today I took a walk up the hill, as I do most days, and was thinking as I was walking, how grateful I am to have this precious time to be away, to have space to think and process and heal and learn about myself. I was thinking how lucky I am, because I know that most people have such busy lives, with so many responsibilities, that there is very little time to sit, stroll, think, journal, read, process, ruminate, breathe, heal in natural organic ways. I am so grateful that I have this space and time right now. It is precious.
I'm also surrounded by a lot of amazing teachers, thinkers, meditators, people who are so wise and so in touch with how to come to a place of stillness and rest and quiet. People who radiate gentleness, peacefulness, love, warmth, and joy, and I get to walk the halls of this place and eat dinner and occasionally sit for a chat with these people. I'm grateful for that.
I'm also surrounded by a lot of people who are processing, dealing with their own shit, struggling with stuff, learning how to live and be and accept who they are in the moment. It's not always pretty. Living in a community is tough! I'm still just a visitor, so mostly I watch, see it all in action, but regardless of where you are, offices, marriages, classrooms, etc, people are people, and we all rub up against each other in sometimes seemingly ugly ways. I guess the good thing is that this seems to be a place where people are aware that we're all working through things, and that the yucky stuff can be part of a growing, learning, healing process. It's interesting. and frustrating. and very much real life.
Last night, I went to this lovely restaurant in a town close by with three new girlfriends here, wonderful warm women who wanted to take me out for my birthday. The town is called Hawley, and we found this fabulous little restaurant called Glass, which would fit in in Ottawa so perfectly. Raw stone and brick walls, small plates and wine, delicious food and a wonderful atmosphere. After 5 weeks of rice, beans, veggies and grains, the foray into crab dip and cod sliders and charcuterie and cheese plates was divine. truly. I saw God:) We shared wine together, and laughed and told stories and vented about our days, and it felt so wonderful. It felt so real, so honest, so easy. I enjoyed it so deeply, and feel really refreshed today. Isn't that funny?
I was thinking about it this morning, why that is. Part of it is that it was a fun reminder of fun times at home; wine and cheese and gabbing with friends in a charming little restaurant is one of my favourite things to do. Part of it was that here at the ashram, I see the same people and the same places and the same routines day after day after day, so it was nice to have a change of scenery and different interactions. But the biggest part, I think, was that I tend to be a little intense and all-or-nothing, and have thrown myself into the yoga ashram thing pretty seriously for the last few weeks, and it was so good to let it all go, let my hair down, so to speak. Man. I want to live more in balance, where I don't get so serious about one thing, and then need a break from it. There are people here who are very advanced in their yogic path, who have very strict practices, who follow those practices so faithfully and seriously, and I see tremendous peace and stillness and love that radiates from them. And I desire those qualities. And my intense side, my Pitta side, for those of you who know Ayurveda, jumps in and strives and wants to accomplish and be perfect in those areas. But happily, I have a solid Kapha side as well that loves rest and pleasure and lovely things, and it draws me back to balance when I get too serious and intense about something I think I should be doing.
Perhaps there will be a time in my life when I am called to a deeper practice where I give up meat and wine and sweets and such on a more permanent basis. But maybe, for right now, what I am learning by being here, is that balance is so important for me. I wasn't balanced when I was living my life in Ottawa before I came here - I was so busy, so stressed, so caught up in work/life/socializing/paying bills, etc, that I wasn't living a balanced life in the area of food, exercise, rest, downtime, and people time. In my time here, I have had time to really focus on what I need and want, healthy eating, exercise, rest, meditation, interactions with others, and I feel wonderful, and can happily, occasionally, indulge in a little "worldly" pleasure. And I treasure and enjoy it so much, when it's only once in a while!
Every day is such good learning. I am totally blessed to be here, for this time in my life. ahhh.
much love to you all. wishing you a little space in your day to process, feel, think, and rest.