From my teacher’s generous and inspiring essays on Ayurveda:
“The health of your relationship with the flow of nature will determine the quality of your relationship with the flow of your own life.”
Reading this sent me thinking about the physical act of moving to and making a life at Bhudeva. I am so much closer to nature and its flows then I ever was. Until recent years, when I walked barefoot I would find myself walking on the toes of my feet … an echo of my upbringing “don’t get your feet dirty”. It took (still does) a continuous conscious effort to walk barefoot with my entire foot. Now, I am also being forced (simply because I can’t avoid it) to reconsider what “dirt” is. A little black coal or ashes on my hands from lighting the stove no longer bothers me (and ashes have become a precious substance). Earth isn’t dirt, it’s another precious substance … as are the clay particles which make it super sticky … it is that super stickiness that made the cob house we now live in possible.
Most of my life I lived insulated from the forces of nature, most of my life I was comfortable, most of my life I was unhappy. Not only was I insulated from nature but I also inherited a subtle yet aggressive mentality … a notion of overpowering nature: strong walls resist earthquakes, insulated walls keep the cold out, clothes keep the body protected … as if my life is a war and nature is the enemy.
Now I am looking for ways to work with nature rather then resisting it or fighting it off. Whenever I encounter a “discomfort” from nature I try to cease judgement and consider its natural quality and how that quality can work for me (or how I can work MY way around it). I want to grow my food and build my house with nature on my side. I want to give nature an opportunity to reach deep into my consciousness – deeper even then the layers which house the habit of walking on the balls of my feet.
But most of all, I want a chance to experience happiness again. I am hoping that just as moving away from nature (a movement I was born into) caused me to lose touch with happiness, so will moving back towards nature coax it out again. I do believe that this process has begun. My dominant emotional remoteness seems to be giving way to frustrations (life close to nature isn’t easy – it takes both learning and un-learning). Frustration isn’t happiness but it is an emotional energy – and that is an awakening I welcome … and thanks (I believe) to my years of Yoga practices … I can embrace and contain it.
I am reminded, and can’t help but smile at the fact, that my name literally means (in Hebrew) “Happy” 🙂