Recently I spent a weekend at a writing workshop with Dr. Joan Borysenko, a Harvard trained cell biologist, researcher and pioneer in the field of mind-body connection. The event was held on the campus of Yogaville in the rural countryside of Central Virginia. It had been almost two years since I first visited during my Yoga Teacher Training and the serene campus felt warm and inviting like an old friend. Any work-week tension I brought with me quickly dissipated as I began the weekend with a Yoga Nidra class shortly after check-in.
The attendees of the workshop came from all parts of the country, from diverse cultures and various backgrounds. We each had our own motivation and intent for being there. Some to get published, some to heal, and others to just explore with open curiosity. We laughed, learned and shared some tears along with our stories. It was hard not to be humbled by the personal stories that were shared. The depth, clarity and raw emotion touched me deeply and inspired me greatly.
In every walk with nature one receives far more that he seeks. - John Muir
I had come with few expectations other than the desire for inspiration and techniques to focus and shift my journaling practice into the craft of story telling. Why story telling? I feel most of that desire currently stems from this turning point of my life where I am loosing my parents. I lost my mom a few years ago and my dad is now in assisted living and beginning to suffer from the merciless grip of dementia. It has become a very reflective period in my life, one in which I find myself questioning everything that lead me to this point, and wondering where I want to go from here. The call of the Wild and the desire to be on the trail seems to intensify each day. I often find myself reciting and contemplating the words of notable naturalist and explorer, John Muir. What does it mean? Where will it take me? What stories do I have to tell? Those answers are still percolating within and I have yet to find conclusive answers. But I will. They are just waiting to be discovered.
I always enter workshops or retreats such as this with a bit of anxiety and nervousness of the unknown. But even after a brief period of time, bonds quickly form and it becomes obvious there are much larger forces at work in the world. I walk away from this workshop with a feeling similar to that which I get after being on the trail; a renewed sense of clarity and a deeper desire to discover and connect with myself and the world around me. A story is emerging, one that is pulling me forward to new and exciting places and encounters with like-minded authentic people. At the end of the day, we are all human and share the common desire to experience life by way of connection, acceptance and meaning. We only differ in the realities we create and by the stories we tell. Have you discovered yours?
Happy Hiking and Namaste!