13 E – Reflections on the Journey

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Today is 13 E in the Mayan calendar.

E represents the path, the spiritual journey, the stepping stones of life and practice. 13 is the last number in the cycle, the day when the veil is said to be thinner between our mundane, everyday experience and the magical mystery of divine energy that animates the universe and each being in it.

It is a full circle day for our small family. We have arrived back in Guatemala. Our epic journey began three months ago. We painted a sparkly spiral across the Americas, visiting family and friends who are like family.

Guatemala – Mexico – Texas – Ecuador – Colombia – Mexico – Guatemala.

We are arriving home lighter and heavier simultaneously. The trip was full of all things: adventures, routines recreated in each place we settled, celebrations, holidays, death, grief, boredom, surprise, irritation, acceptance, yoga, coloring, working, writing, playing, reunions, music, laughter, tears, noise and silence.

My grandma died on 13 Kej, in late November. Kej is my nahual, the sign of the deer, the four directions and the spiritual leader. I was fortunate to spend several precious hours by her side in the days before her passing. On the day she died, we flew to South America. I felt her in the air all around us, in the vast sky and poignant sunset.

Our nuclear family team became stronger and more united thanks to this trip. We weathered storms with humor and mindfulness as much as possible. We walked everywhere and took in the views with awe and gratitude. We fought and bickered at times but not too much. We adapted to our frequently changing environments. We ate what we were served, mostly.

We are coming home lighter, having shed or gifted many material possessions — including my phone, which a thief on the metro in Mexico City relieved me of yesterday morning in the chaotic crush of people cramming ourselves onto a packed train — and having let go of many judgments and preconceptions.

We are coming home heavier, having acquired a plethora of gifts, toys and souvenirs along the way.

We are coming home clearer, having gained countless experiences and having learned innumerable lessons along the way.

We are heading home today, yet Home never left us. Home traveled in our hearts every step of the way, in every taxi, bus, hotel, house, train and plane.

Here’s to the journey and all the destinations, all our relations, the teachers, the teachings, this breath, this one wild and precious life.

 

 

Healing is a process.

December 3 – What was the low point of your year? How are you healing and moving forward?

My rock bottom of 2015 occurred early in the year, at the end of January. I was “fired,” if one can be fired from a “volunteer position.” I was booted from my community, barred from entering the campus, served with a bogus denuncio, which is basically a restraining order. I was unemployed. And I am the sole breadwinner in our family.

But instead of crumbling with stress and fear, I picked myself back up again and used the fact that I no longer had to go to work everyday in Panajachel (as well as the convenient fact that I was selling my house in Austin and set to make a nice chunk of profit) to launch a serious search for a new home on the other side of the lake. This year had a lot of lessons around work, money, authority, systems, responsibility, communication and priorities. This year started with an abrupt exit to my education career, and was followed by the acquisition of so many new careers that I couldn’t keep up…

Thankfully, at this point, I have funneled my myriad careers into one. Or, okay, two. I am a yoga teacher and a writer. I am a writer and a yoga teacher. I am not a copywriter. I am not in marketing. I am not an English teacher. I am not a classroom teacher. I am not even an educator. I am just a yoga teacher and  writer. I use these skills in every job and project that I take on. If it doesn’t involve yoga and/or writing, it’s not my cup of tea.

I am healing and moving forward by realizing my career is what I make it. I am blurring the boundary between “work” and “play.” I am enjoying how I spend my time and energy.

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