Recently, I’ve begun to reexamine the question “Why Am I Here”? You probably know that I believe everything exists for a reason, all at the right moment, and I trust that I am being led…well…somewhere. What I continue to be surprised about is that it’s not leading me anywhere but here. This is one of those truths that, I think, we “know” but don’t really know. The path doesn’t lead us anywhere but where we are; it only awakens us to actually being where we are. Through the divine medium of Love, I’m still here, in Seattle, in America. As much time as I’ve spent trying to be most other places, I’m here.
Digging through some pretty big barriers of fear, I decided to forgo my plans to return to South Korea and instead stay with my new partner, Circus, in Seattle. Together, we plan to go back out into the wild to experience whatever Life calls us to experience. Together. Together isn’t something I thought I wanted or recall asking for, explicitly. And yet, many of my teachings are based around surrendering to the divine through Love. What I perhaps forgot is that we are always offered exactly what we need and get to make a choice if we are ready to really take it, or not. I choose yes. I choose yes.
I wish I could say it’s been all bliss and roses since. When we are in the bliss of union, trust, limitless love and surrender, it is certainly bliss. But we live in everyday life, too. And in that everyday life I have habits and patterns I am less than proud of. (And letting go of that shame is high on my list of priorities, I assure you.) You could call it karma, too; ways of living that have been imprinted on my mind from countless previous relationships and experiences.
When you are doing what you are used to, things don’t “come up” all that much. And that was my happy, single, spiritual life. I have surely wrestled with the spiritual teachings of celibacy and isolation and have come out the other side knowing that connecting with another soul, or other souls, is a valid and beautiful path to realizing the union of yoga or whatever you want to call it. And it can rock your very foundation, crack apart what you think you know about life and love and expectations, and leave you falling into the abyss of surrender. But isn’t that the point? Aren’t we going for the “Beginner’s Mind” as the Buddha calls it? To see every moment as the first time, without expectations? Aren’t we trying to rid ourselves of patterns, habits, ego-grasping, etc., etc.? Maybe, maybe not. For me, I am reminded every day that connection – or reconnection as I experience it – is a way to see and recall the Divine in every moment.
They say Tantra is the highway to discovering the Truth – Tantra meaning the interconnected web of life, samsara, Shakti, experiential existence, as opposed to the pristine isolation of the soul. And it’s messy and sometimes chaotic. It doesn’t always feel good and calm and perfect. What I continue to learn from the amazing love I experience every day – from so many people – is that life isn’t supposed to be any one way and I’m not supposed to know how to “navigate” it. Truly living in the moment means letting go of what we think the moment should look like or feel like and just experiencing it as is, for the first time. Because every moment is the first time. No two moments are the same and nothing can be recreated or experienced again.
So I unpack what I think life is supposed to look like, what a spiritual teacher is supposed to do, and ask myself “Why Am I Here”? And when I let go of my own expectation, I come back to simply trust that I don’t know and I don’t need to know. Well, in a way, I do know. I feel when I am in line with my truth, when I am doing things that feed my soul and surrounding myself with people who challenge me to be the most compassionate and honest person I can be. I am here to experience and awaken and to share that with you. What I don’t know is exactly what that is going to look like. And that is certainly okay.
One of my favorite teachings is that the amazingness of life comes from its unknowable and unpredictable nature. Even on that day when we wake up and really realize that we are of the same stuff as all of creation, we still get to be surprised at what is around every corner, the beautiful people we run across, the lives we will affect in ways we will never know. And for all of that and more, I must thank you for encouraging me to grow more into myself, just by us knowing one another.
What spurred this topic is having to cancel some really incredible things that I had planned to do today – some of my favorite things in fact – because of a physical injury. So I am lying on the couch in the house I share with my partner, in a bathrobe, trying desperately not to feel guilty, and wondering how I can be what I am supposed to be, how and what I can really give to the world lying on this couch and feeling sad and hurt. This is what I came up with: to continue to share my journey with you, one day at a time and one story at a time. And trust that it’s all enough.