Oh you delicious (high protein) baby fern how I love thee. The unfurled fronds of the wild ostrich fern have made their dramatic ascent from beneath the forest for our annual enjoyment and as a great symbol of rebirth. As I eat these precious gems on this fog-filled evening under a new moon I am encouraged to embrace the unknown & to meet the now with openess; of heart, eyes and mind. Knowing deep down in the sweet, seed center of my heart that I am always able to start over, to begin again with more honor, integrity and kindness then the time before. Nothing says new beginnings like RIGHT NOW!
After 6 months of significant pain in my right shoulder I decided to reach out for help as an act of self-care. I was advices by my dear friend Lily Dougher (owner of Breathing Room Yoga Studio, South Portland) to visit with an acupuncturist within the community (Gabe Schiff-Verre of Oceanpoint Acupuncture, South Portland). I went on Tuesday for a 90min session that included acupuncture (an ancient form of Chinese complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles) along with electric stimulation (elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses) and cupping message (an ancient form of therapy in which a local suction is created on the skin to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.) After the session was complete I felt extremely relaxed and comforted by the fact that I was being proactive in my healing. I shared with Gabe that I was planning on going to a yoga class and then out for a sunset surf after our session. He looked at me as if I had 4 head, and replied “and you are trying to heal your shoulder?”. I laughed and asked what he advised. He suggested no surfing and no downward facing dog for a while. First hearing this news really bummed me out but then I acknowledged how violent I was being to myself. I was pushing through pain for the sake of pleasure in the moment (an old habit of mine) and going against the deepest teaching of yoga, non-violence. When thinking about it from this perspective it was clear to me that in order to heal I must rest the region of my body that is sending me a clear message of suffering. I must honor the pain if I wish to sustain health. I will hold myself accountable and remain out of downdog and off my longboard for the next week or so. I see this as an opportunity to deepen my practice and to get back on my land legs, exploring via bike and hike, while crossing my fingers that there are no waves for a week or two ;)
I am spending a lot of time exploring trails and waterways to provide my offerings. This particular day I stumbled upon Richmond Woods AKA Chipmunk City. These 60 some acres of preserved land in Cape Elizabeth just 10 minutes outside of down town Portland makes for a great, super accessible, quick escape from the concrete. Ideal for some Hike Yoga! As I entered onto the dirt path the sun emerged. A hawk (the spirit animal of my late grandfather) sat perched upon a fallen tree. As I got a bit too close for comfort (yet the closest I have ever gotten to a hawk) he sailed skyward with snack in claw. I continue to where he once was and found the remains of his snack, a fresh bloody talon.
Emerged in nature, emerged in the cycle of life I followed the direction he flew which led me to a massive boulder, basking in the sun. This moment inspired my bones to flow through some yoga postures guided by a swarming bumblebee. Ms. Bumble eventually invited me onward to visit with one of so many chipmunk friends.
This particular buddy allowed me so close. We looked into each other's eyes and shared voices. Sitting for quite some time in observance, until he decided to go home. As he ducked into his tree house I gave thanks and moved on. Turning the final bend of my woodland walk, there she sat, perched proper in the radiant light, The Feral One was present (”The Feral Warrior” a tale to come...) and she guided me home, within.
I will be spending the summer in an artists dream. I have been invited by the universe and the beautiful Zeile August Dougher to enter the Nest Egg for a 3 month, an Artist In Residence Program in Portland, ME. I have been granted this time and space to create and explore, rest and recalibrate, practice and grow. I write to your from the Nest Egg filled with gratitude.