Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deep Appreciation

This summer I am back in the field working at the therapeutic program I spent nearly two years as an instructor at. In those two years I grew and expanded, compressed and extended as a person. The process of working with others inevitably leads to pushing yourself causing personal growth. That element is what is drew me back for another go. One of the biggest things I learned was how to channel my energy into o areas other than physical outlets. I am ok with not being able to run or surf as long as I am pouring energy into something else that I enjoy and is challenging/positive. Through that realization I have been able to enjoy myself in the moment more and be content with whatever I am doing.

Three main components of the program are gardening, rites of passage, and wellness. All three of those aspects I try to incorporate into my daily life and it’s awesome to teach non conventional ideas and practices that contribute to a better world. In the rights of passage aspect, the concept of the Threshold is brought up when students go on their vision fasts. I started thinking about the many ways the Threshold relates to my life. I have experienced the magic of mindfully crossing a threshold when going on a fast a few years ago.

When physically walking through the threshold there was a mental shift. A door within was daringly opened and mindfulness of self was of most importance. How can this be applied to everyday life? How do I get to that in-between place where thoughts and ideas are combined with moments of magic and mind body and emotion are working together fully aware of one another? Running is a practice where all of the above can occur. It’s not every day that running or riding waves elicits such a state but it does often happen and there is no better feeling in the world when it does. There are smaller simpler things that can bring about feelings of magic and clarity on a daily basis. The smell of a lime, honey in coffee, a song that resonates, peeing while looking up at the stars, running up a steep trail, rocking in a chair in the early morning light….. There are so many simple things that can be momentary transcending and a threshold into that in-between state of complete awareness.

An inspirational part of working with the kids is hearing their intents. They develop an intent before going on their fasts. It is composed of words or a phrase that describes how they want to live and who they want to be. A few years ago I had an intent and I feel like I have lived up to it and put to good practice. I felt the urge to create something new and I came up with “I live a wholesome life full of passion.” To me it means living pure with quality, soul, and awareness; doing things that give me joy and fulfillment. I challenge you to come up with an intent about who you want to be and how you want to live.
I guess in the end things and situations are what you make of them. I choose to get excited and draw meaning and inspiration from small and simple things and it’s those things that give shape and meaning to my life.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Valley of Dreams

Kalalau valley is one of my favorite places on earth. I get a similar feeling when I am in Yosemite or the Redwoods, but some quality about Kalalau goes a step further and produces a state of manic joy. A feeling of bliss is radiated throughout the valley. The whole coast is visually stunning and reverberates amazing energy. I could feel the pulse of the valley walls, the waterfalls, and the salty air. Feel it from the inside. I made the journey with friends Patrick and Will who were both as elated as I.

(Patrick on a dose of Bliss)

(Getting the day started at Will's farm. Sometimes coffee is hard to pass up.)