Here to live out loud
Each of us, in our own distinctive way, is here on a quest to live out loud – to learn to be a student while being a master, to find beauty in everything, to love fully and unconditionally, to live in gratitude each day, to comfort an anguished soul, to rebel against injustice, to know how to listen, to kindle the inner fire, to create a lasting masterpiece, and through this process to re-invent ourselves infinitely.
Traveling through life mindfully and stopping at its many stations has exceptional qualities. Each experience, pause or transition appears as a wise teacher willing to challenge and enlighten. With an open heart and mind, I let my teachers walk with me and show me the way. They speak in ancient voices more profound than any voice I’ve heard; their vibrations penetrate the heart and the mind, and new perspectives arise from this encounter.
The Teacher of Nature
Seeing with the heart allows for greater understanding and new growth. I spend much time these days reflecting, writing and meandering through the village, mountains and forests with my own thoughts, with my loving family and often with my wise meditation partner, Jack, The Zenful Labrador.
The village trails are beautiful in their simplicity, surrounded by vast crop fields and vineyards. There is a rhythm in their winding, making it easy to just let go and be. There is a sense of infinity in these paths. Many are leading to the next village; others are pathways that connect to the majestic Jura and the Alps awaiting their devoted pilgrims. People bike, ride their horses, run or simply walk to their own rhythm. A friendly farmhouse down the road from our home always greets us with its curious goats peeking through the fence.
I feel my heart abundant on these paths. The cold air of the winter is the finest. It has a refreshing quality. Each cell feels alive in a very present and aware way. This is the season when slowing down is necessary to clear the clutter and let go, to recharge from the source and re-imagine possibilities. I love how the body mirrors naturally the cycle of nature. There is absolutely no resistance in this process. A synchronicity of body, nature and time exists in awareness.
The winter is not over, yet the nature slowly awakens … The snowdrops, daffodils, forsythia and quince bushes are blooming slowly in the village, making me pause wherever I go to simply witness, like never before, the unfolding of early spring. Just a little bit of sun, that’s all it takes for nature to revive and shine in its full splendor.
Nature teaches great patience, harmony and resilience. To prevail through the winters of our lives, we must learn to let go, channel the energy and reach for sun.
The Teacher of Loss
Of all teachers on the path, I must confess, this one is the harshest.
It is the one who burns everything in its way before teaching a new lesson. It is the one, who has very little patience with our kind. The one who first brings darkness and fear before planting any new seeds. This one, perhaps, of all teachers torments the soul and the body, and calls for deeper, more profound reflection, solace and healing.
The teacher of loss speaks very little, and demands complete submission. A visit with this teacher is a profound life-changing experience. The reality shifts before the eyes in unrecognizable ways. Priorities are reevaluated and life seems to never be the same.
In the wake of loss, the heart softens. It learns instinctively a new language that speaks of empty spaces once filled with light, beauty and joy. The pain becomes a visible wound, bright red, screaming and pulsing to the rhythm of the heart. It hurts to sit with the wound, in the silence of the mind, listening to this new learned language. But no other way can make the heart love again. As the resistance weakens and the acceptance rises, fears and words dissipate in the vastness of time. The heart re-learns to live in harmony with the mind. The soft heart opens up to light again. The wound begins to heal. We re-learn what matters most in life.
Would we commit this time to keep the promise to only pursue what matters most?