I’m typing tonight as the sun descends into the ocean, filled with gratitude for my gorgeous husband who took the kids to play somewhere far away so I could be alone for the first time in I can’t remember when. The lack of quiet, reflective, creative solitude is just one of the downsides to living in such a small space and leaving our nanny behind in Houston (I miss you Ana).
Beyond the RV park we are living in, I hear laughter and shouts from a boisterous game of volleyball in the harbor park. Willow, my dog snores under the day bed while Crow caws as she flies overhead, perhaps to say goodnight and remind me to stay the course.
Whether the myth about Crow being the keeper of Sacred Law holds water or not, I hardly care. Crow has kept me true and everyday truer to my course of living the fullest, healthiest expression of myself. She reminds me that I am an active, radiant being inside and out, full of life, love and wisdom to share. My authentic story is better told when I am living congruently with my highest expression, instead of succumbing to those more base desires, like drinking, gorging, consuming, and overindulging and a tendency to want to lay down as often as is possible (that’s a Kapha for you).
Living these three months on the shore of the pacific ocean has softened me into a new devotion for the wellness of my body, mind and spirit. I feel like a toddler in many ways, learning to trust my new legs on this path towards inward devotion.
As I wrote in my previous post, Birthing a New Lifestyle, our life took a left turn in February. We sold our house, one of our two vehicles, and rid ourselves of a lot of excess stuff that no longer served us. We slowed down the over-consumption and paid down nearly all our debt (just a little bit to go!). Those steps were just the beginning.
We came to San Diego to take an intensive yoga course called, Mastery of Life Training, a yoga course taught with the vedic wisdom of the Eight Limbs of Yoga (our teacher, Bhava, wrote a book about this). Mastery of Life Training is a 10 week course that meets every other weekend for about 20 hours of yoga, breathing, meditation, movement and mantra. This course is both gentle and challenging, loving and stirring; it taught me to embrace my discomfort while pushing my comfort levels.
The learning curve for us has been steep, but we are committed to living more healthy and active. This practice takes a lot of devotion.
Larry and I view this experience as an opportunity for a total system reset; a chance to shift our lifestyle. Living in Houston wasn’t kind to us in many ways. When a buffalo burger and a pint of delicious craft beer is within arms reach, we found ourselves out of balance and drinking every night to survive the humidity, heat and concrete (please don’t get me wrong Houston is an awesome city in many ways, I’m just not a city girl – it doesn’t work with my dosha).
A few weeks after arriving in San Diego, Laura Plumb, one of our yoga instructors offered an Ayurvedic 21 Day Spring Cleanse which included eliminating meat, alcohol, gluten, sugar (the hardest for me), dairy and caffeine. Instead, we learned how to eat amazingly delicious dishes of rice or quinoa, beans and greens with ayurvedic spices like turmeric, fenugreek, cloves, fennel and ginger. We drank a lot of teas and yummy smoothies.
We are long past the 21 days – moving into ten weeks of no alcohol and pure healthy eating. Our bodies are slimming down. I’m feeling stronger, Larry’s back is forgetting the constant pain he once accepted. Most importantly, we are softening into an unconditional love and devotion for ourselves.
It feels like a natural progression to first clean up our home and outer lifestyle, before turning inward to that healthy physical stasis we knew at one point in our lives. We decided to adopt this way of eating for six months, give our livers a rest and then see how we feel. I don’t want to be militant or absolute about anything. This isn’t a path of fundamentalism; it is a path of grace and devotion. If my mom makes us a wonderful cheesecake when we visit her, I’ll savor each bite with gratitude for the love she put into creating it for us.
We began our cleaning up and clearing out with our home and possessions, before moving onto our bodies. Now I am beginning to experience the subtle (emotional) body in a new and poetic way. To allow every breath to be a conversation towards a more congruent expression of my highest version of my self.
With every breath I am audaciously learning to tell my story with my whole heart.