Tuesday, September 9, 2014

nyc: drawing circles

Full Moon tonight over Brooklyn, NYC.

Returning to Japan after a year was an incredible experience, showing me how much I can change and grow between summers. How incredibly resilient the heart is, how it strengthens and expands with struggle—and, of course, love. How we are built to overcome such struggles and from them heal. How self-confidence and self-belief can bloom from such small seeds. 

What a year it has been, full of blessings, full of incredible travels and adventures, amazing new connections, and most of all the opportunities to share what I love so dearly, and through teaching learn so much myself.

So, here I am finding myself drawing circles, leaving Japan for New York to attend my sister’s wedding--a landmark visit filled with celebration as she marks a new phase of her life.

Moreover, New York is where I started this blog, just a little over 3 years ago. 

It was my first stop after pulling out my roots from my idyllic tropical island home in the Philippines and deciding that, for the time being, I would live in the world. Little did I know that I would still be on the road, that the simple desire to seek out love would turn into the biggest romantic adventure—with myself!; that the act of humbly surrendering as a yoga student would turn me into a teacher; that by letting go of that I knew, of all that made me feel secure, I would feel more myself, more comfortable in my own skin and in the world around me.

So, Hello, New York City!, one of the first places I ever traveled to by myself in my teens, one of the first places to truly thrill me, that ignited my thirst for adventure and living. Here I am back in New York. A beautiful full moon evening. Here I am once again drawing circles, discovering that each end is a beginning...

Monday, September 8, 2014

the bamboo path

Before I left Japan, I wanted to return to Arashiyama in Kyoto. The bamboo forest there seemed to call to me. Even though I have been blessed to see it a number of times now, and even though there are plenty of sights and treasures that I have not yet tasted in Kyoto and in Kansai, I felt it was somehow important for me to make the trip.  And so on my last full day in Kyoto, I squeezed in a late afternoon visit, just as the famous path cleared out of tourists.

There, I walked alone, in the quiet, scant light bending around the clusters of bamboo, thinking about life’s journey, and my very own especially.

Preparing to set off again, to take to the road, which has been my home—a very good one—these recent years, I felt much excitement, freedom and joy but also a degree of sadness. Returning to Japan had been an unexpected heart opening; in many ways it was a return to love. It was an unfastening of windows and doors, an airing out of stuffy old rooms, and a letting in of the summer, sunshine, warm breezes. It can be hard to see such a season pass and not feel like it is an end of something.

I felt deeply comforted walking between the two walls of bamboo. I felt how very strong they were, how well rooted, and also flexible. This path reminded me that we are all on this life’s journey, all seeking sunshine, all wanting to grow, to be strong, to be flexible, to find balance.

The bamboo does not mourn the end of summer, it simply adapts and continues to live, to grow, to, at times, struggle, other times, flourish. The seasons, too, will also not stop one from walking the path, each step an opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand. And while the distance between Japan and myself increases, I feel that I am still walking the bamboo path.

Even now, while on a plane, somewhere between Shanghai and New York City. The way could not be less clear for me; all I know is that I am once again on the move—drawing lines in air, a trail of smoke between point A and point B. Still, I know with a great certainly in my cells and in my bones, that the path is still right here, slowly, gracefully unwinding, for me and my fellow bamboo.