, and terrain. Tweaking. Feeling. Being ever present and also facing forward, constantly moving. Listening. Discovering. Adjusting by taking small actions.
During the second half of the ride I am much more friendly with my bike, my body, and the terrain. I am much more involved as a full participant, doing my part of the three-way equation, not trying to resist or control the other elements. I am having (slightly) more fun along the way.
At the end, I feel tired but glad. My body is very grateful for the opportunity to play and be worked. Discovering new possibilities and dancing within the situation, I realized there was only the choice of the moment – to ride it or to stew in a story of misery. I chose to ride.
For the past seven Wednesdays, I have shown up at 10am at Quarry Park, and at 5:15pm on the phone, ready to explore the latest energy experiment from Pam Grout's book, E-Squared, with the participants in E-Squared Book Club. For six of the seven mornings we were blessed with warmth, sunshine, and perfect conditions for sitting outside to marvel at the goodness and beauty available to us at all times. On our final Wednesday, it was looking like we might need a "Plan B". The first winter storm of the year had arrived and stayed the entire two days before. I sent out emails announcing an alternative indoor location. But on the morning of our scheduled meeting, it was clear. Not quite sunny, but definitely not raining.
We gathered at the usual spot, each wearing our rain gear, just in case.
Tammy brought her young sunflower sprouts (from Experiment #5) to plant in the clearing where we had gathered for our meetings.
Our plan was to hike about a mile up to a lookout above the labyrinth. As we began to plant the seedlings, it started to rain gently. I managed to get a few pictures before my iPad had to go back in my pack.
Then, as we walked up the path, it continued to rain. As soon as we arrived at the lookout, it was coming down hard. Tammy captured this video of me, just to show how soggy - and grateful - we were.
Our "homework" -- after drying off thoroughly at home -- was to write a letter to each of the other members in the circle, expressing the individual gifts of our time together. What fun it was to receive in the mail, a few days later, such heartfelt expressions of being witnessed and appreciated! And what a gift to take a few moments to appreciate what was received from the presence of another.
One week later, I returned to the same spot at Quarry Park, to take a walk and to check out the seedlings. They are healthy and strong!
Now that the club is done meeting, I notice the space that was held by our circle of energy and shared intention. I am dreaming of ways to keep that going in my life, and to share it with others. We were truly nourished by holding a playful space for each other to tap in to the infinite potential available to us.
I'm also fondly recalling some of the ARTifacts we created at Amy Sullivan's Art & Inspiration gathering...these pieces were all inspired by E-Squared Book Club!
To read all previous posts from our E-Squared Book Club meetings, go here.
To find out about future events, sign up for my e-newsletter to get updates in your inbox.
In The Wisdom of No Escape, there's a chapter where Pema Chodron talks about three useful qualities for life and for meditation: precision, gentleness, and letting go.
I've been consciously living with the nine principles of Breema lately, and I've noticed how precision, gentleness, and letting go are a useful way to greet any practice, old or new.
For example, one of the Breema principles is "No Judgment."
When you begin to study and practice "No Judgment", the first thing you notice is how much judgment is in your mind already.
"No Judgment" brings your attention first to the judgment that's there. Which means, you begin to identify judgment as judgment. That's precision. You may notice as a new student of something, you like to be very precise. So every time you see your mind judging, you say to yourself, "Damn it, I'm judging again! Why am I so judgmental? I need to stop judging so much." And you feel the assault on yourself beginning to happen.
This is the moment when gentleness can enter in. You have an opportunity to practice gentleness, or to continue the assault. Gentleness gives you the opportunity to take a different attitude toward yourself, even as you see, with precision, what is going on. Gentleness encourages you to just see, without extra attacks or criticism or labeling. In other words, no need to judge your judgment. Be gentle with yourself as you begin to see clearly. Just see what is, with no extra.
Letting go is the final practice, and it is the result of practicing both precision and gentleness. Letting go is not something to achieve or do, but is a natural unfolding of both precision and gentleness practiced together. When you play with these qualities of precision and gentleness, dance with them back and forth, and then gradually see that they are both happening all at once, there is a feeling of letting go. Neither precision nor gentleness has to "win". There is no final state to achieve. There is no superior way to be.
Letting go is a sensation of relief. That it's not all such a big deal. That we definitely need to practice, but part of the practice is also to let it all go. Letting go is not a "Forget about trying, I'll just give up" kind of feeling, but rather a smiling recognition that no one needs to win or lose, not even the more or less enlightened parts of your own mind. It's a kind of relaxation into the present, a return to what is, and a feeling that our attached thoughts are not who we are. A knowing that our true essence is something much lighter, and also more timeless than any thought or practice.
THIS was not a photo on my vision board. I was perfectly content to be performing, showing what I was able to do comfortably, easily, and predictably. I thought I was getting "good" at playing freely, improvising, and creating in the moment. The sound of Chinese Melodrama that matches the stacks of CDs we bring to every gig.
Then THIS had to happen.
By "THIS" I mean: We are at LunarBurn, a three-day outdoor festival and experiment in community living. In my mind, it's a chance to show up and spread the love. We play our first set at the PermaPub, an intimate venue with couches, a bar, and all the impromptu live music one could ask for. We aren’t even finished with a song (Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away”) near the end of our set, and a guy appears onstage. He has furry white chaps over his jeans, and a grey hoody. He appears to be maybe under the influence of some substances. But what do I even know about these things? I just thought he was a jerk for interrupting our set.
Here’s my, “Get off the stage, jerk!” look:
Yep, what you're seeing is a whole lotta judgment flowing freely from me in that moment. First he wanted to play my violin. I’d rehearsed this response before, so it was easy to say, “Sorry, I don’t let anyone touch my violin.”
He wasn’t looking like he was going to leave the stage, and this being an open, community-driven atmosphere, I said, “You can play yours, and I’ll play mine.”
Then he wanted me to help him tune the thing.
Seriously??? Suddenly I was flung back to my violin school, “Doctor Chu” days, tuning other people’s violins. Spooky.
My partner Randy was way too far away on the other end of the stage, separated from me by a drumset. I was alone to deal with this. But when it was clear that The Guy – Adam, I would later learn, was his name - was there to stay and play, Randy pulled out the right song – like he always does -- and that was all it took.
Adam started to play. All kinds of sounds were flying out of his instrument, no holds barred. Absolutely no judgment.
I’d never heard such sounds before, let alone play with them, try to create with them. But there I was, on a stage, with captive audience, and microphones on. I started to play too. The interplay of sound and listening began to work its magic. Then moments emerged from the chaos that felt like oneness.
Really? With THIS jerk? Yes.
I was listening to all the sounds, noticing, admiring, perhaps sometimes even envying, the beauty that can arise from NOT CARING AT ALL, in other words, no judgment.
You must understand how deeply ingrained it is for me to take GREAT CARE of every sound from my violin. I’ll never forget sitting in a huge auditorium in Chicago watching one of the “big kids” – a high-schooler at the time – in my violin school, receiving a master class with Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova. I was about 10 years old.
“You don’t CARE!”, she said, in a thoroughly Russian, loving way. It was the kind of icy cold Russian love so commonly doled out in violin training. Meanwhile my classmate’s lips trembled, tears beginning to well up behind her eyes. Tears that represented a lifetime, from the age of three, trying so hard to prove that she cared. She was one of the stars, one of the protected ones in the group. No one had ever spoken to her like that. At least not in public. On a stage. In front of other people.
I vowed never to play like I didn’t care, if only to avoid the stinging feeling I felt that day.
So to stand on my stage with this guy – Adam – who had the audacity to walk in on us and just PLAY like he doesn’t CARE was a big moment. A moment either to shut down or to wake up and say yes to life. Shutting down occurred to me for a few moments. Remember this face?
Yeah, I was ready to shut it down. But then I remembered that I could just relax into my own place that doesn’t care so much. The place that knows I can play anything with anyone and I will be OK. The place of trust and surrender.
Because when you don’t care, you really are trusting in something greater than personalities and performances. Somewhere along the way, in our journey of recording and performing and trying to “build” something with Chinese Melodrama, I got caught up (again) in making things beautiful and perfect and acceptable and nice. I got caught up in my idea of what “good” sounds like. What I had to measure up to (in my own mind) in order to be worthy of appreciation, applause, presence, whatever. My idea of what I needed to be in order to be liked and accepted.
What I experienced by not caring so much was another layer of freedom peeled away and revealed to me. The discovery of something workable – beautiful – within the basket of sounds I’d call “dirty”. The sounds I don’t choose automatically because of the depth of my conditioning to play only beautifully. The discovery that he will never sound like me, and I will never sound like him, so there is nothing to fear. We can meet in the oneness of our combined sounds and play. Dance. Listen. See what happens.
“Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-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.” – Rumi
The next day, I returned to the stage with Randy. No Adam this time. Yet I still had the taste of the experience in my body, my ears, my whole being. I carried the permission of those “dirty” notes with me. They gave me wings to be less careful, more adventurous, more willing to be curious without worrying I would hurt or disappoint anyone. I had fun. I moved more. I felt my own joy. I invited it in. I was inspired by "no judgment".
I noticed that as I became more playful, my entire body began to participate. My feet were not firmly planted on the floor with my legs stable. My knees began to bend. My spine began to twist and turn. My feet were walking (sometimes stomping). My head was leaning. The feelings of the music flowed through my entire being, when my mind was no longer involved in saying, “Now what can I play that will be really beautiful?”.
When the music becomes a dance, when I am truly playing, then it’s not about what the notes are, but what is going on inside me as I am playing them. Even if I play every single note “beautifully”, correctly, in tune, like I was taught, it may not connect with a feeling. Because I may actually be trying very hard to create this state of “beautiful” and “correct”. Within me, I am not playful. I am controlling myself. When I am controlling myself, I radiate the energy of control.
When I lose control, anything can happen. Scary, yes. But on the other side of scary, there is beauty. Not “beautiful”, but beauty. The beauty of anything and everything. The beauty of what is.
P.S. Thank you so much to Adam, Matty, and everyone at LunarBurn who played and listened!
About two weeks ago I bought a bike. Brand new, cute as can be, even with a name, "Fiona". I also got the cutest panier ever, with a lime green flower and orange straps. [singlepic id=477 w=320 h=240 float=center]
On my very first ride, I got a flat tire. A complete blow out, requiring me to walk it home for about two miles. Luckily it was a particularly beautiful sunset on the ocean, and I got to look up, twisting my head slowly to savor the powder blue sky and cotton candy pink clouds spreading in all directions around me.
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Still, I was a little shaken by the fact that the road looked so innocent - no broken glass or bed of nails in sight. Just smooth blacktop for as far as the eye could see. Except for whatever jumped into my back tire that evening.
It turned into a perfect opportunity to have one of my coworkers show me how to change a flat. Somewhere around step 9 of the process, my eyes started to glaze over, but I kept taking notes as he explained and demonstrated patiently. He taught me about tire protectors and now I own some. If you don't have them, go get some!
I've been riding almost every day since. On the sunny ones, I'm riding chin up, smiling from ear to ear, and taking in the sounds of the rolling waves and the expansiveness of the ocean stretching out to the horizon. I note the particular shade of blue in the sky and on the water each day, because they are never repeated exactly.
Riding my bike has transformed a routine errand - hopping in my car to drive two miles to the local market for food each day - into a celebration of life. I breathe in the scent of cypress, I feel the warm sunshine on my cheeks, and I experience my own body propelling this amazing machine beneath me.
I wonder, “How the bicycle must have transformed human experience when it first appeared on this planet!”
And then I think, "What made us dream of a bigger machine that would multiply our speed of transit even more, but not require us to move our bodies at all?"
When I'm sitting on my bike, gliding along the paved path near the ocean, I think about these things. I am relaxed and confident, because this is a bike's territory. Pedestrians and dogs must yield.
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A different story begins the minute I cross from the path to the road. The very last stretch of ride between my house and the market involves crossing a major intersection with a stoplight. Four lanes of traffic, three strip malls, a gas station, a high school, all converge at one point. I have two streets to cross each time I reach this intersection. I walk across one way, and ride across the other, my body often tense with resolve to "get through" without any close encounters with cars or mishaps with my own machine beneath me.
One day last week, I was feeling particularly vulnerable. It was drizzling lightly. I liked being alone on the path, feeling the cool breeze in my ears, and the tiny fuzzy droplets of mist gathering on my eyelashes. I was cautious, using the brakes a bit more on the turns, controlling my speed, as I had no idea how Fiona would respond in wet conditions.
Traffic was slow on the main highway. Cars inched along, and it was only three o'clock. The high school had just gotten out, so large groups of kids congregated at the crosswalks, on their way home or to the adjacent strip mall.
I gritted my teeth and got through the stoplight. My pant leg got caught momentarily as I mounted to start to go across, and I had a slight moment of panic. I didn't want to be seen falling in the middle of the intersection! I started over, gathered my composure, and made my way across without a problem, although I was muttering some phrases to myself under my breath anyway. I hated that feeling of vulnerability, of having to depend on my body and this foreign thing underneath me to work properly in order to ensure my safe passage.
I did my shopping, filling my panier to the brim with beautiful vegetables and dinner fixings. I was ready to go home. But I had to get back across the hairy intersection first.
I took a slightly different route, making my way around the back of the store, thinking I would use a pedestrian crosswalk in the middle of the block. There was no easy way to get back to that stoplight. Cars came from four different directions - a parking lot, a side street, and two directions on the main road. A large group of high school kids – mostly boys – was hanging out on the sidewalk, directly in front of the pedestrian crosswalk. Most of them were looking down, kicking the ground, their hands shoved into their pockets, as if they were waiting for something. As I approached them, I felt an ancient but familiar wave course through my body – like prickles, spreading from my hands up to my neck, a tensing, a holding of my breath, a desire to "get through" this without being noticed, without embarassing myself.
Me, on my brand new Fiona with a brand new panier overflowing with vegetables, wearing a bright green rainshell and bright white helmet. Everything so bright and brand new. Who wouldn't notice that?
I changed my plans and kept riding.
I passed the group of boys and proceeded to the next parking lot entrance, thinking I could position myself to cross the street with the cars. Several minutes – or what seems like several minutes -- went by, and it was clear that drivers are not going to make space for me. I would have to “be aggressive” and act like a car, or wait. So, I decided to retrace my path by half a block back to the pedestrian crosswalk.
I never looked at any of those high school boys, but I felt them watching me as I approached. This, of course, made me avoid eye contact totally. They were spitting, laughing, and yelling things every now and then. As I looked over my left shoulder and waited with one foot poised on the pedal of my bike, I felt ashamed that I wasn't "aggressive enough" to cross the street as if I were another car, or, like some bikers, as if I owned the right of way. I felt lame for having retraced my route by half a block, just to use the pedestrian crosswalk. I waited, and I watched, and I found my window to cross. During those few seconds, I heard one boy's voice shout, "CHINESE PEOPLE!" I didn't look back. I couldn't. I felt a sting of pins and needles spread throughout my body, and all of my attention went toward getting out of there as fast as I could.
As I pedaled away, I recalled the incidents - yes, plural - from my childhood that had made me feel the same way. They were so long ago, but in that moment immediately came back into focus. I had been called "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, if you please" starting in first grade. I had been taunted with, "Gook!" yelled at me from open car windows as I commuted on foot between the freshman building and the main building of my high school, where I took math class with the upperclassmen.
I knew exactly what these words meant, and I knew exactly what these people were making fun of - me. The slant of my eyes, the color of my hair, the whole history of a people that I didn't know and they probably didn't know either. I just looked like something funny and irrelevant to them.
I realized on that drizzly day, pedaling away from those boys, that the act of riding a bicycle is nothing short of revolutionary for me. None of the women in either of my parents' families ever learned to ride a bike. It was considered "too dangerous". That and swimming. From the stories I heard growing up, it seemed unnecessary for a girl to take such risks in the name of mere recreation and enjoyment. It was considered a privilege not to have to be physically active. It was a sign of refinement, education, and status. And there were no higher prizes than these in the Chinese culture that I learned about from my parents’ stories.
I never learned to ride a bike until second grade. That was late in my hometown of Libertyville, Illinois. It seemed to be a top priority in that suburb to teach your kids to swim, ride a bike, shoot a basketball, catch and throw a baseball. This is what the “All-American”, “normal” people in our neighborhood did for fun.
I learned to ride a bike mainly to avoid further embarrassment at school, to have one less reason not to fit in.
In my family, the priority for me was learning to play an instrument (two instruments, actually), learning to practice every day, focusing on building a skill in the solitude of our own home. No one at school really knew what I did at home, and I never found the words to explain it. One day a newspaper clipping announcing my first place win at a Chicago-area piano competition was tacked to the bulletin board of my fourth grade classroom. I felt the same sting of shame and embarrassment, like I didn't want anyone to see it, like I had to get out of there fast.
Why? I wanted to hide. I wanted to protect what I could protect, because anywhere I showed up, people would see my face. My slanty-eyed, unmistakably Chinese face, looking out at a sea of “All-American, normal” white faces. I could never hide my face, but I could hide what was in my heart, what I really cared about, what made me feel joyful and alive. No one could make fun of that if I kept it hidden, precious only to me.
I developed the habit of cultivating my most precious territory within me. It protected me, and I protected it. While others experienced me in performance, I experienced myself most deeply in the solitude of my own practice. I learned to love the stillness, silence, and solitude of practice. My practice – the sacred activities I do for myself, which now consist of yoga, meditation, singing, painting, writing, and bodywork – still brings me to the deepest feelings of love and connection in my life.
I'm grateful for my bike and for the fact that I learned to ride it.
On my bike, I get to experience my vulnerability in a tangible way. There is no hiding. I am not protected by the walls of the 4-wheel-drive SUV my brother insisted I drive after my second car accident in my twenties. "You need to be surrounded by a cage of steel," he said to me in his lovingly protective way, as he bought me a new car.
In my car, I can hide. I can blend in with the traffic, just "getting through" to my destination each time. I can look out the windows and think my thoughts about other drivers, bikers, pedestrians. No one will notice me, if I just get through. I can play a CD and drown out the rain. I can keep the windows up and not feel a breeze.
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But my bike has taught me that there is an aliveness to being vulnerable. I feel the wind whipping by my ears, I hear the clicking of the gears and chains, I hear the swells and roars of the ocean waves, and I announce my presence to pedestrians by saying, "On your left!". I greet my fear each time I cross the highway, or, earlier this week, take a turn too quickly and crash into a fencepost. (Fiona and I are both doing fine.)
I feel both the rawness and the sweetness of being exposed. I feel more of everything when I am on my bike. I hear the birds singing and the highway patrol sirens blaring as they approach a wreck. I smell the eucalyptus trees, and the garbage waiting in cans for pickup. I recall ancient memories of shame, and I receive more reasons to appreciate my particular life story.
My bike taught me all of this, in only a few weeks. I plan to keep learning.
Last year I made a vision board for who I am and how I feel when I express my creativity. I had devoted 2010 to my Core of Peace, and I was setting a new intention for 2011. I didn't know exactly HOW my creativity would be expressed. But by making the vision board I connected with images and words that captured how I knew it would FEEL to be in that place of expression.
I let go of the HOW, because I didn't - and couldn't - know at the time what the exact steps would be.
I breathed deeply into the feelings of my own creativity, and allowed images to attract me without needing an explanation or a meaning or a concept. They were just images that I loved, for no "reason" at all.
Here is the vision board I made:
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I have it as the wallpaper image on my laptop, so every time I open my computer, the images enter my consciousness. Most days, I don't sit and deliberately stare at every image on my screen, but I know they are there.
I haven't thought about that vision board in many months. I have gone about the business of living, of staying in my Core of Peace, of letting some things go, and picking up other things, of planting seeds and watching them grow, all the while noticing that I cannot force growth to happen any faster than it already is.
Last night I looked at it again.
It was with a sense of amazement that I noticed how many of the images had actually come into my reality during 2011. In other words, my visions had come true!
While I was holding the intention to express more of my creativity in 2011, I lived by the mantra, "First Feel Free." The actions that resulted from that feeling included walking away from a commercial lease, and six months after that, downsizing my belongings by about eighty percent and moving out of my two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, and into my boyfriend's two-bedroom, one-bathroom house, with a kitty and a big backyard.
We started a vegetable garden.
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We climbed to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, after months of training with progressively longer hikes every weekend.
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I fell in love with the outdoors, and discovered a new interest (er, obsession) in backpacking.
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I accompanied a dear friend on violin while she sang her heart out in a burlesque show, observing the self-empowerment potential for women to love (and even flaunt) their own bodies exactly as they are.
Our band, Chinese Melodrama, stumbled into a new niche combining our love of supporting local businesses and the taste of wine, by providing music at local winery and wine bar events.
I got so busy living that my writing and videoblogging could no longer keep pace with the rate at which I was accumulating experiences. I let go of my need to report on every single learning and observation I had about the world, and began to just fully soak in the experience.
Meanwhile, another dream came true, with the opening of a brand new yoga and healing arts studio just a few blocks away from my new home. It was also another example of letting go of my grief over "not having a yoga studio anymore" and allowing the magic of life to arrive at my doorstep. I now find myself on the roster of musicians for the Sunday evening yoga and healing sound classes (starting in September, I'll be playing the second Sunday of every month), and working with the studio to coordinate events with my community of healing artists, musicians, and poets.
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Looking back at my vision board, I can count the images that have arrived in my reality since that day last year. I have found myself in the woods, on the top of mountains, at the rocky shores of the ocean, standing in awe of a sunset, opening my arms to the expansiveness of the sky, praising the stillness of the forest, celebrating my own beauty, and playfulness, and togetherness with a companion.
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All of this, once just a vision, is now my reality. All of this is who I am and how I feel when I express my creativity, letting go of the HOW and opening to the expansive mysteries of the earth and life.
The old saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for."
I say, "Be bold about what you wish for."
And brace yourself. Because you just may get it.