It is a great pleasure to be back from the Peruvian Amazon and teaching here in London this winter.
It is one of those beautiful affirmations of the rightness and resonance of my path to return from ‘paradise’ and feel invigorated and so delighted to share my experiences here in community, rather than bummed out to be returning to such a chilly clime. I have loved sharing the plenitude of teachings I received from the shamans, fellow participants, and spirit medicines, and, indeed, am grateful for the space of reflection and integration that my teaching practice has offered since my return.
In the jungle, I was shown the value of going slow and letting go into experience, and of staying open and steady in face of pain (thank you, Sarah Douglas, for your remarkable modeling of those skills). I had the chance to feel a heck of a lot of fear, and experienced, several times, a surfing of that fine edge where fear gives way to excitement. I reaffirmed the power of my prayer and my intentions, and yet also was shown (again!) how all of that willpower and desire are only as valuable as my ability to move with the natural flow of life just as it is. The Shipibo shamans modeled a wonderful lightness of being – they were always laughing, and hugging and kissing us! – and a deep sensitivity to the natural world, perhaps the deepest I have ever known. They walk an amazing path of the mundane and the exquisitely esoteric, woven together in a seamless unfolding of extraordinary ordinariness. What great beauty I have had the good fortune to see and know!
As I shared in January’s Shakti Shop event, key to my vision for this year is renewing my commitment to serve my community, and the greater good, now more than ever. So many of you, my private clients and yoga students, have grown so much, and expanded your hearts beyond what you thought was possible. You have unearthed so much power in your lives. I see that in you. And now I feel the time for leadership has arisen. Inspired by my time in the jungle, and a work of art made by Maestra Laura, I see this path that we are walking as the Way of Light.
To me, this walking in the Way of Light has everything to do about our innermost desires and deepest intentions. It has to do with staying utterly true to those intentions regardless of the shifting sands of our lives in the transactional realms. It is about living in deep contact with our desires such that all circumstances become an opportunity to step more deeply into that desire, or to be a fuller expression of the value that desire expresses. We all have habits and default settings. We all have found successful ways, up until now, to make our way through the world, ways that enable us to get along with other people to serve our needs in many ways. But are those ways serving our deepest, innermost needs? The invitation of the Way of Light, as I see it, is to be unwaveringly vigilant in our calibration to our inner landscape, even as we are out there being ourselves in the world. It is about unapologetic authenticity, and the simultaneous recognition that, when standing in that clear space, we are in a position be a conduit of grace, a bestower of blessings upon others.
Upon all others – the easy ones and the difficult ones. The Way of Light as I see it is about service; it is about how our own internal connection and integrity allow for a tremendous modeling of strength, power, and joy for others. That is the leadership I am talking about. Not the leadership of being in charge, but of going inside and connecting to your own highest value, and then matching up all of your words, actions, and choices with that value, to the best of your ability. It is that level of inner commitment that makes a seismic shift in our outer worlds, that allows us to live our lives as an offering of light, and that brings us, again and again, unbelievable surprises and gifts. When we connect to our highest intention and desire, we have the access to vast inner resources. I have seen this in my own life in the form of countless opportunities, challenges, and outporings of grace. May the grace I receive shine as a blessing for all other beings.
And that is my invitation to myself and my community this year. What does Walking in the Way of Light mean to you? What would it mean to make every interaction an offering of blessings? I would love to hear about it if this is resonant for you, and where you are in your life right now.