and Stillness through Movement. This is what I've been experiencing the past 17 days. I didn't mean to spend this long on this one island in Thailand. I thought I'd stop in for a couple days, do some yoga and then head north for trekking and exploring....but after a couple days my intuition was screaming for me to stay here and because it is not wise to ignore the force that is “my gut”, it happened. Actually nothing “just happens” - I consciously chose to make it happen.
I didn’t realize the impact that this decision would have. It ends up that in this stillness, in this seeming cessation of forward movement, I have moved forward on my path by leaps and bounds…when I least expected it. Apparently, it was more important that I explore some more internal terrain than the jungles and mountains of northern Thailand.
I spent this time going through a yoga intensive - lectures, practice, meditations, more practice, more lectures and it has been incredible. I have never heard yoga explained in this manner and it's been really interesting, eye-opening and challenging mentally and emotionally. I did my best to approach this experience with a beginner's mind - surrendering all I thought I knew so I could be open to this new way of thinking and practicing and being...What I've learned about myself would not have been possible without this surrender, but it also required a good deal of effort, extra work and courage to open up – all of this required some serious strength…Strength through surrender and surrender through strength…
But, I digress - Getting back to movement and stillness. A good deal of my past few weeks have been spent in stillness – stillness holding a pose for what sometimes seems like an eternity, sitting in meditation at a waterfall, sitting in meditation on the beach, sitting in meditation in the classroom (you get it - lots of stillness). The internal movement that this kind of stillness encourages is overwhelming and truly awe-some. I don’t mean the kind of stillness we find when we sit in front of a TV all day or even when we read a book, but the kind of stillness you find when you sit with yourself – facing your internal being, watching your heart and mind and just letting it all come and go on its own. It’s intense, it’s scary and it’s beauty beyond words….movement through stillness. But, in yoga and in life there are also those sublime moments when your monkey mind stops going, when you are in the moment completely, when you are here, right now….during a yoga flow, on a long run, in the midst of a sweet kiss, walking through the ocean. You lose yourself in the movement and as a result you find yourself. It’s not the same as getting caught up in the moment, but it is being completely mindful IN the moment without even noticing…stillness through movement.
Don’t get me wrong. Not every moment of the last few weeks has been this intense. I’ve had my share of frolicking on the beach and in the ocean, collecting shells, getting Oceanside massages, exploring waterfalls, taking long hilly bike rides, cruising around on the back of a motor bike enjoying the wind on my face, dancing in the dumping rain, laughing, crying and eating lots of good food. I’ve seen some of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises of my life and have enjoyed my roommates – a few geckos, a HUGE lizard and the occasional frog or bird who gets in through an open window.
An integral part of the last few weeks have been the people I’ve met here – each seeking something different, but each kind, open, honest and loving. One in particular has touched my heart and mind and spirit in a way I haven't experienced that often in this life (much gratitude,MN). But, it seems it’s time for me to take what I’ve learned here and move forward, literally and figuratively, with both strength and surrender for whatever lies ahead... so with that, I’m Bali-bound….
love, light and a happy solstice