24
Nov

jennifer-15-of-241

Today, I was in the moment. All day. From the minute I opened my eyes, to this moment now.

And  I realized something very important.  In order to be in the moment, one must surrender.  And the minute one surrenders, one can be awash in one of life’s most precious and beautiful states: gratitude.

Even though I have felt gratitude at many different times in my life, I can honestly say that today was the first time I truly understood and lived this connection, that pristine place on the mountain top,  the place one must climb long and hard to come to … that place where surrender and gratitude meet and smile knowingly at one another like two old, long-lost friends. Today,  I stepped into my life the way a visitor would step off of the train and onto the platform of a place he had always longed to visit, a place where he knew he was destined one day to arrive.

My eyes took in every detail, my senses drank in every ambient gift- the sights and scents of the day, the intense warmth of the sun on my cat’s back as she found the most perfect spot on the kitchen floor, the intoxicating smell of the turkey in the oven just starting to brown, the herbs, thyme, rosemary, sage and butter melting together to produce a perfume that sent me floating above, looking down on this room, flooded with sunlight and simple joy.

And then the love I felt overflowing the banks of my heart for the man I call my best friend-silently acknowledging all of the qualities I cherish about him, his incredible kindness, generosity, humor, insight, wisdom, creativity, artistry, intelligence, affection, integrity … where we started and how far we have come … the challenges we faced down and worked together to vanquish, the moments when I wanted to run, and the fact that I was still there, standing there with such calm in my heart, so much breath and space inside. All of it penetrated my consciousness with a kind of clarity and power I had never experienced in just this same way before.  It was for me, all day, the only truth that mattered- what I saw in my immediate surroundings, what I felt, what I breathed, what I literally inhaled. Each and every thing that came into my sphere, I treasured. The whisk that fell out of the pie crust batter not once, but twice, splattering all over the rug and the floor and a cabinet or two, something that would have annoyed me somewhere inside on another day, was nothing, was a moment where I could show my partner compassion, understanding and encouragement instead. It was a moment today that made me smile, and say to myself, “I am here. I am alive and I am with this person who I love more than I have ever loved before, and I am grateful. I am more grateful than I can ever remember.”

And then I stopped and sort of observed myself in wonder. This feeling of gratitude was so powerful, so immense, that it made me feel like I wanted to reach out to each and everyone I knew and send them love and wishes for joy and for them to feel this kind of simple contentment. It is in my nature to want to give to others, so reaching out to people to spread joy is not a foreign concept. But this feeling I had today was special, because it is also in my nature to move- I am someone whose mind never shuts off and who has an incredibly difficult time sitting still long enough to give myself many of the calming gifts I know I can give to others.  I know how hard it is to turn off the mind, and today,  I was a bird who learned to fly.  Today, my ‘monkey mind’ took a vacation because two months ago, I made a resolution to take a break– To step off of the train I was on, a train that I knew was heading in the wrong direction.  And when I made the decision to get off of that rough train, the train that I will now name “control, frustration and hopelessness …” I let go. I surrendered to my own true nature, and I found a kind of deep peace that I cannot remember feeling in just this way ever before. Why? Because who I am today is a product of the hard-won lessons of someone who took a few too many bad train rides and finally learned when to get off, when to step down onto the platform and think for a while about which one she would get on next, but not a moment before she was good and ready.

Today my busy brain stopped, because I surrendered yet again. I made the conscious choice to do everything in my power to face myself in the direction of what I wish to manifest and then let  g o … No agenda, just flow. No plan, just honoring the pulse inside and appreciating everything just as it was outside, without trying to change a thing. Surrender. Quiet. Stillness. Observation. Awareness. Consciousness. Simplicity. Breath.

Today, I let go and I let God and I got the reward. I felt so grateful for exactly what is—hoping for what will be, yes, of course, I am only human, but today, I felt more grateful than I ever have before, because I was in the moment. I was in the moment where I was able to consciously appreciate each and everything. My mind was not fixated on future or past, on what I cannot control, no matter how hard I try.

I was here. Fully opened and surrrendered to what was, to what is.

Today I surrendered. I opened my hands to the universe, and together, the universe and my highest self answered with this one word:

“Gratitude.”

11
Nov

hubert-klein-two-dolphins
Dolphins play a vital role in reminding humans of their connection with the Divine. For thousands of years they have expressed the qualities to which we aspire - unconditional love, joy, playfulness, strong sense of community, creativity, and the ability to heal ourselves and others. We all have these qualities within ourselves. It’s just that many of us have simply forgotten because the bittersweet blessing of our advances in modern technology has pulled us farther and farther away from nature, the world around us, and our own true natures.

There is one exception to this bittersweet blessing that comes to mind now, however, that inspired this blog, and it is Pilates Anytime,  a brain child that rides the technology wave but rather than pulling us away from ourselves, has helped us all to grow closer, not only to our own unique potentialities as individuals, but as a global community. Kristi Cooper-White has helped us to achieve what the dolphins live every day- this sense of joy, playfulness and sense of community that was sorely lacking in the Pilates world before she and her groundbreaking site arrived on the scene.

Last month, I was honored to be a part of this magical world on Padaro Beach with Kristi and her incredible community. I can no longer recall my exact words that were spoken at the moment that everyone’s eyes moved to the window behind me and quiet exclamations were uttered like a chant that echoed softly throughout the room, “did you see the dolphin?!”  I do know, however that the great energy in the studio was palpable from the moment I entered the morning of our workshop and shoot, and only expanded into a powerful upward spiral for the hours that followed. At the moment when the dolphin broke through the water’s surface, I believe that I had been speaking about love … asking the participants of the workshop what the opposite of fear was. And just as I uttered the word, “L O V E,” the dolphin appeared. I remember wondering how I could be that lucky- to be graced by a dolphin’s presence on top of the already extraordinary experience I had been having … “Really?!” I exclaimed as chills ran up my spine and the tears started rising to my throat-I had already been so moved by the exchange I was having with the beautiful group of people I was working with, that the dolphin’s presence reached swiftly into my heart the way he had just broken through the water, and within seconds, I wasn’t just crying, I was sobbing, and could have cried for a long time, I was so swept away by the immensity and beauty of the confluence of events and transformative energies swirling around inside that special space. A part of me in fact, wished for that moment, I could have found myself entirely alone on the beach watching the dolphin, communing with him and my tears, allowing myself to surrender entirely to the overwhelming joy and sadness that came rushing through me in that moment. Joy that I was with a community I resonated with, and sadness that it had been so long in coming to feel that sense of “home,” to be in a place that was dedicated to fostering union, facilitating camaraderie and celebration in uniting for the true purpose of transformation and growth- to celebrate the reasons that Pilates had been created in the first place.

A portal opens today.
11.11.11, a day that has incredible numerological potency, a day that the sages say has the power to change one’s destiny. A day when you have the opportunity to break the chains of history and choose love instead. A day when we can empower ourselves and heal, when we can aspire to what the dolphins do every day- love unconditionally, unite and find strength in community, in sharing, in generosity of spirit and support of one another. I knew when I woke up this morning that today was the day I would write this special piece about my incredible heart opening with Kristi and her global community of Pilates Anytime at her other-worldly home on Padaro Beach, where the divine messengers lead the way, nodding their heads and smiling in approval that we are on the right path at last.

424bottlenoseddolphin