Sunday, June 22, 2014

Element: Wind

Then there was wind.

The second meditative moment on this trip came in the Grand Canyon on the Imperial Point Trail along the ridge of the canyon.   Firstly let me say that the north side of the canyon is a incredibly well kept secret.  It is like the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  It is stunning, over 3000 feet higher in elevation at the highest point and only gets about 10% as many visitors.  It has more trails and more area to explore.  So if you have not gone there you should try it out.  It is a good drive through some of the most uninhabited Navajo reserves.   So fill up with gas when you see it.   

Anyway so we were at the Imperial Point doing a great hike.  I was walking next to my son Jordan being a rock hound.  We were looking at the rocks along the path noticing how they where changing as we went deeper down into the canyon.  The rocks started looking like compact sand with lots of shinny surfaces and became more volcanic as we went down.   

At about 3/4 of the way down I noticed the rocks were looking more volcanic.   Also the occasional white hard crusty bubble was coming out of the rocks.  Then I noticed that these bubbles contained crystals with crystal structures exposed in some of them.   The entire area felt like it was a crystal garden.   This pleased my son very much as he picked up rock after rock to evaluate.   

As I walked below this level I felt the pull of the crystal den and told my kids and husband to go ahead as I hoped to mediate.   I walked back up to the crystal den and found a sweet large rock with a great view over the canyon.  I sat down and the first thing I thought was 'oh my butt'.  I remembered the bruises I had from my riding experience in Durango.  Nice.  

So I found a comfortable if not so relaxed position to meditate in.   This energy of the crystals I was sitting on helped to bring the meditation on easy.  I felt the wind blowing up and out of the canyon.  The power of the wind was wonderful.  It had nowhere to go but up and out of the canyon.  It sailed up and around me, through me, supporting me, pushing me.   

I felt this wind and knew the undying strength of it's path.  I also felt my body accepting the guidance of it and feeling its strength.  I connected with the knowledge that as the wind blows it brings you through the journey of life as you need to.  You can not buckle to the wind you have to move with it and allow it to bring you the clarity of brilliance as it brings the crystals out of rocks.  It erodes its way through the strength of rock with the unrelenting passage of time.  

This connected me to issues of my career development.  I have learned that the wind will blow and we have the choice to engage the pressure or allow the wind to help direct us taking away the stress, lack of clarity and confidence.  This can leave us strong and less encumbered and more directed to  purpose.  Taking away the distractions and tangents can leave us feeling uncomplicated by ego and ready to be free with the direction the wind is blowing.  

This second element brought me the strength and clarity of the wind.  

Elements: Water

First there was water.

This trip I have been lucky to have wonderful meditative moments.  The first came in the form of water in the Trimble Hot Springs in Durango.  I was sitting in the hot springs relaxing with the help of the minerals in natures fine brew.  At the hot springs there was a hot and an extra hot pool.  I was taking turns in each and was well beyond the point of relaxed.  Love me some hot springs.

Anyway so I was sitting in the water relaxing and I started to concentrate on my breathing.  Slowly taking deep breaths in and out, making the outs longer then the ins and counting and allowing my body to control the flow.  I started to meditate and felt the power and glow of the water all around me, not the sterile feel of chlorinated heated pool water, but natures pulse.  I allowed the feeling to continue and connected with the source of the energy.  OK non mediators you can stop if this is too much for you. However, if you have this sort of free spirit read on.  

Often in the past when I have mediated, the questions have centered around path.  Am I on the right path, am I raising my kids the way I should, am I on the right career path, friendships etc....  Yet this time the answers came back so clear.   There was a confirmation in the pulse of nature.  The answers was Yes.  I was on the right path, the path of teaching, of creating content such as these blog posts.  

When one looks at what one is doing with their life there are some thinks, like this blog, that do not pay off in money, however they pay off in the soul, karma, love and motivation.  The message was that the package of life can not be broken up into little pieces that are judged as to their value.  The entire package is the value.  Right now that package includes many things that together are contributing to my path's synchronicity with mother natures pulse.    

I am so pleased to share these moments and feel the flow of the water and the pulse of nature bringing peace.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stars in Durango

A mid trip post is in order to show the joy and beauty of Durango, Colorado.  This is our first time here and are staying at a great hotsprings spa.

I sit on the back patio of the Trimble Hot Springs Guest House.  The night is crisp and clear. I can hear the occasional car sailing along the road between Durango and Silverton.  A very impressive piece of real estate to be sure.  It is around 11:30 at night.  This is our last night here.

The place has been a joy. Firstly, the guest house is wonderful, clean and exceptionally well equipped for this family of four.  The springs are nice and the olympic size pool, which I kind of scoffed at, is wonderful and great at wearing out Joel, who loves to do laps with his snorkel and flippers on.

The cabin has everything you could want from a french press coffee maker to a dish washer.  It even has HBO.  The wireless is a little weak but if you can walk a few feet down the hill to catch the signal you are good to go.

The springs of course are what helped us make this choice.  We are spring whores.  I admit it freely.  Yet I have no intention of changing this behavior even if criticized for it.   I love a good soak in spring water.   The minerals are delightful and you mellow right out.  Even the kids don't fight after about 20 minutes in the magic waters.

Yesterday we went to Mesa Verda.  This national park is a great opportunity for people, on this continent, to get to see ancient ruins.  This park is so unique because you get to crawl through some of these structures from 500 - 1250 a.d..  This is a great perspective check for the kids.  I think it is very important to see things like this, that show the kids, that the roots of North American civilization go back farther than the ships coming from Europe.

We took a tour of the Balcony House which required climbing 32, 15,  and 12 foot ladders.  I must admit that climbing the 32 foot one was way outside my comfort zone.  This ladder was two people wide and would have several groups going up at once.  The kids were fine.  Me, well I made it.   As I was climbing the 32 foot ladder this dude climbing beside me started saying things like "don't look down" to which I said "Dude, really, don't be that guy.  No one likes that guy...".  It was good comic relief in a difficult situation. 

The place included many rooms with separate areas for sleeping, cooking, hanging out etc... It reminded me things I had seen in Turkey during the early 90's.  The Balcony House wood beams were dated back over 750 years. 

Today I took the boys horseback riding through the mountains.  It was fantastic.  We rode to a cave like those used by the early Anasazi people. We had to make our way down a path that lead under the overhanging ledge to the cave within.  This cave had a water supply and would have been a real winner for a family trying to keep out of the freezing cold winters. 

It was great to see my kids riding horses and enjoying the adventure.  I on the other hand, I had a little more trouble.  I got tossed on my butt by my horse that was testing me and trying to rub me into a tree.   I got tossed off the side onto a protruding rock.  My butt has just begun to change colors.  I know, Too Much Info, yet I have to go on.  

After I fell, it was time for one of those moments where you have to show your strength.  I had to look that horse in the eye and climb back on his back.   I was shaky but did it.   (here is one of my inner secrets, I have always had an anxiety fear that I will try to get on a horse and will not be able to drag my butt up there. I will get stuck there with people pushing my butt up onto the horse, with a look of mortificaiton on my face.)  Yet I did a great yoga breath and pulled myself up reasonably well from the ground without the help of a much needed stepping stool.  I had been tossed off a horse before so I had that memory from 25 years ago to build on.   I was much more forceful with the horse from there on and he complied beautifully.   Thankfully I have nothing more than a multi-color tush to show for it.

So now I sit, after about a 2 1/2 hour soak in the pools, making and eating dinner, and packing up most of our stuff.  I sit staring up at the 1000's of stars visible above me at this very moment.  I am snuggled into a blanket I dragged out from the bedroom.   The beauty is all around.  The mountains and their strong, rugged, magical energy are all around me.  The stars are crisp and clear.  The Milky Way is sailing through the sky right down the middle of my view. 

There are few places on this earth that have the kind of pull the mountains provide.  The air is clean and view is not invaded by lights and smog.  I am so glad that Colorado is so close to my home.  I know that while we have been drawn back time and time again, this is only the start of a beautiful relationship.   

Tomorrow we move on to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.   More updates as they become available.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Steroid Chihuahua Girl

Over the last few weeks I have experienced something akin to alien possession. After living in Missouri for 18 years I developed allergies.  I think it is from the quick onset of spring we had due to the late spring bloom.  Everything bloomed at once and my system was just overloaded.  For weeks I was feeling a presence in my throat.  I finally went to an ENT and found out it was allergies.  He prescribed me a steroid nasal spray.

I have never been one to take any de-congestion drugs.  I figure they just prolong the sickness.   After taking the spray I almost immediately  felt a difference in my throat and sinuses.  Totally cool so far.  Then I started noticing that I was getting a little more short with the kids and was having a hard time chilling out. Then I made the connection that this feeling was stronger after I did the spray.

Now to add to this I was having a very stressful few weeks.  The list was hard and heavy.

  • End of the semester grading and rap up.  
  • Getting courses ready for summer,  
  • Planning two kids birthday parties.  
  • Planning and Family night at the synagogue,
  • Executing one of the birthday parties at the house including Domo and cut the rope games, and obstetrical course.  
  • Mega huge garage sale of stuff that we have been cleansing out of the house for about 9 months. 
  • Getting ready for Wakarusa Music Festival
So for a while I dismissed it to overload and stress.  Then I mentioned it to my husband one night as we hung out.  He said I was roiding. He told me my national sports career was over.  He said I had been rather touchy lately.  To which I was ready to bite his head off.  Grrrrrr.  Then I thought about it and realized I was freaking out.  

On top of everything else I had not done enough yoga for several weeks in a row and was feeling off target with that.  I had still stayed away from Gluten but had not been eating the snacks at the right time.  I felt like there were a bunch of factors adding to the problem. 

The real kicker was when I went to do yoga and could not unhook at all.  I could not even slow down the parade of to do lists and worries.  I got out of class with as little relaxation as I  had ever experienced. I felt like a little out of control chihuahua, all twitchy and unpredictable.  I came home and told my husband that I could not take that stuff any more.  I was off it.  No more.  There had to be other options because I was not willing to let myself be taken over by such alien feelings in my life.

Now it is a week later and I have not taken the steroid stray for quite some time.    Thankfully the throat issues has not returned.  I am free of the steroid and feeling much myself again.  I work so hard to create a calm and happy life for myself and my family that it is amazing how fast it can be taken off base by something as easy as a nasal spray. I know I am quite sensitive to stimulants but lordy lordy.  No more Steroid Chihuahua Girl.