Superman decelerates, landing gracefully on his feet with one arm up in the air, sometimes wit Lois Lane in tow. Spiderman crouches on the side of a building, webbing the whole city together with his super threads, and no one heard him get there. Catwoman swishes her tail back and forth on the top of a building, and Batman’s wings/cape fall silently at his sides. If only my landing back in Los Angeles were as quiet and graceful. My LA landing was bumpy, involved long lines at baggage claim and customs, and a ten minute inquisition, on why I had left the country, and how I could afford it followed by another 10 minute squint test that involved the near sighted controller staring at me, then at the book, then me, a few incredulous “Don’t look like you.” “Yes I’ve grown eyebrows since then.” After which I proceeded to cover them up, and she let me pass. This was certainly not a superhero welcome back to earth after a seeming lifetime of global frolic. Standing at the curb in the LAX Super shuttle line, it occurred to me, that I hadn’t really done anything special.
No amount of shark diving, glacier hiking or silent retreats had made a difference in anyone’s life except for my own, and all of the sudden, I felt just as adrift as when I’d left. I needed an anchor
My anchor is the mat, and like the super roster described above, it has a purpose beyond myself. I traveled for a reason, and the danger of returning to where you started is that you lose the reasons, that you left, and the wisdom that you pick up along the way.
Uprooting yourself to travel, not knowing where you’re going or what you might find there is scary. It’s adventurous. It’s overwhelming and it’s liberating as you give yourself over to everything that you encounter. Coming back to where you started, is scarier, more perilous, overwhelming and it can be just as liberating.
As soon as I returned to Los Angeles, I returned to the mat at City Yoga where I decided to embark on my 40-day journey. During these 40 days, I am committed to coming to the mat every day, and on days where that is not possible, meditation twice daily. This modification on Barron Baptiste’s method which I learned in Australia gives me a home, when I feel lost in a city I no longer know like I did a year ago. My 40 days will culminate on June 18, at the City Yoga yogathon for St. Jude’s children’s Research Hospital. There can be no better way than 12 hours of sweaty Ommmming for a cause to connect me back to this city in a new and different way.
My goal is to raise $1000 for the charity. Please click here: yogathon to donate connect the world, and be a hero.