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Don’t Hold Back!

There is a river of creativity running through all things, all relationships, all beings, all corners and centers of the Universe.  We are here to join it, to get wet, to jump in, to ride these rapids, wild and sacred that they may be.   Mathew Fox

“Mars will unleash ambitious fire-sign energy – passionate, creative and intense.”  I’m reading these words in our local newspaper’s horoscope for this week, the week that summer officially tips into autumn.  “It will be important to put effort into expressing yourself during this transit which lasts until November 10 . . . Don’t hold back . . . Mindfully apply yourself to putting something in the world that wasn’t there before.”

I felt this yesterday while walking along the lakeshore in Marquette, this wild, ambitious energy.  The wind, still warm with a hint of summer, was blowing in dark and billowy clouds, and the steel-gray waves were breaking frothy-white.  And, in the harbor, tiny boats, each with their one-white sail, were tipped nearly sideways catching that wind and riding those waves and it was a wild exhilarating sight.  And as I walked along, watching these boats, captained by students from the local college, I too felt like I was sailing on that bike path, soaring into something new, the wind of change pressing me forward.  It’s dynamic, this energy.  I feel it in my bones.  And I’m grateful for these bones of mine.  Because what would we do without a container, something tangible, a medium in which to focus?  Those college students were holding tight to their lines, steering their course in their tiny boats.  And their sails caught that wild wind and gave it a path.  The young men and women of Northern Michigan University had found the perfect play vessels for a windy Lake Superior day in mid-September.

Don’t hold back, the horoscope said.  How do we do that?  Keep ourselves from holding back?

How do we let it fly?  How do we ride those wild waves of creativity?  How do we let ourselves burn with the lightning bolt of inspiration?  How do we keep from drowning or blowing away or burning ourselves out?  Years ago, while in training to be certified as a yoga teacher at Kripalu, I lay there on my yoga mat at the end of a session in a candle-lit room with sixty other students in the early evening of a winter in Massachusetts.  And I felt it, in the stillness of the night, in my breath and bones and the blood coursing through me, I felt it, the wild river, the lightning bolt of energy, and, I heard it, our teacher, Yoganand’s words: “It’s safe to feel this alive.  It’s safe to feel this alive.”  I really heard it.  It is safe to feel this alive.  It is our birthright.  It is why we are here.

So, in this week of goldenrod and the last of the wild roses and the first hint of scarlet leaves, I probably will not hop into a tiny boat in Marquette’s lower harbor and hold tight to the line, but I will find other ways to ride the wind, other ways to “not hold back.”  Maybe I don’t even have to find the ways.  They’ll find me.  In every moment – while breathing in the smell of apples and leaves and frosty air as I hike my usual trail in Ishpeming, while sautéing perfectly formed oyster mushrooms that I bought at the local farmer’s market, while grounding myself in warrior pose and feeling strong and centered, a force to behold, while typing up a blog that has a life of its own, while laughing with a friend . . . in every moment, there it is, the wild river of life that was with me that evening on my yoga mat in Massachusetts.

Can it be that easy?  Don’t hold back.  Express something new.  Can it be a simple matter of trust?  I sense it can, that if we relax, feel ourselves connected to our bones and our breath, if we sink into the strength in these bones of ours, then, in every moment, we can allow it, this creative wind to blow right through us, and it will cleanse us and invigorate us and bring us new insights and possibilities.  And, it will keep on blowing, this wild wind of life, and, with the greatest of ease, it will find its way back out again, and we, each one of us, sailing our own little vessels, will put something into the world that wasn’t there before, something unique.

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