Well, it has been another stellar day in the Universe.
By 8:30 am, my dear friend, Kuumba (check out her luscious herbal products) and I were on top of our favorite Tucson mountain peak, which she has affectionately named The Stairway to Heaven! It is a direct ascension into pure bliss, nature consciousness. Simultaneously, it is a descent into the core of our strong bodies, and a merging with the spirit of the mountain. Mother Nature always provides. I take step after step and breath after breath of this strenuous climb, and she soothes my soul, reminding me of my commitment to life. As my heart thumps with momentum, life force bursts and beams with radiance all around me. This year the rains have been so generous in the Sonoran desert. The wildflowers, in every color dance across the mountain landscape and the bright green new growth is fecund.
The process of the climb and the outrageously stunning view from the top, with swooping sparrows, hawks and glorious wilderness - with city, so tiny and far down below, puts everything in my life into perspective. My mood soars, my heart is humbled. Just yesterday, I was feeling bogged down with work; stressed and annoyed at my busy schedule, short tempered and yearning for some down time. Today, I claimed it.
My dear friend Britt (Check out her inspiring blog and work) had just sent me this article, inspired by our ongoing conversation about what makes for a rich, authentic life.
Writer Anne Lamott shared, “the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions...is that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty. Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this."
I just loved this. I have been fortunate enough to live what is mostly a life of fulfillment and wonder. Though I admit, sometimes even the creative work, that is my joy becomes too full, tiring, out of balance - driven by agendas. Living in our culture and cultivating non doing can seem like an upstream swim at times. Though I value simply being, slowing down and staying present, I need to choose it as often as possible.
The allies and opportunities to remind me are everywhere. My mountain top meditation gave so much. The mountain spirit even gave me a bit of 'a talkin' to.'
"Savor your life. Be more patient. Cherish your loved ones. The life of your dreams is here, now. Not when the work is done. Not when there is more money. Not when there is more space. Receive it now. Give thanks."
With gratitude, presence and contentment, we ran down the trail in half the time of our approach. We felt more energized than when we'd began, regenerated by a frequency of total abundance. The myriad of reasons to feel stressed now felt unimportant and dissolved away, and the reasons to feel grateful just kept expanding.
In the afternoon, Talia and I made chocolate cupcakes for another dear friend, Kimi's (MultiDisciplinary Artist/Educator) birthday. We have made it a mother-daughter tradition to bake for birthdays. We experiment with alternative ingredients - coconut and brown rice flour - never measuring anything. Mostly our experiments are delicious, but even if they weren't nothing would be lost. I practice being relaxed with Talia's messy mixing and constant desire to dip her finger in the batter. I delight in the alchemy of creating together.
Today, Ziggy Marley sang in the background "Lift up your hearts with a smile, lift up your feet with a dance, lift up your spirits with a song". We sang and danced along. Talia used her batter covered spatula (the licking trophy) as a microphone. As our goodies baked, we watered our backyard plants (which I inherited from yet another dear friend!). We loved up our fuchsia bougainvillea, aromatic jasmine, bright yellow brittle bush and a community of inspiring green beings. The wind chimes sang, the quail, doves and cactus wren chatted. We laughed, splashing each other under the sun-kissed blue sky - views of the mountains in every direction. Heaven on Earth.
All the other "work details" still got attention. Yet everything I touched today felt lighter. It all had a flavor of effortless flow. I experienced that phenomena (many of you know well) of accomplishing more in less time, while also additionally enjoying quality restorative and family space.
I have no complaints at all whatsoever. Time is what I make it. It is my time, it is your time. It is THE time. How do you want to enjoy it?
"Now is when it is. Here is where it is. You are what it is. Celebrate."