The Mesa Mission
Raising environmental consciousness and empowering individuals and community through art, yoga and sustainability.
The Story of Mesa
I arrived on planet Earth as an ugly baby (except through the eyes of my mother), sad but true. As a young child I spoke with an unexplainable accent, strange but true. Growing up it became apparent that I was home to two conflicting energies, that I refer to as the bunny and the bull. The bunny: gentle, content, with an easeful disposition, kind heart and free spirit. The bull: stubborn, tough, with a no pain no gain mentality and a fierce competitive drive. Throughout elementary school I struggled with traditional education until I began to feed the bunny through art, and the bull through athletics. These two energies independently excelled but were not at peace.
The bull continued to dominate the bunny. Feeling continuously conflicted, I was being pulled in two opposing directions.
At age 14 an unexpected gift was brought into my life, the birth of my niece Kayla. I became an aunt to this amazing child who named me Mesa. Kayla taught me true love and the importance of maintaining a light, open heart. This was yet another opportunity for the bunny and the bull to meet. This love taught me how to soften and nurture and relentlessly protect. The bunny began to shine but the bull was still the boss.
Through college I continued to pursue art and rode the wave of competition as a scholarship athlete. Day after day my life was driven by competition and fear of perceived failure. My value was always tied to my performance against others. I was growing physically and mentally exhausted. My body was suffering from injury and abuse — not only was I training hard, but I was partying hard to mask the pain. I could not acknowledge the pain because I was perceiving it as weakness. My mind was beat up and the conflict between the bunny and the bull was coming to a head. I confided in an art professor, and she advised I attend a Yoga class with her. I was introduced to a realm I had no idea existed. I had grown so intense that I had no idea that I could rest without sleeping. This is where I began learning about true self-care and how to give myself permission to rest and be still.
After much internal anguish I choose to step away from the athletic world for the first time in my life. Here I found myself struggling to find my identity. I felt lost and ready for change. I knew I had to do something radically different so I took flight on my first solo journey, all the way across the world: to New Zealand. Here I discovered an epically diverse and beautiful land with culture rooted in respect for the natural world. This experience lightened my heart and opened my mind. The bunny was very much here and no longer intimidated by the bull. With butterflies in my stomach and warmth in my heart, I knew I was changing.
I returned home from abroad a different version of myself. I finished college and immediately started a small art-based company, Mesa Enterprises. As I began to open up to this transformation, there was a distinct eruption. Within a matter of months I lost my live-in grandfather, along with my dog, I shattered my knee, split with my partner, and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was grieving while undergoing two reconstructive knee surgeries, unable to walk for 5 months and trying to learn how to live with a chronic autoimmune disease. Struggling to get my symptoms under control, I made the bold choice to dive deeper into my suffering in an effort to explore its underlying teachings. What I found here is that pain is not weakness. My ability to face pain and hold it with compassion is perhaps my greatest strength. The bull and the bunny are one in this strength. The bull does not need to dominate and the bunny does not need to fear. They are capable of living together in peace, in a union that I refer to as determined compassion.
I accepted this as my path and with practice I learn to recognize my challenges as my teachers. I understand now that when I am in my power I am the Calm Bull, the Steadfast Bunny, no longer needing to display my strength through force, or run from pain. The matador can never conquer the Calm Bull and the hunter can never defeat the Steadfast Bunny. I acknowledging the waves of aggression and lapses of equanimity are the only moments I can be taken from my peace. It is my life’s work to inspire and empower others to merge their internal forces through reclaiming creativity, connecting to nature and being present with the inherent peace the resides within us. May we honor our inner teachers, find our freedom and spread joy.