Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. –Leonard Cohen Recently, I was interviewed by Laura Kupperman, who has been a friend as well as my coach, as part of a week-long online business training she organized targeting yoga teachers and therapists who wanted to learn how to reach more people and freshen up their business approach.
You guys know from my last post that I am a big believer in integration. In fact, I’d say that having an experience without making time to chew it up well, savor every delish and disgusting nuance, and assimilate the nuggets that have sieved through your digestive tract into your everyday life – well, you might as well have not had the experience, IMHO.
I found myself in the Andean highlands with a small group of pilgrims, getting ready to do huachuma (known in Spanish as San Pedro), a visionary plant medicine that is one of Peru’s master healers. (Haven’t read part 1 yet? Go here)
In June, I went to Peru for a few weeks to do a spiritual retreat in the Andes, for which the current euphemism seems to be “working with plant medicine.”
Could stress be shaken off? Not with a magic wand, but with your entire body, in any direction that feels like moving. Whenever I introduce shaking in my yoga classes (sometimes after a vigorous sequence when I sense folks need a break), people will visibly release their grown-up armor and cut loose with goofy movement. (Been on the screen too long? Try it yourself, now, if you’re in a relatively private setting: Start with a discrete body part – a hand, a leg — and then gradually include your entire body. Gently bounce up and down or shake sidewise, as you like, at your own speed. Put on music if you want the shake to include some rattle and rolls. After a few minutes, be still with your eyes closed and notice what your body feels like after shaking. Can you feel your heartbeat? Has there been any shifts in your energy? your mood? the quality or velocity of your thoughts?)
My dear friends, as we head into the New Year, I want to wish you only the best of the best for 2016. By this I mean: first do no harm. Especially to yourself. You can start off 2016 on a fabulous note by NOT making resolutions.
It’s hard to leave that with which we’re familiar — places, lovers, careers — or just calendar years, as we will soon do, relearning how to write the right date on simple forms. In colder months, the call to let go and leave behind gets louder and louder. Sometimes, we have no choice but to heed that call — but not before checking out whether we’re simply caught up in boredom, wanting things to be different than they are, not appreciating all the stark beauty that is our eternal travel companion. To me, December carries anticipation of awkward holiday gatherings — the awkward describing how I feel in the midst of families celebrating each other, having not had a family for most of my life. I feel that familiar pull to dwell on that which has gone less than magically in my life — the losses and my insufficient responses to them, the healing paths or pleasure trips or books I think I should have taken or written.