Weekend haiku post retreat

I was off the grid for the weekend, a planned retreat to my primitive place in the woods before we began experiencing as a collective the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the chaos that descended upon the Twin Cities.

Friday the following haiku tumbled forth:

Our hearts grieve deeply

Sorrow of generations

Collective trauma 

***

On Saturday, after reading old journals and during a re-read of Dani Shapiro’s memoir devotion, the following emerged:

Our paradoxes

Ideas contradicting

And nested within

***

Ferns at 1224 Cramer
A lovely stand of ferns captured while on a hike 5/30/2020.

A part of me felt anxiety while I was off the grid, missing the news, away from the internet. I was not even able to receive texts unless the wind was right and my cell intermittently had reception. Another part of me felt grateful for the retreat and the space away from knowing all of the heartbreaking external events of the world.

I used the weekend for reading past journals (I’m up to 2016 after about a year of reviewing my collection which goes back to 1992), reflection, writing and grieving. I went on walks and listened to what my inner voice seemed to request. I fasted for 20 hours on Saturday, allowing my body to be awake to any and all sensations.

Retreating requires enormous privilege, I realize. And it is something that feeds me psychologically and spiritually. Since I was very young I have always valued and treasured solitude and personal space. I wish it is something everyone could have when it is necessary.

After a retreat, there is the return. We live together in an interdependent web. We love each other. We hurt each other. We forgive each other. We acknowledge and apologize for past misdeeds. We resolve to treat each other with more respect. We understand that how we treat others is a reflection of our beliefs. We examine and unpack those beliefs, conditioned patterns we did not necessarily create consciously.

In the end, many of us realize that we are not separate from others. All living beings contain a divine spark, an unlikely miracle of energy and matter, defying the physical law of entropy.

How can we learn to value and love all humans, and all creatures of this earth? How can we remember our divine connection, our shared fate on this small planet? 

These are questions for which I have no answers. Yet I keep asking them and my soul keeps beckoning me to live these questions as I strive to serve.

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

 

Sunday haiku – Mother Earth

Afton balanced Zen rocks
Found while hiking in Afton State Park, May 9, 2020

How much time it takes

To Honor our Mother Earth

One breath: Gratitude

 

***

 

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you have 90 minutes at 9am central time (U.S.), come and honor yourself today at the Mother’s Day online yoga retreat.

Afton pond on May 9
Photos taken while hiking in Afton State Park, May 9, 2020

 

 

A launch and a sigh of relief

Any time we do anything for the first time, we must be vulnerable and risk trying something, possibly doing it badly. Then we can continue to practice and improve. This is how it works with any new skill. And when you teach, you have an audience. It helps when your audience is forgiving, because you are bound to make mistakes.

While I have taught before via slides and conference calls, it has typically been to deliver conceptual (non-embodied) learning, not with a practice component. Yesterday I launched my first online yoga class, Thursday Slow Flow. Despite some issues with the sound quality (which will be fixed when I receive my headset) it felt like a success to me.

sacred space at the studio
Healing Within Acupuncture & Wellness Studio – practice space

As of 9 a.m. that morning, I had only one student signed up for the class. But four hours later (~90 minutes before class), there were 7 students ready to attend. I realized the majority of my students did what I do. They wait until the day of class, and then register that day for a class that is the right fit. In this “new era” this makes so much sense to me.

We must be present to what our body is calling for that day, and in the moment. We do not know if a child may have a schedule change at school, or an emergency will require our attention, or a work project may be dropped into our laps. And that’s okay. We must be flexible, to stay loose and to shift and move as new information comes in.

I breathed a sigh of relief and joy as my class came to a close. My verbal cues had helped people focus on their bodies and their internal experience, rather than staring at a screen. Several students indicated they felt more relaxed and grounded afterward. To me, if I can help anyone achieve that, it feels like success.

What new thing are you willing to try in service to others who need and want what you offer? If you believe your gifts can benefit someone, isn’t it worth the discomfort and vulnerability to show up?

cristy@meximinnesotana.com