It had been a rough night.
My heart felt bruised and battered.
In the morning, it was only amplified.
I put on my exercise gear, ready for my 8:30 a.m. class. Driving there, I was not feeling inspired to push myself in any way. I could barely hold my head up, let alone my body weight. Hell, I was felling raw and vulnerable. Pulling at the steering wheel, I headed to the gym.
I listened—my inner voice told me not what I should do, but to what I needed to do.
The messenger was speaking.
I created a 60 Day Self-Directed Workout Challenge which consists of doing some form of movement for 45 minutes a day, including a twice weekly workout with another friend or colleague and one activity for pure fun each week.
I, plus other friends who have joined me in this challenge, are now in week three (day 17).
Whilst I see the benefit of a gym workout, it does not “light my fire.” It is mainly arduous and somewhat boring to me. 12 years as a yoga instructor has ruined me for the gym. Yoga has always taken the disheveled pieces and put them back in place for me, better each time than the last and bought my joy to the forefront of my life.
Today I listened, and discovered what I truly needed for my own well being.
I did not need the gym; I needed a contemplative walk in nature. As a friend of mine would say, I needed “…some green.” I needed to breathe fresh air, take in the sights of trees and water and give myself time for the tangled thoughts to loosen themselves from each other.
Thoughts have that way sometimes; they get locked and blocked in the smallness of my mind. I needed to fling open a window and let the breeze in.
Or, open a door and invite them to leave.
By listening, I discovered for myself that this was the only type of exercise that was going to do it for me today. Movement to inspire well being, balance and soul nurturing—more than just moving my body or going to the mat.
On other days I need the type of exercise that requires me to push myself, sweat and “work it out.” Not today.
I walked for four miles.
During the last part of my walk, a hawk travelled with me. He flew close, gliding past me at the level of my head, then up to a tree and waited until I was level with him. We glanced at each other in acknowledgment. Then he flew ahead a half dozen trees or so and waited for me.
He did this five times.
It was playful, yet I sensed another message for me in this game. My time in contemplation had successfully loosened my myriad of thoughts and I was feeling expanded and calmer.
Nature has a way of opening us, if we allow it.
I was still enjoying the feeling of playfulness that the game with the hawk inspired as I returned to my car.
When I arrived home, I retrieved my deck of Medicine Cards and a book by Sams & Carson which holds teaching and traditions from Native American elders about messages from the animal kingdom.
Here is what they said about the hawk:
Hawk: Messenger. Right now a clue about the magic of life is being brought to you. This magic can imbue you with the power to overcome a currently stressful or difficult situation. The test is your ability to observe the nuances of power lurking nearby. Is power the talent you have and are not using? Remember: Hawk has a keen eye and a bold heart, for Hawk flies close to the light of Grandfather Sun.
Listening to our inner wisdom makes all the difference.
Messages come both through us and to us.
Greeting unseen forces and messages with an open heart is a gift. There is all too often a mystical part of life that gets drowned out by the hustle and strains of life.
Get yourself some “green” today.
Watch, and really listen to your inner knowing. You never know what will find you.
Author: Lulu Trevena
Editor: Catherine Monkman