Convergence Divergence

I came on this page to write a letter to someone, and then I saw the Daily Prompt: Blossom. I don’t know about you, but there is something about the word Blossom that makes my heart swell, and I am reminded of the quote:

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom -Anais Nin

And I find that I am up against some tightness in my life, and not sure where to “break through,” but I sure know I want to blossom again. I have been in this stuck place for quite some time, and the more I look at where I am and talk to the amazing entrepreneurial people in my life, the more it is clear to me that I don’t believe in what I do.

When people ask me what I DO for a living, I tell them I am a Pharmacist, but I don’t say it with pride, and it’s not that I loathe what I do, or that I am not proud to be a Pharmacist. The problem is that I don’t believe in our Sickcare System. We have hundreds of thousands of people trying to take care of our population, but the insurance companies have tied our hands behind our backs. We document in ways that are not meaningful, and we focus on externally defined clinical measures, and we reduce the time with patients to get more through, all so we can survive and keep our doors open.

The problem is that people are getting sicker, and the truly heartfelt HealthCare providers are either burned out and leaving, or they are starting concierge services outside of the System. Not everyone can afford this……But, I digress. I could go on and on about our SickCare System, but I am here today to put words to this divergence within me.

A little over a year ago, I realized I wanted to dance and perform again, so I found a small local dance company and performed with them last April. This January, I found some ballet and modern dance classes in Portland and San Francisco, and it was AMAZING to feel my body respond after 11 years off! And I come home to my tiny hometown of Ashland, and there is just not enough here to get me in dance shape and to perform. My work as Director of Pharmacy is certainly not fulfilling that part of me. It fulfills other analytical, strategic and creative parts of me, but it doesn’t touch me deeply like movement and dance. My work does not help me get closer to myself.

So, I decided to start bringing more somatic experiences into my life (stay with me…..I am going somewhere with this). By day, I was building my little Pharmacy empire, and on weekends and evenings, I was doing Contact Improv and going to workshops like Orthobionomy and the Psoas with Liz Koch. You know, my timelines are all messed up. This really started last year when I did Mogadao Sacred Sexuality Workshops with Sarah Byrden. The Mogadao work so spoke to me that I have done pretty much everything Sarah has offered in my area since then. I did a 5-day backpacking trip in the Trinity Alps with 11 other women (Sarah included) last summer, where I entered a portal of existence that felt more consistently awake to the synchronicity of life than ever before. Recently, I went on a writing retreat called Writing Back to the Body, with both Sarah Byrden and Kate Grey, in the most beautiful area of Hood River, Oregon. Wow! I couldn’t believe that all the times I had gone to Portland, I had not continued north into the Columbia Gorge. Put that place on your Bucket List! At the same time, I was starting an online course with Sarah to take more time to learn her work, which I had started in person with her the prior year.

So, now I have somatic experience, sacred sexuality work (which includes qi gong), and what is called the Gateless writing method at the most recent retreat working their magic in my life. The Gateless method is an amazing way of not only fostering an immensely safe and loving space between a room full of what may be strangers, but also a surefire way to turn off your inner critic and see what comes through. 

multnomah falls

Feeling radiant after a week of Gateless writing, sharing and loving

During the retreat, I realized that the Gateless method could be used in so many ways, and potentially with dancers. If I could have tapped into that and seen that the critical way is not the most fruitful way, I may not have put aside my dance shoes for so many years and I may not have suffered 24 years of shame and guilt and wondering. So much wondering…

It didn’t take long before I contacted Suzanne Kingsbury to sign up for the Gateless Teacher Training in July. I explained to her that I have this profession of pharmacy that I worked very hard for, and it allows me a good living. Yet, what I am most passionate about is movement and the spiritual alignment that happens through conscious movement. I explained to her that I want to find a way to marry what feel like 2 divergent sides of myself. I was offered the Golden Scribe scholarship, and am excited to say that I will soon be certified in the Gateless Writing Method!  

Yep, I signed up for the training, and instantly entered the Convergence Zone.

You know how sometimes your life goes through phases of being almost freakishly synchronistic? My last couple weeks were very much that way, and it has me feeling nervous and excited. I went home to visit family in New Mexico and to celebrate my sister’s wedding. Well, after 5 days of being with the whole family, they left town and I had a whole week to myself in my parents’ home.

Ok, you ready for this? The Mogadao Institute was founded in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Zhenzan Dao, the man that trained Sarah Byrden in the Sacred Sexuality work she teaches. He had been in silence for quite some time, and recently came out of silence and started teaching again in Santa Fe. I had the immense pleasure of entering 2 days of training with him and his students, two of which I did the backpacking trip with last year, and who moved from both Oregon and Montana to train with him! It felt so new and like a reunion at the same time.

I could write a small book about the magic of Santa Fe that week and what transpired in the classes with Zhenzan and his students, but I will save that for later. Suffice to say, the sky was alive, and so was my heart and my curiosity. I left knowing I would train with Zhenzan at some point. And that Wednesday, after gong fu and Mogadao yoga and then meditation, I met with my best friend Shane Robinson, whom I had met in Albuquerque 16ish years prior, and we had both lived in Maui at one point, and now he happened to be flying into Santa Fe! Lives converging on this planet over thousands of miles, over and over, I refuse to consider merely a coincidence.

Many other magical things happened, but the magic of the possibility of the Mogadao training and the softness and strength of reverence and daily attunement to our body’s needs speaks to a place in me that is timeless and not of this current realm of reality we live in.

And so, what led me to a Sacred Sexuality course was curiosity of having a more intimate experience with my partner at the time, and I was inspired from there to partake in my first backpacking trip, deeper communion with nature, more embodiment, a writing retreat, Gateless Teacher Training, and potentially training someday….someday with a monk named Zhenzan Dao in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Life is a beautiful unfolding of possibilities and connections. We have only to trust in that unfolding and allow ourselves to blossom into our desires.

To be continued….