This morning I had a dream that I was sledding down the side of a snow-covered hill on my black Tumi backpack, and suddenly, a red-tailed hawk flew down from the sky, and came to light on my left arm. It was so unbelievable. I was so amazed. I can still feel my lips parted in awe that such a magical, spirit, such a wild, solitary, elusive bird had chosen to come to me in such a bold act of intimacy.

It was as if freedom itself had decided to come to me. And not only did it just float there on my arm, but it softly sank his beautiful talons into my flesh, gently holding on, knowing exactly how hard to press, accepting my warm breath on his beak. To see if it was real, I gently went to stroke his head, and he let me and spread his gorgeous wings of white and red in appreciation that I had chosen to reciprocate his intimate gesture with one of my own.

Even now, the feeling of lightness and warmth as big as the sky above, spreads across my chest, from deep within my heart center to his, this magnificent hawk; we were connected, united, and FREE!  What a joy, what a gift that dream was! I am still celebrating it … A message from above. I am still aglow from that moment when my eyes caught him and tracked his trajectory, incredulous that he was coming toward me –when I saw his wings beating in an upward draw, slowing his descent, as he floated down from the ethers, and chose me as his landing pad, a confidant to whom he could silently transmit the message: “Believe it. You are FREE.”

Trial by fire. Oh, and it is.

When I first found this image, I wanted to kiss the earth that I had located a visual depiction that managed to encapsulate the very feeling I have had over the past month. I feel like a stuntwoman walking away from a well-played crash scene, except the “scene” isn’t staged. It’s real. Never before has this conscious awareness of contrast between incarceration and liberty been as stark, as naked as it has been for me of late. And when I say this contrast- I am referring to the battle of black vs. white, shadow vs. sun that comes to dominate the grand stage of the mind. The duel to the death that happens when we entrap ourselves in the stories that we ourselves author, when we imprison ourselves in the cells we construct, when we fashion the very shackles that keep our feet well-fettered.

Rumi said it so well,  “You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”

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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.



Wanted to share my morning meditation today that followed my Yin practice:
We are all energy beings–we vibrate with our thoughts; Whatever we think about becomes our reality. When you are in the vibration of hope, you align with the energy of manifestation. How do you create abundance? Imagine how much fun it would be to have it, rather than thinking about what you do not have. Feel appreciation for the tools you possess, your natural gifts … How do you get where you want to be? Look in the direction of where you want to go and never look back over your shoulder with regret. Love yourself for your humanity, if you feel frustration or sadness because of the past, allow yourself to feel the feelings, and cry — move the feelings out, and if you do look back over your shoulder, look back in gratitude, for the past is what brought you to this moment of awakening. This moment where you can decide that anything is possible.