I have been exploring and walking throughout the trails this morning, trying to find the perfect place to begin my day hike. I thought I’d be on my way by sunrise, but I couldn’t find a place where I would feel safe. I stopped along the river, walked further into the woods, then turned back around wondering which way to go. I prayed, listened and walked, searching further, going this way and that, and not feeling comfortable to begin my journey for the day. I’d see men parked in cars, or driving by, feeling that they were watching me and I felt uncomfortable. So I continued on. Place after place, I felt vulnerable. I didn’t expect I’d feel this way, so intensely. These places were not familiar to me, so I moved on, many times, not feeling safe. I’d move on to another destination searching for my beginning. Finally, I decided to go the Chattahoochee Nature Center. There I would be safe.
Here I am. Safe.
I’ve been hiking for hours, alone. I noticed as I walked further into the forest and became present to my surroundings, that my heart rate slowed down and my anxiety of being alone left me. I found a place to sit and journal in the warmth of the sun, looking out over the beauty of the trees, flowers, boulders and lakes. I see a gorgeous pond and begin to take in the beauty and peace surrounding me.
The breeze is so gentle and the sounds are so clear. Birds, squirrels, geese and animals of all kinds are everywhere, at peace, enjoying their home. There is no worry here. Life is just happening. The birds chirp and sing, knowing they are where they are meant to be. They all call out as if talking with each other. There is no separation here. Everything flows. The leaves flow, as their time ends with their tree, they gently, slowly, effortlessly sway and glide, bend and flow to the earth. The leaf has no expectation, no fear, no control. The breeze just embraces with the leaf and they dance as one, not knowing or caring about where they will go. I envy this leaf. How do I flow? Do I control every moment? Do I trust the natural progression or do I hold tight, afraid of letting go?
The Blue Heron dove down and up again against the waters plain. He flew off and then glided through the air effortlessly. He looked alive and strong! He knew where he was going and planned that dive and ascended graciously with ease. He had power, yet was graceful and flexible to go with the moment.
The trees stand with firmness and are grounded with solid roots that tangle and stretch into the earth for balance. Yet, they are alive and sway and move with surrender. It amazes me to see such beautiful, strong, powerful, mature trees. They don’t dictate or control anything. They are open. Squirrels make a home here, owls and eagles too. Birds live in harmony amongst their branches depending on their balance and stability. They don’t mind when their limbs fall to the earth. Not fighting or holding on, they just let it go. As if constantly reaching for heaven, glorifying her. Reaching out to taste through the sky – she opens her heart to all. Grounded in the earth, she stands firm with heaven in her midst, in her heart. She reaches as if to touch the heavenly realm. Knowing it’s only time before she returns to mother earth, who embraces her, holds her, and loves her day after day. Always. Ahhhh! To be a tree!
There is a post, right here before me, with arrows and signs galore, pointing in every direction. This is significant to me. My entire life has felt like this sign! When you see such a sign, you think, which way to I go? Where will it take me? Do I want to go there? Do I trust this sign? Why so many choices? What if I don’t like where I’ll end up? Should I even go? Should I follow a path and just hope? Should I take all? See, I was told early on, that I couldn’t make my own decisions. And If I did, they would most likely be wrong. That I didn’t do well on my own. Well, I believed the lies.
But, I see now, that reading all the signs, and doing all the work, and researched endlessly is not necessarily the way to go. Now, well, NOW I am listening within. I am following MY path. I am looking up and heading forward. When I have stopped in the past and let go, surrendered my ideas, my fears, and my expectations, it worked. When I give it all to God, when I trust that I am one with His will, with my calling, it is so. The simplicity of surrender is sweet. It is effortless and enabling. I don’t need to be trapped by all the directions and signs telling me where to go. I let go, and let God…. let me be.
I see I am to be as the TREE.
Just as the leaves fall without knowing in complete surrender, so must I. Part of the magnificent tree, the leaf, dies to self – the tree. The leaves fall within the season, yet the tree remains strong, solid and rests. Through this season and time, there is sleep and calm and stability. There is patience and wisdom. Then, with time and maturity, stems and buds and blossoms reappear. Growth and transformation come from within. Newness and life are here. The leaves appear for the season, without expectation or desire to know, they just grow.
I must die to myself. My old self, that hangs on and tears and my soul for safety. I must die to the old way. Like the tree left standing, will be ME.
Kira was raised on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. She grew up treating the “outdoors as our greatest fitness resource” by participating in kayaking, paddle canoeing, running, climbing, and competing in triathlons. She is a high energy yoga instructor, personal trainer, and entrepreneur who believes in transforming our community’s health by incorporating a holistic lifestyle approach. She has taught at Kira Kira Yoga as well as BeYoga in Marietta, GA. When she is not teaching or running she is chasing here little ones. Kira is a dedicated mother first and foremost and currently lives her yoga teaching through motherhood and wife to her husband. This dedication influences here style of teaching and her approach to live as a whole.
Kira– I loved reading this today. I have had some of the same feelings you experienced ( fear of alone-ness, and also being “as one” with nature, such as a heron or a tree.) We should walk together.
Love You. Tammy
Thank you! And yes, my yoga and running allow me to be a better mom to my littles and BIG ones ~ 18 and 20! Along with my 4 step children (slash the step), and husband ~who I love!
Beautifully written. This was a wonderful piece. I relate so much to it, and throughly enjoyed reading it.