harmony deer by pixie campbell
the original of this piece of pixie’s hangs on my wall. it spoke loudly to me when i saw it in person in september of 09. little did i know the magic it would bring in to my life for 2010. this is the reading that acoompanied it:
Deer bridges the gap between domestic and wild. He lures us to exciting new quests. Because Deer is known for gentleness, he reminds us to be in peaceful communion with ourselves as we embark upon a new aspect of the journey. Growth with Deer is about seeking harmony with ourselves and our environment; about allowing mistakes, as we wander the forest of our inner creative process. Deer medicine suits those who tend toward self-criticism or harshness with others. His is a call to healthy communication and compassion. Deer is a very important ally when fear would keep one from adventure.
last year, my word was awake…it came on the heels of the pain of watching my sweet little duncan fade from view until he stepped over into the invisible. beyond that, i had been in a fog for a couple of years (she says with the clarity of hindsight). heavy and dense it settled on me tinged with fear, confusion and insecurity about life, love, my path, my gifts, my purpose…an existential crisis, dare i say a mid-life crisis, as in 2010 - i turned 40. nothing like having that socio-cultural guillotine looming over your head to make you get down to the nitty gritty, no b.s. soul-work, right?
then sometime in january or february, i started some anusara yoga training and it was there that the concept of “unmesha” was introduced to me:
Examine the three energies that comprise our Yoga,
contractive, expansive and equanimous.
These pulsations inward and outward
lead us to stillness for moments at a time.
This occurs on every level; pose, practice, life.
In Sanskrit, this pulsation is called SPANDA,
and the three energies are called
nimesha, unmesha and sthira, respectively.
“…stability, the point or place at which
there is a calm, strong, stable potential,
where neither and both are fully present– that is sthira…
like the eye of a hurricane, the space between the breaths:
still, but alive and moving.” (from elena brower, vira yoga)
i recognized that i had been deep in a place of nimesha, inward, inward, inward focused energy and to find balance i needed to practice unmesha – the outward expansion.
unmesha fit in well with awake and i quietly added that to my intention for 2010…awaken and expand.
and boy did i ever – i started moving out of my cozy little rut, i traveled to brazil, continued with the anusara training, taught at both june and september squam art workshops, volunteered at the mountain photo festival lookbetween in charlottesville virginia, co-hosted bringing ashtangi david williams here to the outer banks, ran workshops for photographer david alan harvey, squam goddess elizabeth and i co-hosted a magical squam by the sea here in nags head, i collaborated with keely at savvy home to offer a seasonal second location for my yoga studio, and the studio grew for the first time in 3 years (even in the recession!), and my working relationship with my major client was fun and fulfilling.
most importantly, i made some rich and honest friendships along the way, deepened my ongoing relationships, and continued on my path of self-inquiry.
i haven’t talked about it here, but i had an awakening, a shift in september sitting alone on the dock at squam lake and in the days that followed at elizabeth’s beautiful healing space on the farm. since the magic of that window of time, for the first time in my life, i have woken up happy every day. in short, i finally got it. i woke up to the reality that abundance and beauty were all around me and in many ways they always were. i just couldn’t see it.
and the key to it all? gratitude. gratitude is the antidote to fog.
as is often the case, the solution was so, so simple. i have found this place of happiness because the ticker-tape in my head that used to stream endless miseries, has been replaced by a litany of things i am thankful for…that is not to say that the unfortunate realities of a human existence don’t come into play, there have been hardships, emotions, grief and conflict to navigate. but when these things appear, i have a new and different perspective. stable footing. sthira.
so thank you…thank you all for being a part of my journey, thank you for visiting me here, thank you for commenting, thank you for supporting me, the studio, the workshops. thank you for filling my life with laughter and your stories. thank you for your love, your kindness, your creativity. thank you for inspiring me. thank you.
i’ve yet to settle fully into my word for 2011…but thoughts on that coming soon.