I have spent the past two months in Asheville, NC and Nashville, TN. I have never traveled to this part of the country although I have great grandparents on my mother's side who were born here. I arrived in the dead of winter and wondered why everything was so gray. I guess that's what a real winter looks like? All of the life seemed dormant. It was hard to convince myself to go outside. But, luckily the studio I was teaching at Iyengar Yoga Asheville was full of warmth both in the furnaces that heated the building and in the students who make up this community. I was heartily welcomed and the students were open and interested in exploration. What a wonderful home that my friends Randy and Greta are providing for people.
My dearest friend Rachel picked me up in Asheville and we took a little road trip through Hot Springs, NC on the way to Nashville. One of the things that I have so enjoyed this past year is the opportunity to spend time with good friends in their normal lives. It takes the pressure off of feeling like you have to do something or go somewhere. You can just enjoy being in each other's company. I even enjoy being with someone when they're in a bad mood or struggling. Because life isn't always rainbows and roses. And, if you have ever heard or read Brene Brown, you'll know that true intimacy comes from vulnerability. In two short weeks of living with someone you can deepen a friendship to last a lifetime.
As I prepare to head back where I started this year, to the Big Island of Hawaii, I feel how much has transformed within me. How many uncertainties still exist in my life (i.e. Where am I going to live? How am I going to make a living?) and how my attitude has changed. I am excited about the openness of my life, rather than worried about what I don't know. And, my sense of community has broadened. I have a deep appreciation for the spiritual communities that I am a part of. I have so many incredible friendships that have come through those communities. But, if I only associate with those communities then I have cut myself off from a larger connection. I want to feel connected to everyone and everything! And, most importantly, I want to deepen my connection to nature. And, so I put these requests out to my ancestors: “Help me find a place to live that is free from concrete and metal. Where I can contribute to the stewardship of the land.” “Help me find a job in which I can serve humanity in the unique ways that I brought to this world.”
Recommended reading: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Recommeded travel: Join me on the Big Island April 24-May 1st!