Saturday, April 1, 2017

What the Heart Knows

I am sitting window-side in Albuquerque this morning. Miss Sandia wears a fashionable hat of thick, cold clouds, a peppering of snow on her dark cloak. 

I can't see Santa Fe: Mother Nature has her now. dressing her up for the afternoon views. 

Tea steeps, and I breathe deeply. Grateful for the times I've spent here and the times I will spend here. 

Today, an Ayurveda Vastu Shastra workshop waits for me: a welcome retreat on day 32 of a 100-day Mindful Eating Practice: Thirty-two days ago I tried something new: a practice of studying intention and desire with a promise to not have gluten, coffee, sugar, dairy and alcohol. I am curious about how a person sets a plan, creates a different future, and makes it happen. I am a student of my own life.

Yesterday I met an Ayurvedic practicioner for a consultation. Her assessment was sobering--it's one thing to design your own 100 day elimination diet: it's another to have a conversation with an expert about what your body is really up to when someone listens intuitively to your pulse. I have a long way to go. 

She gave me a wellness prescription of eight or so new practices and she framed this work in terms of longevity. Life expectancy for women in America in 2017 is 93. Given this awakening news, how do you design what your health and quality of life look like 47 years from now? Carefully. Joyfully. Lovingly. Organically.

Following the consultation I stood, swimming a bit in the content of what we know about our own systems written in the Vedas, the oldest sacred texts scribed between 1700 and 150 B.C. Veda is a Sanskrit word for knowledge or wisdom, derived from the root "to know". The Vedas originated in India and are the roots the Sanskrit language and of Hinduism. It's all there: this truly is the wisdom of the ages. 

This practicioner needs not an MRI, a CT scan or a blood test: she looked into my eyes, listened to the rhythms and sounds of my pulse and studied the landscape of my tongue. I am so awed how my life, so beautifully intertwined with my role leading a museum with a collection of Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian Art has led me on this journey back to the source: access to wisdom for living with health and happiness. What more do we need? 

There is a beautiful minimalism and simplicity in this work when you get curious enough to look at a different future.

I read this week in Leaves Falling Gently by Susan Bauer Wu about the vitality that comes from stopping. She writes about the power in stopping: cultivating a moment of silence each day and looking "in" for the existence of "there": listening to the pulse and the rhythms of the heart, seeing the light in my own eyes and the power of a tongue that speaks.

I am stopping this morning at breakfast sitting with a mountain: thirty-two days in a new future that may last for a very long time.

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