What happens when you return to the same spot 20 years later? Here I am again. The base of Mount Whitney, the eastern slope of the Sierras rising everywhere that is west, straight up and out of the 5,000 foot plains of the Owen Valley. Who was that in 2001 just beginning a crazy rambling month long odyssey in that red bus? The one we bought for $9,000 the week before. Barely six months along a 5Rhythms road beginning to be paved with all my neuroses, flagstones crumbling, re-arranging. My life shifting around me, tumbleweed wheeling over arid sand. Moving relentlessly toward wholeness. Fostering way dormant creative urges, letting them finally have more say. Carving out space for a more authentic emergence. A place where surely less and less is needed. Enough to live this given life exactly as it is. A place I just could not settle for twenty years ago. A place that doesn’t feel like “settling” at all. But rather arriving, surprised at the welcome mat to a life that was always laying right at my feet.
What happens when you return to the same spot 60 years later? Who was that trusting ten year old, dutifully keeping pace behind mom and dad and my little brother? As if these wilderness total newbies knew what they were doing. Their parental daring astounds me. A left turn out of Lone Pine in that Oldsmobile 88, a trailhead winding into the eastern Sierras. Laden with a mish-mosh of re-purposed backpacking gear, way before REI was your one stop shop. Steel cups looped to our belts, scooping water out of icy streams. Gathering down wood, roasting dinner over flames. Imprinting a novice fire-tender who single-mindedly hones that skill to this day. No tent for this family, cocooned in red plaid flannel bags, fearless under boundless sky. Building memories right along with the capacity for innate wonder: sapphire lakes, sterling granite, the potency of time stretching empty.
It feels like a parental spell cast in 1960, the family’s return to this sacred spot every year through my teens…well, it has steadily worked it’s magic. Through the random lifetime rhythms until 2021, a year that has stripped away any remaining ties of binding. For me, for you perhaps, for so many. Out here on my mat, the exploration of internal landscape feels like a match for these majestic surrounds. An embodied sense of bhanda ties that bind us, utterly released as the inhale moves prana through over and again. What I am sharing on the mat continues to clarify: the intersection of breath, bhandas/chakras and release. Re-orienting to the shushumna as central touchstone.
Incorporating the mat onto the dance floor unleashes the mythic questions. How has this year rocked our home/work world/balance/reality? Ways that the lockdown has played with our authentic expression in the world. Are we listening? Are we being heard? This is the essence of Unbound: moving from lockdown to freedom online May 8th. It will be so natural to hold this exploratory space for three hours with Erik Iversen, 5Rhythms teacher from Montreal. Between us we draw from a combined 140 years of embodied wisdom, each of us deeply embedded in a life of internal landscape exploration. I love dancing with Erik; his invitations are offered in the accessible language to which my body responds. I hope you can join us for this three hour experience as each of us, in our own unique way begins the tentative moves from lockdown to freedom.
Moving relentlessly toward wholeness. Fostering way dormant creative urges, letting them finally have more say. Carving out space for a more authentic emergence. A place where surely less and less is needed. Enough to live this given life exactly as it is….❤️Bella