It took me five years and eight brochures to meet Reiki. Like that guy your friends want to set you up with, I was reluctant, but intrigued. My afternoon walks would take me past a tiny healing clinic nestled along an alleyway in downtown Menlo Park, you’d miss it if it weren’t for the Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. Each time I passed I’d look for the prayer flags waving me in and would occasionally pluck a brochure from their small outside altar.
When was the last time you went hiking and saw a squirrel scratching its head and reminding itself of its to-do list for the day? Or when was the last time you saw a doe walking pensively through a field with her mind replaying the conversation she had with that buck over and over again? I see a lot of wildlife out our backdoor and I can honestly say if either of these scenarios appeared we'd be quite concerned.
Finding the patterns which keep us stuck can be a tedious process. If we're lucky, sometimes a pattern is so evident, showing us particulars of what's not working in our lives. Other times, patterns feel like the elephant in the room, but all the lights are out and we're left trying to feel around in the dark for this thing that we know is there, but can't quite touch. These are more difficult to find because we're not quite ready to see the truth of what fuels the pattern, that emotional yuck informing us into unhealthy ways of being.
It was in the bay-window apartment on Buchanan & Market St where my very first foray into yoga began. I'd just moved to San Francisco from Atlanta in 1997 and while there were yoga studios popping up around the city, I was reticent to approach them. I was a yoga virgin and rather than diving into public demonstration of downward dog, I chose a more closeted version...with a book from the library, emphatically calling "Let's Do Yoga!". So there I stood in my living room without even a mat, just me and the Indian guy with the wiry afro in crimson briefs guiding me page by page from one contortion to another. "Let's Do Yoga!" felt more like "Let's Play Twister..solo." As I hit Warrior I, the edge of my back foot 'rooted' down so much I ended up spraining my ankle. It was then that I ended my relationship with the one-dimensional guru.
I've been dreaming alot about trees lately. It began a few weeks ago with something that wasn't really a dream, but a waking vision. Something you see in your mind's eye as you begin to saunter back into consciousness. I was walking through a forest of silver birch trees whose leaves had left them for the winter. As I strolled through their naked presence, I heard them whispering to me. While I couldn't quite understand what they were saying, I knew I was amongst a forest of oracles. I've held tight and trusted that I would eventually get clarity on their message to me.