“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” - A Sanskrit chant that basically means: may all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
In the last 23 days, I have been to Old Orchard Beach & Portland in Maine, Nauset Beach for a blues festival in Cape Cod and up to the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont. Three very different experiences and all of them equally rich in adventure, as I have never been to any of these places. I love to travel; I catch myself sometimes discounting travel within the U.S.A. as “not really traveling” and yet, I’ve come to understand that the adventure exists, it’s up to me to be present and experience what is available with an open mind and heart.
I’ve been meaning to write about camping in Maine and the awesome yoga class I had at Greener Postures in Portland… and then I had a lot to say about the fun family day festival, where I finally got to see Citizen Cope live, as well as G. Love and a great band named Ripe. Days passed quickly, too busy with work and planning for teaching in Vermont and I just didn’t get around to it. The rad thing is that I was actually busy living life in the moment, enjoying my surroundings and planning to guide yoga & meditation classes as well as assist in the offerings of a retreat at Whetstone Wellness Center in the NEK in Vermont.
It was at Whetstone Wellness Center where I met a friend of a friend and some other amazing humans who live and thrive in this great community of the Northeast Kingdom. Through discussions with strangers who felt like long lost friends, I was reminded of the importance and benefit of a strong community, how it takes a village to raise a child and how the village upholds one another. We had blissful yoga, great workshops and lovely connective conversations over fantastic vegetarian dinners catered by the Craftsbury General Store. I got to participate with my son, Zachary in the Greensboro Free Library reading / playgroup, which was an honor and a comfort and I was reminded to slow down and just be in the moment when I was stopped on the highway to wait for 50 or so cows to cross the street. Vermont in its beauty and nature really drew me in. I look forward to returning here to this community someday soon. The greatest ah-ha moment I had was in creating my newest mala bead necklace at the retreat workshop. I had to let go of my desired perfection and forced outcome, as I had been encouraging students to do all week, and accept the final product… perfectly imperfect. The asymmetrical gaps in-between the beads will symbolize for me that I have room to grow. I have noticed in my yoga practice that when there are gaps in the breath flow it represents opportunity to examine what is going on for me. When we hold the breath we can either experience the discomfort, or open up to growth. May you too find your space for growth in the gaps. 🦋
“Keep on growing, keep on going, keep on flowing, yeah, yeah, yeah”
Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee- John Donne
"Be Here Now." - Ram Dass
Such a powerful, wise mantra from an insightful book, gifted to me from a friend and yoga student last year. I have the tendency to get caught up in planning the next steps when I am in travel mode. In fact, I have been known to recall the past quite a lot too. I like to remind myself to be in the moment, mindful and present. "Where am I now? What is the purpose of what I am currently doing? Is it in alignment with my heart's desire?" I say things like this a lot when I'm teaching yoga. One of my favourite benefits of my own practice is being present, right here right now.
Be here now. I heard these words today as I was once again thinking of what's next. I've been planning fall travels and communicating with a lovely Wellness Center in Vermont about my teaching schedule and offerings. I got drawn back and grounded in the present moment. I was reminded that I am right here in the North Country, enjoying a beautiful summer in a beautiful community. It's so nice to be here now. Thank you for being here too ❤️
I was in the presence of a guru on Thursday morning; a famous yoga teacher that I have admired for all of my adult life. I was surprised by how nervous I felt on my way to class. In fact, I had almost talked myself out of going to class, even though I had been looking forward to this opportunity for 3 months. Excuses like, “I am still getting over that cold from 2 weeks ago” and “maybe he won’t even be there”, were popping up. I was feeling fear based on my uncertainty of what to expect and I had put this guru on such a pedestal that I could feel my heart racing as I walked through the door and saw him sitting there. Then he smiled at me and chatted with me like any other fellow human would. I had gotten so nervous that I still felt the reaction of the nerves while talking to my teacher and setting up my mat in the studio. I sat in silence, focused on my breathing and meditated for a few minutes to get grounded and present.