In the midst of a weekend that reverberates with the energy of the life I choose to experience. In the moment, I am sitting on a comfy wicker sofa in a beautiful bay side home in Mantoloking, NJ. The Lenni-Lenape word means “land of the frog,” “tribal sand place” and “land of sunrise.” I haven’t seen any frogs, but the other two descriptions I buy completely. Here with my “Goddess Sistahs”; these women have been a part of my life for the past 4-5 years but it seems like eons. Each year, for the past few, we have gathered from our far flung corners of PA, NJ, MD and MA to celebrate our connection. I was able to be with them for a few days, in mini-vacay mode. Some are cooking dinner, the sound of chopping and rustling, doing food prep, others on the back deck, soaking up the last remnants of the early evening sun, while I am writing…I volunteered for clean-up crew, partly since I look at dishwashing as mindfulness practice.
We had just returned from a windswept beach ritual in which we gathered, burned sage and offered a blessing. Led by Ondreah, we placed our hands on various chakra points and imagined a word that reflected what we wished to acknowlege or release and then she asked us to write the word in the sand with our fingers. Immediately the word ‘acceptance’ came to mind. Acceptance of myself as is, acceptance of my life as is…the 12 step concept of ‘life on life’s terms’. Challenging at times for this recovering Type A, co-dependent, high energy ‘human doing’. In the past nearly 9 months since my Mom died, I have mellowed considerably, slowed my pace, immersing in the moment. Ironically, I wasn’t able to finish writing the word twice before the ocean swept it away. The third time, I moved even higher up on the beach and was able to complete it and then Mother Ocean swept it back into her embrace. We then gathered in sacred circle again, held hands and chanted “Oo0o0o0o0o0o0ommmmm”, voices raised with the wind. I could feel my heart beat in time with the rippling, rushing waves, the pulse of the earth, the warmth of the sand into which I dug my toes; feeling necessarily grounded.
Earlier in the day, we lounged in and around the pool and I felt a melting away of so much resistance to the way life feels at times. Sometimes I petulantly pout “It’s not fair that…..” and at others I ask myself “What do you have to feel sorry for yourself about? You have amazing friends/family of choice, you have a cozy home, work that brings in abundance, creative outlets, a healthy body…look where you are right now. How many people allow themselves to have all of this wealth?” and so the inner dialog continues… Sometimes it is ok to throw a pity party, but it is often short lived since I find that I am the only guest there.
Rolling back the clock to yesterday…I drove the 90 minutes or so to the Jersey shore from a joyous celebration created by his ingenious sweetie; for my friend Greg in honor of his 50th birthday. A rollicking, bee-bopping yoga class at Live In Joy Yoga in Audubon, NJ to the sound of 60′s and 70′s rock, dinner and yummy carrot cake at The Tree House Coffee Shop right next store, that was carried in by sparkler bearing roller derby queen friends of Greg’s. This transformational friend and I met at a workshop 7 years ago and take delight in commenting on the overlapping soul circles that connect us and the people we now know as a result of our meeting. He noted that biologically human beings are, in a sense ‘re-created’ every 7 years, so now we are new people too. How cool is that? We were entertained by our friend Robin Cohen and her band Roadshow Relics who regaled us with covers of Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Merle Haggard.
In conversation, Greg referenced an esteemed yoga scholar named Douglas Brooks. Not sure if this is the exact quote, but I like the feel of it. “Life is miracle enough.” I guess the intention is to live in such a state of awe and wonder of it all, that anything else is icing on an already delectable cake.
Before heading to the party, I was in the presence of another new friend who I didn’t know existed 6 months or so ago. Richard Singer is the author of Now: Embracing The Present Moment; a book to which I contributed a chapter, called Losing My Mind To Come To My Senses. He had come stateside from the Cayman Islands for a book tour. We sat in semi-circle with my friends who had come to participate in a conversation and book signing; speaking about the power of the present, the honoring of the here and now. As I take pause to hear the sound of the overhead fan, whirring above me, the laughter of my friends outside the sliding glass door, the flag flapping in the breeze; another friend coming out the bathroom, freshly showered, the smells of dinner wafting from the kitchen, looking at my sand speckled, sun kissed arms and legs and feeling particularly blessed.
http://youtu.be/AG-YE8IiV5U So Much Magnificence