The end of the year for me usually comes with several days away from my day-to-day work life. Sometimes I am lucky enough to go somewhere for a retreat where I can spend a good deal of time in nature. This year I have been dealing with a bit of cabin fever. I'm learning to accept whatever arises with equanimity. This is not always easy, especially when I envisioned spending hours on the ski trail, and it turns out that the weather is uncooperative with the lack of snow and abundance of frostbite-inducing cold. Whatever the end-of-year brings, I look forward to this liminal time, a time I heard recently described as "limbo week"-- between Christmas and New Years. Indeed, it feels like something is ending and we are awaiting a new beginning, almost like that feeling of being between an exhale and an inhale. It's a bit uncomfortable, because it is unfamiliar compared to the striving of the rest of the year, but also well-deserved-- this time of rest and renewal and replenishment. It's not always easy to "do nothing" and yet sometimes it seems that is when the real, deep work happens. It feels important to review what was and what may be.
During this time of nothing-doing, I've been learning more about how to use Tarot as a tool for self-discovery. One of my favorite decks, the Wild Unknown, has been in heavy rotation, as well as a couple books to help me get to know the potential messages buried in each card, particularly Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea and Essence of the Tarot by Megan Skinner. I also want to thank my dear friend, Theresa Hutch, for creating and sharing with the world, White Sage Tarot, her own beautiful deck celebrating the feminine energy that is so needed in this time of energetic world-shift.
In that spirit of doing nothing, and yet working deeply, I sat down to experiment with my new tablet and a new recording app, and my small collection of singing bowls. I was inspired by the Sound and Silence retreat that I attended a couple weeks ago at the Christine Center. It was an otherworldly immersive-sound experience that opened my consciousness to new realizations-- the sort of thing that words truly cannot express. I can only say that when I was bathed in the harmonics of the singing bowls, I felt a sense of satisfying a craving that I didn't even know I had. Immediately afterward, I resolved to work more with the singing bowls in my own sacred space. So I began to record some guided meditations. I started by doing a pranayama practice, mainly because it is something I want to work more deeply with in my own life. One turned into four, and the collection is still growing. I continue to add the tracks on the Meditations section of this website as I create them.
The weather-enforced cabin fever has turned into the impetus for birthing something into the world that I didn't even know I was incubating. Silence and respite have a way of bringing out the unexpected in us. I do hope you enjoy the recordings, and I would appreciate if you let me know what you think of the collection so far, and whether there is anything else you would like me to include. Everything is available for download-- on a pay-what-you-want basis.
Looking ahead to 2018, which naturally comes with the territory of closing out the old year, brings much anticipation for creating community and joyful gatherings. The 2018 Uplift Yoga Retreat is scheduled for Nov. 16-18 at the Christine Center. I am also very excited to announce that I will be offering a summer solstice retreat with Angela Coffee, tentatively scheduled for June 20-24 (also at the Christine Center)-- that's right, 5 days of creative community! We are calling this gathering World-Making with Our Bodies, Hearts and Radical Imaginations. Consider this your clarion call to start to create your own BIG DREAM with the support and collaboration of a like-minded community of change-makers. More to come on this delightful endeavor as the year unfolds.
May your end of year bring you a sense of satisfaction and a renewed spirit for creating the sort of world you envision in your highest imaginings.
p.s. The photo above is a picture I took during my trip to Iceland in April 2017. A highlight of my year to be sure, and a reminder that beauty is found in even the most remote and stark landscapes.