Tuesday, November 13, 2012

See You in the Sky!

I sometimes feel to write on this blog space but come short when the moment approaches to release what is inside swirling. In this space of acceptance for what is, words have come to me; in this case to my email inbox. The following passages are from Leigh Ann, a Yoga teacher at Brightwater Yoga in Hendersonville, NC that I have taken class with. She is bright and cheerful, yet realistic in this world of love, light, and beauty. I'd like to feature her words below to encourage you in your own paths.

Happy wanderings!

See You in the Sky!
Last night I dreamed I could fly! The dream felt so real and so visceral that I can still, today, feel the sensations I felt while flying in my dream. The sensations of freedom and pure abandon were so exciting that when I awoke, my heart was racing. Yet, I also felt this wash of calm and peace running through my body and mind. It was an exquisite beginning to my Saturday morning.

It was also a very timely and affirming dream, as my family and I are entering a period of great transition in our lives, which can be a turbulent, uncertain, and challenging experience. To me, this dream was reassuring me of my potential to let go, flow with the changes, and trust in the outcome. Another affirmation came to me just a few hours later as I walked my dogs.

I had decided to take them on a long walk since it was such a beautiful, warm autumn day, with the most amazing foliage I’d seen in several preceding falls. We traveled what I’ve dubbed “the Bear Walk” because I, as well as several neighbors, have actually spotted bears through these neighborhood areas over the years. 

Visit from a messenger

It wasn’t a bear we spotted, though, but rather a magnificent Cooper’s Hawk perched on a fence post across the street that we were approaching. When we crested the hill, this skillful flyer flew right toward my face and veered quickly to my left, soaring low to the ground at a steady, impressive speed. 

For a moment it looked almost as though it turned its head to look back at us, as if trying to relay a message. Instantly I was once again in my dream from the night before and could feel the amazing power of flight I had experienced through my dream. In addition, I felt an irrefutable connection to this splendid creature, as if I were in a secret club.

Once at home, I quickly retrieved our Medicine Cards* and looked up “hawk.” “Hawk … messenger of the sky, circle my dreams and teach me the message as we fly.” These were the first words I read when I opened to page 45. As I read on, my heart beat faster and faster!

“Hawk is the messenger of the gods. Hawk medicine teaches you to be observant, to look at your surroundings. Observe the obvious in everything that you do. Life is sending you signals.… Right now a clue about the magic of life is being brought to you. This magic can imbue you with the power to overcome a currently stressful or difficult situation. The test is to observe the nuances of power lurking nearby.… Pay attention! You are only as powerful as your capacity to perceive, receive, and use your abilities.… Remember: Hawk has a keen eye and a bold heart, for Hawk flies close to the light of Grandfather Sun.”
The power of presence

The message couldn’t have been clearer. This, combined with the teachings of maitri I’ve been sharing with my classes over the past three weeks explained my feelings of calm and peace. One beautiful translation of maitri as taught by Pema Chödrön in her audio soundtrack, Fear to Fearlessness, is “unlimited, unconditional kindness toward one’s self, which then naturally radiates out to others.” On the same soundtrack, she later saysmaitri is “to place the fearful mind in the cradle of loving kindness.” It’s all about the power of presence—the ability to stay present to what is happening around you while remaining grounded and centered in yourself … even while flying!

And this, the season of change! I am always astounded at how eloquently the trees release their beloved leaves each fall, only to be left standing completely bare, stripped naked of their protective coats without even a glimpse of insecurity. There is so much evidence of our ability to let go, flow, and trust in the outcome right outside our doors, if we would only just look!

We don’t need the same keen eye as a hawk, just the ability to see and recognize our natural world and all the magic it bestows on us. The next step is to simply open our hearts to receive the gifts bestowed. Allow life—and all its magic—to flow into and through you so that you too may take flight.

One more note: at the end of my dream, a stranger approached me and advised me that it is not my role to teach others how to fly, but rather to remind them of their ability to fly. This advice is analogous to the way I approach teaching yoga. I am simply a guide, there to remind you of the potential within you, and I am honored to utilize the path of Hatha Yoga to awaken that which is already there! It takes a bold heart to fully embrace and experience this life that we live, and it takes a keen inner eye to recognize the truth. I’ll see you in the sky!

Leigh Ann 

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