Moonlight soaks my resting bitch face as I sleep trapped in a series of restless dreamscapes. A missed ride, a miscommunication, a miscreant watching with feigned detachment from a street bench covered in fading graffiti. A faceless clock that shifts it's face away as I crane my neck in search of time. Moving mouths and piercing high paced string instruments from a mariachi band with empty eyes playing beneath the flickering lights of a warehouse filled with rotting fruit. Pregnant women swarmed by skeletal children watch with woeful eyes devoid of presence or possibly, humanity. The road plunges into darkness steps beyond the relative safety of the horde of ambivalent strangers, a payphone with no phone or buttons leans slanted in the shadows. A recessed counter high above contains a troop of cooks taking orders and churning out plates heaped with steaming piles of grains and meat to random characters who thanklessly shovel their sustenance down before discarding their plates and foil carelessly atop an overflow of garbage spilling like vomit from a filth encrusted trash bin. I pace from the door, to the bench, unsure of how to leave, and feel eyes dissecting each step. I'm almost sure they can hear my thoughts pounding in my heart, see my fear pulsing from my skin, and that they are communicating their most basic needs amongst themselves as my inquisitive eyes silently plea for a drop of compassion. The veil is pierced as starshine penetrates the thin skin of my eyelids and the stark clarity of morning unfolds as I blink away the shadows lingering around the edges of my soul and wait for the relief which is to awaken. I shudder at the uncertainty of the moment between perspectives and struggle to escape the residual fog that whispers a promise to meet again. Defiantly I embrace the moment and sit up abruptly, focusing outward on the safety of physical existence I convince myself, at least for the moment, that this is reality, allowing myself to believe my own lies if only for the sake of sanity.
As I sit back and gaze out the window beside my bed I see the shadows of countless tropical plants swaying gently against the night sky. My friend is asleep beside me, I assume the rental condo we are in is silent, and I can sense the pull of the ocean that surrounds the island of Kauai all around me. Today, I arrived on the "Garden Island " after a 6 hour flight from Los Angeles for a week of yoga and pleasure with Addicted to Yoga, my original home studio. We were greeted with a dense humidity that bathed my skin and warmed my bones as we made our way to Poipou Beach. The drive was luscious yet rural, we passed rows of corn amidst the towering greenery and glimpses of ocean beyond to what seemed like infinity.
For a moment I was overwhelmed by the knowledge of just how far we are from solid land, I had no idea Hawaii is as far from California as New York, further actually, but I purposefully replaced my trepidation with determination. This week, I seek to explore without fear of what feels too large, to treat every obstacle as a challenge, and to absorb each moment with knowledge that the pictures I take will one day be memories I wistfully recount.
This trip has been planned for almost a year. The first time I saw the advertisement at the studio I knew I wanted to go, but considered it unfeasible. It was a fair assessment, I have kids to raise, and that is a temporary state rushing by all too quickly. To stay home with my family is a true blessing in my life. Yet still... but maybe...
When the option to truly go was offered, I was in a state of disbelief, but I committed to manifesting the experience. I began by putting the dates in my planner, in pen, and whenever it came up I stated that I would be attending. I stopped buying all the little things I hadn't realized I was distracting myself with. I accepted and requested to teach any and all classes available to me. I asked for work and the universe answered. I ate incredibly healthy in hopes of keeping myself well enough to be allowed to travel, and scheduled my chemotherapy appointment a week before our departure. I thanked the Goddess constantly for allowing me to live in a situation which contains all these possibilities.
Today, once we settled in, I took a walk down to the shore of Poipou Beach and just stared out over the sea I have seen in my dreams. The warm water rushed suddenly over my bare feet, momentarily I stumbled, then I found my footing and continued on.
For those of you who have stumbled onto my little piece of internet, I welcome you to my brand spanking new yoga website and blog! Maybe you landed here after being a reader over at the FabulousRunningMommy, maybe you have no idea what that is and are like, Olivia, you used to run? Yes, I used to run, and the words "used to" still sting. I used to do yoga just to stretch out after my training runs, but my personal yoga practice has altered me in ways I never knew to seek. I think when I ran I was trying to get somewhere else, but now I am interested in where I am right now. I am alive and safe, I have a roof over my head, a full belly, I love and am loved. Everything else is extraneous. My purpose is to live by God's grace, simply and authentically, free from addiction and distraction.
This blog and website are still in development, but I look forward to sharing my personal insights and interests here with you all. I will be writing about yoga obviously, but also philosophy, nutrition, personal musings and autobiographical details. In the meantime, be sure to check out my class schedule, or contact me for a private lesson either in person or via Skype.