I spent the last week in a parallel universe - familiar snow-capped peaks with their toes dipped in green glacial waters.
For desert creatures the rainforest offers a different kind of nourishment.
Away from cell towers and the intimate tangle of the internet my lungs opened in a way I haven't experienced since childhood. The soundtrack was a timeless mix of silence and gongs, the pace set by primeval slugs. Silent and slow and impossible to miss. It is impossible to imagine a dry time there - a crackling pace set by sun and sand. Even the dampness and the lazy morning clouds conspired to say rest.
Yin yoga has always been a powerful medicine for me. I've always kept my tail high and hidden behind me - a place to store all of The Things I didn't have time or patience to deal with. In yin, I had to relent and maybe even drop into the earth. Allow myself to be held by her restorative power. It is so easy to hold on to all of these stories, and yet so tiring to keep them from dragging in the mud.
Feminine energy scares me. I walk lightly and feel most at home when soaring through the sky (or at least wandering airports in search of tea). It's lovely to leave the story at home for awhile. The fear and guilt, the shame and distrust that is fostered in the West makes no sense in the East where it is simply an essential part - perhaps half of who we are.
When men feel stressed, they run or fight. I ran for years (and still do). Not the one foot, other foot, pavement-pounding, but the hyper-fast, ungrounded and abstract busy-ness. My main attempts at rest these past two years have been out of physical desperation, a full depletion of my adrenal glands or my kidney energy, or my spirit. How easily we transform that energy into fuel for someone else's fire. Now that my body has rested, perhaps it is time to support and nurture my own soul.
One of my favorite books as a child was Where the Wild Things Are, when Max puts the wild things into a trance by saying, "Be still!" When I practice yin yoga, it is my body that has to find stillness. Only then does my mind begin to catch up - not by running ever faster, but by slowing down. I've always described this sensation as a trance. After a week of pacifying the demons, I was hoping to leave them behind.
But they came home with me (they always do). And so I need another strategy. Do we make friends?
Do I let them consume me?
Or, like Kali, the mother of death and destruction, is it time to eat my demons?