This trip is a saging, a letting go, a cleaning of the slate, wiping clear what's been so that something new can grow. It's time to let go of and drop my identity as "Alisha, yoga studio owner".
I'm here to clean out that closet, I've gone through exhausting travel to hide in an exotic place far and away from my normal life, friends who like me as I am, habits and routines I cling to. I've traveled far from my life as i've known it so that I can clean out one of it's closets. As we'd say in yoga " to drop my old story". My heart and soul called for this sageing. Four years of work, sweat, exhaustion, and tears are wrapped up tight in the yoga studio I worked so hard to build. I've already mourned it, I've processed what went well and what I wouldn't do next time. Now, it's time to release that from my identity. The studio is who i've been for so long that I don't know who I am without it. Like the overly involved parents taking their only child to college in a state far away. Dropping it means I'm letting go of my story of who I thought I was. No longer the workaholic studio owner who also works a full time job, that's who I was...
Now who am I?
What's underneath who I thought I was?
The background to my sacred closet clearing is Sayulita Mexico, here the outdoors is like the smoke rising from the sage symbolizing a cleaning and letting go. Someone is sweeping the sidewalk behind us, I can hear the texture of the bristles caress the concrete, it's constant all day, I'm not sure why there's so much sweeping that it last all day, but it does. The loud crashes of ocean waves fierce and lulling not even a block away, these are the sounds that are holding me and anchoring me to the task at hand. Spending the balance of the day outside is like a bar of dark chocolate with chili peppers and I'm savoring every bite. Outside is full of noises like parties into the night, smells of flowering plants or wet dirty dogs, textures like the air flirting with my skin. My senses are overwhelmed in all that is here but I'm not distracted from the work at hand. I'm taking each emotion, each experience and frustration, each memory of joy out of the closet and wrapping my arms around it like it's a beloved shirt that I wore until it had stains and holes. I wrap my arms around it like a big hug and I thank it for all it's taught me and I toss it into the goodwill pile.
One of the two dogs that lives here just barked, the chimes tingle lightly with sound as the breeze takes hold and I find myself curious about all of the women i'm surrounded by. My good will pile is getting larger and my closet is becoming more open, and I feel afraid as I look into the emptiness. I feel the energy of these women also writing around me, each brings a story, knowledge, strength. We sit around a long wooden table, but it's not just any wooden table. It's a tree no longer rooted in the ground. This table we've gathered at is the trunk of a vast old tree that had lived a long long life before it's second life as a table at a healing sanctuary. It's at least 4 feet possibly 5 feet deep and 10-15 feet long, all one piece, all the trunk of what must have been a majestic beauty. This tree lived a long life as a living breathing creature planted in the earth and now it still has life providing us with a place to gather, share ideas, break bread. I'm scared to not know what's next, but the tree's second life gives me hope.
Blowing off the afternoon yoga class my new friend who feels like an ancient soul connection and I lay our towels on the sand and stripe down to our bathing suits. She does a perfect cartwheel and runs with abandon into the ocean. I giggle and squeal and do a round off and make my way a bit more cautiously into the water. She seems fearless swimming far out into the waves like an experienced surfer might. I'm happy, content even but tentative. I crave the ocean and feel pulled to it like a humming bird to nectar but the ocean is powerful and vast, and I'm not a strong swimmer. Are there fish swimming around our legs and bodies I wonder uncomfortably? I can feel the pull of the rip current under my feet as the stronger waves roll in. I've worn my favorite, but wrong swim suit, a black and white strapless two piece . As we ride the waves my tube top keeps getting pulled down and I'm annoyed to have to keep pulling it back up. We talk easily and I play in the discomfort of the wrong swim suit and of being in the ocean which certainly has the upper hand. We decide to get out and a set of large waves with a strong rip appears and I'm tossed underwater, I release the need to control that moment and I instantly feel myself floating back up. A second wave comes quickly after and tosses me into the sand. There's sand in my hair, in my swim suit everywhere and I'm a bit discombobulated. "That was fun" I think. Maybe the ambiguity of not knowing what's next on my path will be fun too, if I let go of my need to control it.