“My life now, after so much turmoil, was good. On paper it looked virtually perfect.
I had a great job, a home I loved, community and a spiritual path.
But three things were missing...
...a personal ever-present connection to the natural world where I lived;
living in a place and among people with living traditions that honored and were in conscious relationship with the natural cycles of life; and finally,
I yearned to journey; to be somewhere I didn’t know, heading somewhere I’d never been.
Flying on the knife’s edge of the present moment where there is no sense of familiarity
to lean into, a way of being that would put me in contact with the Divine through its
mysteries, magic, surprises and gifts.”
–Excerpt, Calling Myself Home, by Robin Rainbow Gate
Have you ever felt like you just wanted to leave it all, travel on your own, follow your moment to moment inclinations, be in communion with the Present Moment?
Before I came to Mexico, I felt that as a constant, pressing, desire.
Ironic, because, that which I longed for was simultaneously the thing I feared the most.
Just like painting: I love making art but it invariably falls to the bottom of the priority list. Yet when I’m “there,” I ask myself, “Why do I fight, deny and delay this? It’s the best feeling ever. It’s where I love to be.”
Being in the present moment is what this is really about. But here’s the catch:
It’s easier to be in the present moment when you’re in an unfamiliar (and not overly stressful) situation.It heightens your awareness. You need to be on the alert, watching and listening for cues. Also, there is no already set-in-place sense of knowing what this is, to lean on and draw from.
The Advantage of the Journey
That’s why journeying appealed to me. I wanted to encounter the Truth, the Divine, through a dance with the Universe, through present moment, physical experience.
Yesterday I set out on a hike with a specific destination in mind. I didn’t know exactly how to get to this special cave where women have been leaving offerings for generations, but I knew the general direction.
To start, the known part of the path now had two fences put up, that weren’t there before. To prevent cows from entering and eating all the corn, I imagined. I climbed the rocks to the side of the fences and continued. I came to the end of the path and not seeing an indication as to where to turn, I continued straight ahead, skirting famer’s newly planted corn fields, enjoying the new green delivered from the lluvias,(rains) and the clean blue sky.
It's what comes next in the story! Then continue reading.)
I’d been so busy “doing,” lately, that I had lost that part of living. I wept, remembering, grateful for the reminder and invitation.
Leaving the rock I headed toward the mountains, so alive and feminine on this side of the village. I climbed over stone fences and continued meandering, bushwhacking, unusually calm and confident to not be on a path.
Suddenly, before me was the most grand, ancient, Amate tree. These trees were used as paper in ancient times, and I’ve been told that my village was a place of scribes. This gives me a special feeling as a writer, as a woman who was literally called to this place, and as author of a book about this place and its messages and gifts for the world, through me.
I paid homage to the great Amate and continued toward the magic mountains.
Appeared before me and under my feet a beautiful, smooth, dark earth, clear and winding path. I didn’t know how I came to be on it. But there I was.
Content and trusting the magic moment, I followed, to where I didn’t know, or care.
It was a magical day. The kind I like. The knife’s edge kind I had longed for before following my heart and dreams to Mexico. The present moment flow I lived in my first three years here. (You can read about my journey, my three-year magical retreat, reflections and learnings in my book, Calling Myself Home.)
...the chord began to quiver.
I had reached the turning around point and was heading back.
My mind kicked in: How would the day end? What would I do when I got home? What would I eat?
And I felt it. How it happens. How the familiar takes me out of the present magical moment.
It was uncomfortable and I felt sad. It was also a subtle enough shift that I caught it, and chose to work with it, consciously.
I think this is the trick to how to live on the knife’s edge in our every day lives:
Out on the edge, in the out of the ordinary, we can feel the stillness, the union with life, external and internal as One, magic flow. In the ordinary, our mind wants to take control of the reins again. After all, the mundane, to-do and needs-to-get-done realm is the minds reign.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Present moment magic is everywhere all the time. I think the way to live our lives as we really want is by remaining in and nourishing connection with the quiet, still, dark and ever-birthing natural flow of the moment.
How to do that? Anything that gets and keeps you in your body helps. Walking, dancing, yoga, Qi Kung. Also meditation – either seated or through meditation-in-motion as listed above. And, following your heart, being gentle with yourself, scheduling in and honoring free or down time to balance out and reconnect you with more feminine, yin, the unseen but very real currents that gurgle and rush deep within your being.
How do you envision or call that experience of being in the present moment? What has brought you to that in the past? How do you create and support it in your everyday life? Would doing so more often give you something you want and need? I invite you to comment here, or if you prefer, contact me privately.
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