“I was outside looking at all the trees on the mountains and the blue in the sky and realized I was home. Now I know why man has lived so long on earth. I know why we haven’t all wished accidents or caused accidents upon ourselves just to get to heaven faster. The cities, and even the suburbs, are cold and impersonal. Here it is warm and welcoming, and you know why everyone here can survive even with so little, how they can be so full of hope, because they’ve seen a piece of heaven. If god couldn’t give them money he could give them hope and love and beauty. Because that’s really what counts, not the money and power but love and faith.” – Journal entry, June 2002
There are times when I’m not really sure how I travelled down this path called life and ended up a yoga teacher. Then I read my old journals. Amidst all the millions of crushes I developed, there are real gems, describing the life I wanted to lead, the life I dreamt for myself. I may not have been able to predict exactly what I would become, but I knew what I wanted her to be like.
I have been journaling for more than half my life. There are entries that don’t sound remotely like something I wrote. I don’t remember the strokes of the pen and the words sound foreign and wrong. There are other entries I know so well I can almost recite them from memory. In the spirit of “getting personal” (one of my goals) I thought I’d share some of my entries as time goes on.
The entry above was written on a mission trip to Appalachia. I went every year for 5 or 6 years, and each time it was the best part of my summer. I cannot truly express what those trips meant to me, other than they changed my life forever.
fall, hands a-clasped, into instantaneous
ecstasy like a shot of heroin or morphine,
the gland inside of my brain discharging
the good glad fluid (Holy Fluid) as
i hap-down and hold all my body parts
down to a deadstop trance-Healing
all my sicknesses-erasing all-not
even the shred of a “I-hope-you” or a
Loony Balloon left in it, but the mind
blank, serene, thoughtless. When a thought
comes a-springing from afar with its held-
forth figure of image, you spoof it out,
you spuff it off, you fake it, and
it fades, and thought never comes-and
with joy you realize for the first time
“thinking’s just like not thinking-
So I don’t have to think
In Namibia I could never sleep during the full moon. The light was overbearing. On a clear night, the light illuminated the sand, a cold white sea. The silhouette of the palms like tall stately ladies, long hair blowing in the breeze.
I listened to the crickets and the silence. So much silence you could almost hear the pull of the moon on your skin.
Now I lay awake and remember the restless nights. The cat gone out to hunt. My spirit longing to follow her through the darkness. If only for something to do, somewhere to be. Because the full moon has no use for sleep. She calls you to something more. To something wild. Something deep in all our memories.
In November 2011 I posted a Letter to My Younger Self on The Real World. I decided to write another one, this one to myself as a senior in high school. This is for all the girls out there waiting for someone to know you.
You don’t know me, but I know you. I know you better than you know yourself right now. I see you for the flawed little beauty you are. Isn’t that what you always wanted? I wish I could tell you don’t look for this in another person, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t listen. You don’t really like to be told how to live your life, even by that little voice in your head. The one that knows better, the one that knows the truth.
The truth is, there is only one who can know you. And it’s not “the one” of fairytales, but rather The One. The One you will come to know when you find yourself. The One knows you now and will know you long after you are gone. I know you can’t see it right now, there are too many clouds in the way. Doubt. Question. Rail against. You will always return. Call it what you like. God’s still there.
You will see The Truth in song and dance. In the plains of Africa and the parties of Spain. You will find The Truth in your travels and in the soft, quiet comfort of home. You will see it in the eyes of friends and the voice of a man. You will see The Truth and you will run. It will bring you to your knees and lift you so high you fear the fall more than the climb. Soak it all in.
Big things are coming up around the bends. Soon you set out from home, taking your first tastes of freedom. Going on a journey that leads around the globe. Yet, you will look back on these days of struggle with love for the girl you once were, and thanks that she made it through.
People are saying a lot of things to you right now. I thought I’d let you know, you create deeper friendships with most of those you know now than you ever did in high school. You treasure those people who helped you grow into the person you are today. And you are about to meet the people who in some respects save your life. They show you how friendships are built and maintained and how to create a chosen family.
You will fall in love. And have your heartbroken. And fall in love again.
You will make your own way.
You will fall.
You will get back up. And learn to look for the rocks in the way.
You will be loved.
You will be known.
You will learn to love yourself.
You will find The One.
Here’s to your future. It’s a good one. Get ready. It goes by fast.