my dear Friends,
Each day our inboxes get inundated with emails that both inform and distract us. It is a challenge on any given day to discriminate in what to read and what to delete. If you have gotten this far in reading this Newsletter, thank you, I respect and appreciate your time to do so.
My intention when writing it is to offer those reading, myself included, inspiration for life. To send words that are meaningful and directly applicable to our moment to moment experience.
Here are some words from the poet Mary Oliver that have inspired me greatly – one of the things I most appreciate about poetry is that it insists that we slow down to appreciate it : )
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Each time I sit down to write I ask myself what is really alive in me? Right now what is alive is hunger – especially the question, what is it that I am truly hunger for?
Most of us relate to hunger as the stomach sensations we experience when it is time to eat. But hunger is both a noun and a verb and something that runs deep in us.
I know from my own experience that physical hunger comes in waves, even without being fed, hunger comes and goes. Hunger sensations, like everything in life, is impermanent. Hunger can even, when felt directly, satisfy itself. But that is another other discussion.
What I am most curious about is the different types of hunger and longing we experience – and how this hunger translates into desires that can change the course of our lives. Some of our desires are simple and easily fulfilled, while others may take a lifetime and a sincere commitment before we live into their fulfillment.
For me these words are interchangeable – hunger / longing / desire. The meaning they hold is a rich and vital part of our human experience. We feel hunger for so many things besides physical sustanance; for touch, warmth, inspiration, knowledge, understanding. Carl Jung believed the root cause of addiction is our hunger for transcendence.
Perhaps our deepest hunger and longing is for connection, to feel ourselves in the words of poet Mary Oliver ‘ a part of the family of things.’ This longing to overcome our sense of separation and experience connection (or in Yogic terms, union) is different for each of us. We may feel most connected in relation to humans, or animals, to Nature, or to the cosmos at large. We each travel a unique path to our Soul’s fulfillment.
Sometimes we feel helpless to fulfill our deeper hunger, or even to know what we are really hungry for. And so we sublimate our deep desire and distract ourselves from the discomfort it causes. This is when we most need to feed ourselves, and trust how ‘the world offers itself to our imagination‘- including the still place in our own hearts.
For me it is clear that I find the deepest satisfaction of my longing for connection through Partner Yoga, through sharing it with others and having it deeply received. It is through Partner Yoga that I feel my wholeness, and the sense of separation that can feel so painful, dissolves.
There is so much to learn and receive from our hunger, longing and desires, especially when we are willing to face and feel what it is that will truly satisfy us. When we simply stop long enough to ask ourselves, what is it that I am truly hungry for?
My recent journey to the East Coast was so satisfying and FUN. Fun in the highest sense of the word. The couples who participated at Kripalu and then at the Bearfoot Yoga Training showed up with such presence and enthusiasm. Although the temperature was mostly in the single digits I kept remembering a quote by the philosopher Albert Camus ‘In the midst of winter, I found within me an invincible summer’. It is the awakened heart that warms us, no matter how cold the external world may be.
The beginning of Spring is just barely being felt and I am looking forward to the Savasana Weekend at SMC on March 13 – 15, the perfect time of year for this rich, re-birthing experience.
The first weekend in May, I will be returning to Bearfoot where Gina and I will facilitate a immersion into PBPY practices along with a Shamanic journey experience.
There are a few other events in the works for Spring and early summer so stay tuned.
With love and devotion,