My new favorite foundation ( Jagged rocks and mossy stone)

Ernest Hemmingway once said ” The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.”

I believe the this to be true about anything, not just someone else. Most importantly in reference to one self. Often, I speak of trusting the work. Trust the work. What does this mean to you? I know what it means to me, but is this translated well to your ears and heart?

This week has been another amazing step on my path. I am sometimes still amazed at what happens when the only effort I put forth is cognizance. When I am open. Open heart and open to grace. People talk about being in the moment, hell, I talk about it all the time,but what is that exactly? I find that being in the moment includes seeing and feeling what is around me. Being aware of the beauty and even the discord. I have always been an empath, but the practice of trusting myself has deepened my connection with others. I am almost always witnessing the most amazing things and when I share it with people I know can use it sub consciously or consciously to increase awareness or happiness, it is beautiful. When I choose to share it with someone who isn’t capable or ready for it, then it means nothing. This has been an important lesson for me. Especially now, at this point in my life.

I stayed with the same family in Folsom as I make connections and arrangements for the this last week as I have in the past. I felt welcome and comfortable but I stayed focused on my work and appreciated the respite their home provided. Folks who have had the props they had previously used to sustain a comfortable life ripped out from underneath them. And yet they still open their hearts and home to others. This trip was different, It’s been awhile since I was there last and I have been working on cognizance in my own life as I have always had for others. I notice more about these folks. I am more open to seeing the struggles that they have been dealing with. They not only opened their hearts to me, but opened up to me. Somehow they trusted me with their struggles and challenges they have been facing. They did this after talking me in to joining them on a boating excursion. On the lake, where I sank into memories of childhood and the comforts and true sense of “away”, they shared with me not only an escape but a sense of acceptance that I had been longing. The same acceptance I freely give to all that I meet, returned to me from these two people going through their dharma.

The following day I was to be hiking the trail set for the Retreat coming up in late August. A trail I chose seemingly randomly ( not at all random, nothing is random in my life). Nothing there that I couldn’t find elsewhere I am sure but for the serendipitous choices as of late. I didn’t want to go alone, I was wanting to have someone there for the purpose of taking pictures or so I thought. Because the way it turned out is the people that needed exactly what this trail offered, they were on it. Witnessing yet again another moment in time, watching the growth of a seed that regardless of when it was planted, had the opportunity to grow. It’s possible it may have been the moment of planting.

I was there to discover how to incorporate the scavenger hunt into the hike for my guests at the retreat, possibly practice yoga and finally put my face on my business.

With all that I am, I am still a person who doesn’t always have the self confidence to put myself out there in new ways, certainly not in a way that shows off my body. The requirements of social media to achieve the type of connection required for my business is crucial. So many beautiful pictures of lovely bodies, in a pose. In a yoga pose that is beautiful and inspiring, but for me, physically challenging and yet I can no longer say impossible, despite the fact that my body has it’s own blueprint that is bent and broken. As I have stated before, for me, it isn’t about the pose, but what I learn practicing to get there. It’s the practice, that is what adds beauty to our life. It is the practice that is important. And this day, in the glacier fresh water, trickling down my body on a ledge made for a tiny bird, my practice evolved. I was no longer on my mat on a bamboo floor, or the grass in the back yard, or the sand on the beach, I was amongst jagged rocks, loose mossy stones and yet I couldn’t wait to fail. I was elated with the challenge of finding something I could do there. The space did not allow for any gigantic open poses, as a matter of fact there were only 1 leg root poses to pick from. There was not enough space to have both feet planted. There was not even a space flat enough to firmly root 1 foot, This did not seem a problem for my mind, nor my heart. The excitement took over any space that fear or disappointment would once have resided. I searched for a way to find balance, I searched for solutions to being able to move my arms away from my body whilst twisting my legs, I searched for solutions to be able to move my hips back and distribute weight. I reconnected with muscles that I normally don’t use to do these things. I made tiny little changes to move toward balance. I failed wonderfully.

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I was joyous in the discoveries I was making. I didn’t get into the pose this time, but I knew with further practice, it was possible. I was joyous. I was enlivened. I was growing leaps and bounds in my mind and I was present in the moment as it happened. I then tried to do a hand and head stands in a place at the top of the falls. I technically picked what could be considered the worst spot to do so. No place where I could bring my feet close to my body, for the most rocks would have assisted my quick decent. No place to have hands or forearms planted evenly. It was like a distorted downward facing dog.

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There was a bridge above I was trying to kick my feet to, hoping to find stability there, it’s not in the picture.

How could I make this happen? I didn’t but I was ripe with awareness and was in tune with that. It was so much fun! This was one of the revelations of that day. Being present in the joy of discovery, not the disappointment of not achieving. It’s the joy and excitement that is the achievement. The other big AH-HA moment was that I was finally on a foundation that was similar to my day to day life as of late. I was on a jagged unstable foundation. It felt familiar. It showed my what I was really working with in my struggles outside the mat. It was joyous for this reason. It reminded me, that although my practice on my mat was moving me forward and making my heart boundless, it was time to rip the props out from underneath myself and discover and work with the foundation beneath.

It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.
Madeline L’Engle

The shaky, slippery, jagged foundation. I can’t change the one I worked on at the falls, but I can damn sure hone different tools ( muscles in the physical sense), tools that can help me balance and find stability on this foundation until I am able to shore up the footings. It’s coming, it’s all apart of the journey. I am so excited to add this new step to my personal practice and share with others as I, as a teacher, knowingly rip the props out from under my students (in the kindest way possible was that despite how much I have grown in my understanding of life, that

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
Benjamin Spock

Check in with you soon,

Nikki

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