Since I’ve been home from the Bhakti Bliss Yoga Retreat at Feathered Pipe Ranch, the bumblebee has continued to make an appearance in my daily life. Besides the bumblebee that smacked me in the face on my way to Montana (you can read more about this bumblebee on my previous post Butterflies and Bumblebees), every day since I’ve been home I’ve been greeted by hundreds of bees as they dance between the purple blossoms on the lavendar bushes in my front yard and the hibiscus flowers in my backyard. And then there’s the lone bumblebee that flew up to my strawberry drink as I was writing the other night who then flew right in front of my eyes before she flittered away. Recently I drew the Saint Rita of Cascia card from the Divine Feminine Oracle deck; it’s not the first time my soul has pulled her card, but it’s the first time I noticed that she is associated with the bumbleebee because as a child, it is said, that they swarmed her, but never harmed her (Meggan Watterson, the Divine Feminine Oracle Guidebook). And, if I want to be really vulnerable here, I will share with you that I have recently ventured into the world of on-line dating through an app –you guessed it– called Bumble.
I’m writing this post from my back patio with a cup of coffee while my dog Jasper is curisoulsy exploring the yard on this last day of summer vacation. I know what you’re thinking– it’s only July! but such is the life of a teacher at an International Baccalaureate school. I have enjoyed every blissful morning of this summer where I could do exactly what I’m doing right now. This is the nectar of life. The bumble bee reminds me that hard work is essential, but so is community building and owning your inner power and tasting the sweetness of life. As I get ready to return to the classroom next week, I want to sit here for just a few precious minutes and capture some of the moments that have sustained, refreshed and inspired me throughout the course of the most joy-filled summer that I’ve had in years!
What is the nectar of life? It’s chai tea and chalisa on the nature deck at the Bhakti yoga retreat. It’s the sleep-ins and the sunrises. It’s kayak rides and river floats. It’s a mid-day movie in the theater on a ridiculously hot day with a large container of buttered popcorn. It’s the late night snuggle-up-on-the-couch movie with a loved one. It’s the warmth of the sun on my skin and the splash of the water at my feet. It’s outdoor concerts and amusement parks and nature walks and stargazing from the backyard. It’s road trips with a great playlist and the windows rolled down. It’s holding a sweet newborn baby in your arms. It’s cooking dinner for your family while your son puts on a rock concert in the kitchen. It’s sitting still under the shade of a tree with a good book, a journal, or meditative silence. It’s meeting someone new, who stirs your insides in ways that you had forgotten were possible. It’s doing yoga outdoors. It’s watching sunsets with your daughter and eating freshly baked lemon cookies that your child made. It’s going out with good friends and flirting with kimono-wearing bartendars. It’s sitting on the couch with a good book and your puppy curled up on your lap. The nectar of life, the bees remind us, is all around us all the time. If only we have eyes to see it and hearts to behold it.
As I sit here, I wonder if I will continue to have these eyes of gratitude once I’m re-immersed in the daily routine of work life. I would like to think that this summer has been more than two months of unstructured days; rather, it has been two months of taking time to do the things I love and be with the ones I love. It has been an opportunity for me to return to my center of being and remind myself what really matters in my life: my family, my home, being in nature, writing, learning about things that ignite my soul and sharing that with others. I love my work. I love my co-workers and my students and my school. I don’t love the stress that I put on myself and I don’t love how hard it is for me to step away from my work at times. And yet, as I sit here to write this post and continue to watch the bees dance all around me, I’m reminded that I can do things differently this year.
There’s a New Moon in Leo right now and with every New Moon there is an invitation to get rid of what is no longer serving us. Can I bid stress goodbye? Maybe not, I haven’t reached Monk Status yet, as my dear friend would say. But can I at least name it for what it is and learn to move through it differently? Can I return home to my center every time I see a bumble bee and allow myself three deep breaths to pause and think about how I want to move forward? All there is is this moment right now. I can choose to live it or stress about what’s to come and worry that I won’t have “enough time” to get done what needs to get done. That’s a lie. There is always enough time. Time is a human construct and it’s up to me, and me alone, to decide how I will live out every single moment of my life, whether I’m in my backyard or in my classroom. I can choose every single day how I will spend my precious commodity called time. All I know, is that when I’m back in the classroom, I want to remember the nectar of life.
La dernière danse
As I approach the new school year, I am hopeful and grateful for the gift of this summer reset. Teachers may not be financially compensated for our hard work and dedication, but we are paid with time to reset, refresh, and start over. Like a New Moon, we have the chance to set an intention for what we would like to the new school year to look like/ feel like. You may not be a teacher, but maybe you have school-aged children who are getting ready to go back to school, whether in first, sixth, twelth or maybe off to college. And that means that a change in routine is coming. How do you want to handle it? Will you choose to be proactive or reactive when life throws you curve balls? When you respond in a way that isn’t in line with how you envision your highest self, will you embrace yourself with self-love or shame? Will you taste the nectar of life or turn a blind eye to the beauty that’s right in front of you? The decision is always yours. I, of course, hope you chose the nectar in life.
School Year Intentions
This school year, my intention is to strive towards Monk Status. 🙂 And when I fail –which I know I will because last time I checked I was living in Boise, not Nepal– I’ll embrace my humantity, laugh and try again. This summer has reminded me that life is a beautiful danse: the highs, the lows, the movement, the pauses, the work, the rest. The song that I chose to accompany this post is one of my students’ favorites: The Last Dance in English, by the incredibly talented Indila. Her music reminds me that I want to embrace it all–the storms and the stillness– with so much sweetness and love this school year. Thank you, bumble bee spirit guide, for leading the way.
May your path be covered in lavendar blossoms and dancing bumblebees! And may the bees remind you too, to work hard, but also enjoy the sweet nectar of life.