Friday, April 25, 2014

The Clouds Are My Tea Leaves

 (a page from my application to yoga school, circa 2006)

I have a good friend who told me recently that she'd gotten away from her spiritual practice, and that she wanted to figure out how to get it back. When we spoke about it, she was not living in her own space, and her job and routine were undergoing a transition. I don't want to discount at all how challenging that can be. But thinking of her lately, I realize how everything can be a spiritual practice.

Sometimes if I'm in a funk, I soak at Ojo. I soak just like anybody else is soaking, I don't make a big show of it, but my intention while I soak is to release all of the negative vibrations I'm holding onto that are no longer serving me. Sometimes a walk is my spiritual practice. Sometimes, just being present is my spiritual practice. When I'm present, I see all sorts of wonderful things, like how someone graffiti-ed the number "21" on a road side near my house. 21's my lucky number. If I'm present on my walk, I notice the donkey we walk by came over to the fence, hoping I'll pet his nose. When I'm present on my hike, I notice the stillness and silence in nature and that helps me to remember the stillness and silence in me.

The other day, I was hit with a double dose of anxiety and insecurity so I went out to jump it away on the trampoline. After bouncing for a while, I stopped to lay down and look up at the sky. The cloud right above me looked just like a bunny. It happened to be Easter and my mom, who usually calls me Turtle had just texted me to tell me she wasn't going to call me Turtle on Easter, but rather, Bunny. The perfect bunny-shaped cloud reassured me somehow, saying, "Right place, right time, right practice." So I bounced some more and then settled back down to look at the sky. It was suddenly blank of clouds; not one single cloud for as far as I could see. "Stop interpreting everything so much," was the message the cloudless sky told me. "Good one," I thought, to stay more open and not put so much meaning on everything is a great idea when you're me. That day, the clouds were my tea leaves. And anything and everything can be your altar.

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