Peace and a way to share it – What are you looking for?
I travel forty five minutes by car to the area of woods where I plan to hike. I drive up a hill and park next to an old overgrown cemetery. I open my door and step outside to a green grassy knoll. The sun is shining overhead surrounded by a bright Carolina blue sky. I instantly feel more at peace. I head to the opening in the woods, an begin looking around, noticing the beauty of nature. I breathe deeply, wanting to take it all in.
The head of the trail is lined with wild flowers; yellow, purple, and white. The trees are of all sizes, and as I walk further down the path, the trees start getting bigger, taller, wider. It’s becomes darker here as I begin walking deeper into the woods under this thick folliage of trees, with just a few streams of light shining through. The wind is gently blowing, creating shadows of the leaves as they dance on the dirt path.
I continue walking further and deeper into the woods. I notice a large dark grey rock up ahead. As I get closer I see a rich green moss covering one side, a spring is near, I can hear the water trickling over smaller patches of rocks. I keep walking, and with just a few steps I can see the water from the spring as it moves across my path. I step over it’s only a few inches wide but the ground is wet, and I marvel at the beauty of nature self sustaining, feeding itself.
The path begins to climb in elevation… My sense of peace deepens as I continue going deeper into the woods. I keep walking. I keep climbing in elevation. The path curves to the left and then back to the right. I keep moving forward, zig zagging my way up the mountain. As I near the top I can see that the path ends, and if I want to get to the top I’m going to have to use my hands to climb up the last few feet. And, I do, I make it to the top of this ridge. I love that it’s level an expansive and sunny up here. I walk closer to the edge of the other side. Here I’m looking at the most amazing vista of mountains and valleys for as far as I can see. I look down below and see a river gracefully winding through the base of the mountains, and when I look up to the sky, overwhelmingly, I feel a grateful energy of being alive. I breathe it all in.
Over the next few months I come back to this mountain as often as I can to cultivate the peace within me, and as I do I begin feeling this urge to practice yoga at the top. I don’t know why, because I don’t know anyone who practices yoga.
At home I begin hearing a chanting inside my head yoga, yoga, yoga, like in the classic movie Animal House where they shouted toga, toga, toga. I must of talked about it out loud because one day a friend gave me a VHS tape, of a thirty minute gentle yoga class, and a way too small foam yoga mat for my 5’8″ body.
I begin practicing it everyday and as I do I noticed how great I feel, peaceful, calm, serene. Just what I needed after feeling sad, alone and bitter for so many, many, many years. At the end of the practice, not wanting this feeling to go away, I innately sit up and meditate in the silence and stillness of my body and mind. Some days I sit for just a few minutes, some days for a very long time.
It was shortly after I began practicing that my life began to change in a big way. I was loosing everything that I had, but I didn’t know it yet the universe was really was working in my favor. I dove deeper into the practice, and found even deeper moments of peace. Once I realized how simple it all really is, it made me a little angry at myself for all the years I wasted living an unhappy life.
When you find something that gives you that gift, after all of the years of suffering, you want to share it out to the world. You want everyone to feel the peace within. I’ve been looking for ways to share it with others ever since. Because once you find something so good, so wonderful, you feel as if you have to share it out to the world.
As I continued my journey of yoga and meditation, I began noticing more, and having more awareness of habits and patterns. For instance, I would of never been able to have this realization and be on the path to living my dharma, if I didn’t lose everything I owned. I never would of voluntarily walked away from what I had sacrificed and worked so hard for. Just like noticing the correlation here where I use the words “sacrifice” and “hard” to describe a negative event.
As I was diving deeper into yoga and just finishing up my 200HR training. I once again started having this urge or feeling to begin practicing every morning at sunrise. I voluntarily taught the sunrise class at the studio where I trained. So for two days a week for a year I taught, hoping to cultivate the habit. At the time, I thought it was more of a Yoga thing where the ancient yogi’s said to get up and practice before the sunrise, because of the energy at that time of day, gives you most benefit.
Time continued on, I took a lot more training, taught a lot more classes and I moved, but the voice continued. Share the peace you found within. Create the habit of practicing at sunrise. Since I had moved closer to the beach here in South Florida and thought it was a shame that I had hardly been going, I decided to go to the beach at sunrise every morning to practice and meditate. And it was so beautiful and awe inspiring that I again felt like I needed to share.
I started posting a photo everyday on Instagram, and about six months into doing just that I ran into a friend on the beach. She told me about a new broadcasting app called periscope, and went on to say
that she felt like she needed to share that information with me. I was already sharing on many social media sites, and was hesitant, but with my intention of sharing peace out into the world, I started broadcasting every morning a little yoga or meditation. As I sat their nourishing my own body and soul at sunrise, I began to nourish other souls as well. And, within no time, I started trending and not quite yet a year latter I have around 30,000 followers. It has given me the opportunity to teach at a large national yoga event, and the opportunities keep coming.
I still want to find more ways to share peace out into the world, and as I do I will continue with the lessons that I’ve learned along the way.
Allow yourself to flow through life with ease and grace, detach with awareness, listen to the voice within, trust your instincts, know your intention, and let go. And just like watching the rising sun, after some time, you will look up or look back and say, wow, look how far I’ve come!