so there is this cycle in peace corps...it's the cycle of transition or something like that. it basically represents a roller coaster...the ups and downs you will have while in service...the honeymoon phase...the reality check...the grounding...the un-grounding...the recycling...something like that. there is an interesting piece of the cycle that i don't remember being built in to their diagram though that seems to be upon me. the clicking back into self.
i have spent a good part of the past year working to integrate, working to understand, working to not leave out one good morning, afternoon, or good night. i have worked to keep my head above water when i feel like i might sink and maintain an air of non-judgment and wide open wonder. i have worked. and then yesterday...i stopped working. i settled into me. the essence of me...as is.
i have spent the past week reconnecting with myself and my yoga practice. setting the alarm for 6 every morning and arising to the mat in order to ground and connect for the day ahead. in the midst of that week something has shifted me back into place. not to say that i have been un-authentic...but something has been happening on my mat that is bringing me back to my own core. my own essence. i have shed the wanting to...the desiring to...the needing to. i am here now. being. nothing more. nothing less.
i have been working so hard to understand how my ideals fit with the ideals of this culture. i have been working to bend and mold myself to the needs and desires of those around me. i have been working to fit and i finally realized there is no unlocking that needs to happen in the world around me. it's the world inside of me that needs to settle, relax, and breathe into what it is i am doing here. i am not here to be anyone but myself.
i have been humbled by the hierarchy of power. humbled by the lack of certainty in situations where i would traditionally 'know.' i have broken apart every piece of my soul and my being only to come back to the same internal fire and know...truth is truth. only when living from my own essence, my own truth, my own presence of being can i truly affect change.
this past year has been difficult for me in ways i never would have imagined...and 2012 started off quite rocky...but this shift that is happening in me is bringing me back. it's not some divine intervention that is changing my ways...it is reminding me of my ways. it is bringing me back to myself. my. self. and my connection to god and all that is. peace corps...you have no idea the ways in which this experience has affected me and shaped me and reminded me to be.
i have nothing but the utmost gratitude for yoga. for you truly are the union of self. the union of spirit. the unifying connection to all that is. the greatest lesson i have learned over this past year...my true form...my true nature...my true self is the one that is already integrated into all communities...because it is the connection to humanity. only when we stop and listen and breathe are we reminded of how essential that essence is.

and then there was this. in my morning yoga practice this beautiful creature was in my field of vision.

which apparently means this (if you are into this kind of stuff...which i am):

There is nothing more magnificent than the power of the horse. Horses are truly the bridge between the world of heaven and the world of earth. Throughout time, horses have been associated with strength, victory, nobility, freedom, movement, wisdom and guidance. The horse is the faithful companion. His dedication and affection bring courage and valor. He represents the fire within you. He is your guide, constantly carrying you on your path.

And since our practice this morning he has been faithfully standing outside my gate. I love my life. 



honest to god's truth...2012 has not started out so solid for me. i was under the impression that this was the year of enlightenment..the year of a collective conscious shift...but unless those things also come with dengue and slip and falls...it seems it might be the year of unfortunate mishaps. granted...it's only just begun...and slip and falls come with rain...which create more mosquitoes...which carry dengue...but it still seems a bad omen of sorts.
or maybe it's the fact that we are in the year of the water dragon. sounds like a passive kind of dragon but as was pointed out to me...water is torturous on land and has done such grave things as create the grand canyon...so maybe the water in water dragon isn't so passive after all.
or maybe all of these things simply exist to light more fire into a wavering peace corps soul. the tiny development worker who enters with such high hopes only to be slowly whittled away into a shell of what her grand ideas once ignited. maybe they exist as the greatest challenge of all. what do we really do in the face of adversity?
here i am in one of the most adverse situations i have ever been in my life. a seemingly benign culture and existence that by all measures appear full of daily lounges on the beach and afternoon cocktails. but whose underbelly is full of neglect and dissonance and strife and fear. full of the struggles of daily life and rising food prices and weeks without gas to cook with. full of teenage pregnancies and lack of desire to prevent such things from happening. full of empty promises from those in power and open hands of those in waiting.
this year in saint lucia has touched me and pushed me in a million directions and stripped me to the core. this essence of who i thought i was has been confronted with who i would like to be a million times over. i thought i was the one who would speak up, speak out. i find i am now the one who sits back and watches...wondering if i should question. i thought i had immeasurable strength and i find many days when it becomes difficult to even lift my heart in gratitude. i thought i had connection to source...to life...to light...and i find myself seeking solace and peace in every passing glance.
i am not sure why 2012 has started out as such a struggle...but i am looking forward to moving through this year fluidly and finding out what is on the other end of this dragon's tail.