It’s a beautiful day in San Diego! I’m watching the city disappear, the landscape appearing to rush by me as myself and the train rush by it.
I’m headed to a retreat center just North of Joshua Tree where I will fully immerse myself in meditation for 10 days. I will be eating simple vegetarian meals, rising long before the sun to sit in stillness and experience myself, my thoughts, my mind and body, moving slowly through my day with others yet not speaking with others, and I will be far from any form of communication with the world in which I know.
I have no idea what to expect. I’ve never allowed myself the luxury of silence for such a great period of time. I’ve never sat in meditation without the everyday distractions, the patterns and habits which are so ingrained in me.
I am grateful for this opportunity to explore myself and to listen to my own wisdom. I know it’s there.
Although I’m not participating directly in the Acroyoga Immersion (a 5 day gathering of people practicing and demonstrating Acroyoga exercises and skills such as asana, strength training, communication, trust, flexibilty, love, and concentration ) that’s happening this week at Aerial Revolution, I am finding plenty of time to spend with the yogis who are.
Last night I had the opportunity to meet most of the Immersion participants at a friend’s house for a B&D (Bodywork & Dessert) Party and it was amazing! I met people who came to San Diego, from Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, Colorado, and other places to play together!
The house was filled with laughter and the hottub overflowed with bodies of all shapes and sizes. I felt a stronge sense of community and of familiarity, even with those I had never met before. We made raw chocolates using deliciously nutritious ingredients and then we ate them. It was perfect.
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A week ago I was feeling bummed that I had decided not to attend the Immersion. I’m finished with school so I knew I’d have a lot of free time and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now I’m finding many reasons to be thankful that I made the decision and followed through with it. One being that I’ve been to Ocean Beach at least once a day to play on my stilts, trying to do squats and climb hills and walk in deep, soft sand. Learning to walk backwards, around in circles, up and down steps and over mounds of dirt. I’m learning to walk again!
I became interested in stilts while doing performances with or near people who were on stilts. Every time I was around Iain or Bridget or Mango or Dango I wanted to be up there! So one day, while helping Animal Cracker Conspiracy with puppets at the harbor, I told Bridget I wanted to be up there, to be tall with pegs for feet. And so she invited me over to make some stilts. 6 of us showed up that day and built ourselves long, wooden legs. As we were working, Iain told us of how he learned to stilt walk while working with youth. The stilts were used to build self-esteem.
This morning, as I took long strides down the beach, I felt free. I felt free of self doubt and criticism, of fear and pain. I felt a lightness to my step and a smile on my face. Thank you Bridget and Iain for giving me legs and thank you Jack for helping me up!
I drove myself down to the greens today, crawled on top of the green machine, strapped on my stilts, and went for a jaunt. It was an amazing way to begin the day. Suddenly I felt strong and bold and so very alive!
I found myself doing strange and challenging exercises, engaging in interesting conversation with other early morning explorers, almost getting knocked over by a flock of birds who were startled by my long legs, and relaxing into a new and exciting way for me to explore my body and the world around me.
I’m grateful for this new perspective!
After making our stilts in November, Jack and I finally got back up today! Of course, soft floors and objects hanging from the ceiling to hold onto made it less scary. Here’s a short video of me playing at Aerial Revolution.