With me, I will carry
the energy of the hummingbirds
the grace of the butterflies
the flow of the ocean
the cooling breeze
the warmth of the sun
the cold mountain air
the power behind the storms
the sweetness of tropical fruits
the smell and taste of humidity
the ability to flow like the ocean
the beauty that surrounds
Last Spring I went to the desert to ascend splitter cracks in the sandstone formations that line themselves up along the creek carved valley. What I gained was more than a list of accomplished climbs. I gained a sense of humility and bliss along with love and defeat. The desert taught me about myself, about the ability to endure, about harsh environments offering soft lessons.
Atop the granite domes, I once again experienced emotions that ranged the spectrum of exhaustion to joy. I wanted to sit there forever, in that moment, with the adrenaline and the bliss. Absorbing that feeling of pure life.
In Costa Rica, last month, I experienced wholeness, as if a piece of me that I didn’t even know was missing, a piece I wasn’t yet seeking, had been found; and it fit so well. At the yoga retreat I attended, my good friend taught about carrying experiences with us. What a concept…
Once we experience these places, they are no longer separate from us. The places we visit, the people we meet, the emotions we feel become a part of our every being. Traveling and exploring brings beauty into our lives, along with self discovery and personal growth. Realizing this and appreciating the connections allow us to be full, where ever we wander and land.
Going from one place to the next can bring a sense of disconnect, a sense of loss. We experience fullness and then leave it behind…but we can learn to carry it with us. Those people we are on those deserted beaches, high peaks and towers, and in the forests, can be a part of us always. Paradise can be where ever we are.
Yoga is a physical practice as well as a mindful practice. We learn to take our practice off of the mat and into our daily lives. In the same sense, we may weave paradise (the way we feel in certain places) from the beach-scapes and mountain tops into all of our days.
We can carry our experiences, our range of emotions, the BLISS into our everyday lives, into our lives that extend beyond vacation or relocation or paradise or a brief visit to a magical place. The practice of bringing paradise into my daily life is something I am implementing. I can still feel the happiness that I felt while riding the oceanfeeling on top of the Tuolumne granite domes is embedded into my soul and I will carry it with me. I am reminded about humility and peace through memory of the desert. Sure, it would be nice to just go to the desert, but sometimes life holds us in distant landscapes so that we may experience something else.
Riding the waves of fulfillment long after the trip has ended.
Take a moment to breath paradise into your day. Recall the relaxation, the openness, the freedom, the happiness.
Paradise is not just a place, but a feeling and an experience that is everlasting.
The places, the people, the feelings, near and far, I will carry them in my heart.
Briana Valorosi is a writer, a beginner, one who practices yoga, a traveller, a climber, an outdoor enthusiast, a steward, a to-be gardener, a builder, a creator, a thinker and a do-er.