I arrived home last night at 2:30 am after attending a 100-hr teacher immersion with Eoin Finn and Blissology in Vancouver, BC. I wrote down the following reflections on the first leg of my trip home.
The group of 20-some participants discussed their personal missions in life. Mine has ebbed and flowed around certain themes over the years as I uncover more and more of my authentic nature, but I wanted to expand upon my “ribbon-sized” shared statement. It is enhanced by the interactions I’ve shared with each of my YTT partners; I thank each of them from the deepest part of my heart.
My expanded “Life Mission” statement:
To Live, Love, Learn, and Lead… For the ultimate benefit of Earth and our Oneness Nature, but beginning with the experiences and interactions I have each day along each step of my journey.
Live- to experience the richness of a full life, each day as a soaring spirit and as a grounded soul;
Love- to nurture life; to demonstrate care and attention towards all things on Earth, beginning with myself and radiating unselfishly both outwards and inwards,
Learn- explore with a sense of wonder and joy the interconnectedness of all things and of all my experiences;
Lead- With a sense of humbleness and awe, plant seeds of Illumination and walk a path inspiring Dignity and Divinity.
Earth- our planet viewed as a single organism; Gaia.
Illumination- to raise consciousness; to help others see their light and to thrive.
Dignity- an internal state of peace that comes with the recognition and acceptance of the value and vulnerability of all living things.
Divinity- Our collective consciousness, raised through deep feelings of presence, connectivity, peace and Love.
Oneness Nature- Each of us is but one piece of a magical natural puzzle called the Universe. However, each of us is also a powerful piece of the puzzle, for the puzzle is not complete without us. In community, together both as One individual organism, and with each other as One collective organism, we Live.
One Living Universe- the unexplained mystery which connects us all, the flowing structure within the chaos, the changing puzzle, the wonder which always has and always will inspire us towards a more magical state of bliss and joy…. often called Enlightenment or Heaven… It is found both within us and outside of us, in the present moment, with each soothing breathe, with each mindful step we take.
Some other reflections:
Everything happens as it’s supposed to, following natural flows and attractions of energy within us and all around us. Ever since the days of my youth when I would lay below the stars in open fields and feel connected in a multi-dimensional way, I believe I have known this deep within. Reflecting in a mindful way on past experiences, I see the many connections and teachings along the way. Here are some reflections and intentions written on my plane ride last night:
A dozen years ago, I started a consulting business called Gaia Structures, LLC, intended to help people design earth-friendly, timber framed homes. I studied sustainable design at a post-graduate level; I’ve designed many healthy and energy-efficient homes. After this immersion, I am reminded that I know that my mission extends well beyond the mental processes of my current work… this immersion has helped validate my natural strengths in other more humanistic, holistic, and yogic ways. I will set my intention to transform my company to a consulting organization which better supports my life mission to include work as a Life Coach, Consultant, and Group Facilitator or Leader, based on principles of yoga, sustainability (Gaia), experiential education, and integrated health. I will combine healthy living leadership work with my healthy home consulting work; I will continue my current educational interests in nutrition, strength and conditioning, and integrated wellness, and expand my study of yoga. I will start teaching and facilitating wellness events at Heart of the Village Yoga Studio (as the Owner allows). Maybe even one day, I’ll also be an affiliated Blissology teacher or workshop facilitator!
For the first two dozen years of my professional career, I pursued work geared towards my life mission, but from more of a place of career building, family support, and personal attributes of responsibility and integrity. I successfully performed work which was very fulfilling, in leadership roles, yet usually intellectually-based. I am after-all a problem-solver or solutions-finder, relating present challenge to future vision, finding clarity or structure in the multitude options or variables. (See previous post on Structural Engineering written one month ago.) In Eoin, I saw a mind that finds solutions in a similar way, from a yogic perspective and with an innate inquisitiveness.
Marrying Jo, Alex and Natalie more than 17 years ago exposed me to a world of emotions that has helped my spirit soar in ways previously not experienced. We’ve soared together, high and low, through lightness and darkness. We’ve experienced life to its fullest; we’ve experienced life as it fades away. Recently, for a period of 3 years, Jo and I were blessed to have the opportunity to serve others as a result of what we learned from our darkest days with our work at the Adaptive Sports Foundation and with the Wounded Warrior Project. Through it all, I have come to know me better. After this immersion, I have a greater sense of the valuable insights I personally already have regarding helping others heal and find happiness in their lives. For us, healing and finding happiness through yoga is real.
My father passed away one year ago; he was a hard-working man of high integrity, dedicated family values, and community service; he was mourned by a community that had previously recognized him in the naming of a new school library and media center. I slept by his side on his last night, held his hand as the morning sun rose, and watched as his spirit left his body alongside my siblings and his wife of almost 65 years, my mother. I had helped care for him in his last years. I have come away from this event feeling like it is time for me to expand my wings, using both the strength of his spirit and the freedom from his earthly care.
Natalie graduated from college last year; both kids are happily employed in Boston. Jo has successfully started a new yoga studio, Heart of the Village Yoga Studio, and has found a new sense of peace and connection with the community and with our one-year old dog, Emma. She already shared with you how she felt the power of these relationships and their personal value while being away from them on our trip to Vancouver. During the immersion, I suspect she also validated the power of her previous experiences and her yoga teaching expertise. I think we both have come home with a new sense of clarity, confidence, and connection with our Manchester home community and being out in nature. I feel like I can now give myself permission to expand my wings and ” let go of the reigns” somewhat at this point in our lives.
On our trip, I had time to practice, observe, feel, and participate away from the intellectually-based world of structural engineering. Like Jo, I was also reminded of the power of my previous life experiences and teaching insights. I found a yoga mentor in Eoin whose teachings resonated with me and my inner wisdom… I have always found my spirituality in nature, in the mountains, helping others fly and find happiness. I was inspired by what I learned from Eoin about the physical body, it’s alignment, and the relationships between my understanding of yoga asana and current strength and conditioning methodologies. I see consistency in the balancing of stability and mobility approach in the Blissology concepts, whereas before I saw yoga placing too much emphasis on just mobility. I come away wanting to practice and learn more; I am no longer frustrated by the limitations of my own physical body.
I am my father’s son; I care for my mother; I am my wife’s partner and my kids’ step-father; I am the mentor of some and have inspired some more. I have done my best, and that is good enough. I am now giving myself permission to let my wings expand in ways that may be risky and more variable, emotionally and economically, but in ways that may help me soar higher and better fulfill my life mission… A mission that I believe has been within me forever.
To Eoin, Dylan, Steph, Alissa, Insiya, and my fellow YTT partners- THANK YOU! These reflections come to me as a result of our personal and group interactions. I ask for your continued loving support; I will feel it across the Universe, wherever we are. I will carry your influences forever; our individual pieces of our infinite puzzle have come together and will be forever linked. I am very grateful for that. Remember, if 1 + 1 = 3, than our Universe is expanding!!! Thank you! I love each of you. Be Inspired. Be well. Now life goes on…
My tattoo of Kokopelli is intended to remind me of my intention to plant and nurture seeds of life and joy in whatever village I visit… The wings remind me to keep a heavenly perspective. I got the tattoo with the first wounded warrior I met 5 years ago. He got one on his chest that said, “Let Love Live”…. I pray each day that it does… That he does… And that I do.
To steal the words of a great philosopher friend of mine named Zach: Love + Peace!