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Finding Calm and Clarity at the Center of the Storm

There is just something about spring here in the Canadian Rockies, these majestic apus. I live here with my family for these mountains, for the outdoor activities we get to partake in, and the magic and rebirthing that happens this time of year.

It is always a long winter, and we try to get out and enjoy the winters as much as possible. Even as July nears, snow remains on the peaks. Hiking through the canyons is equally refreshing and inspiring, as the melt-off begins to flow into dancing streams and dramatic falls.

As the days become longer and the weather gradually warmer, June can feel much like September. There is much rushing around to finalize the end of school tasks just as with the start of year tasks. This is also the time of year when my children and my dance students are rehearsing for their year-end dance performances.

Some of my classes are coming to an end and some new ones are beginning. There are some goodbyes, alongside some early preparations for the start of a new school year and dance season. My teen ballet class is performing as “Tornadoes” this year in a production of The Wizard of Oz, and watching their spiral movements I have reflected upon the transformational power of Pachamama’s storms.

Sometimes we have to let go completely to be with the natural flow. The force of nature will do as it will, and we can only find a way to move with it and be with it.

Springtime here brings much uncertainty as there is a dance with the weather.  Do we put out the flowers or will there be a surprise snowfall? Do we pull out the lawn chairs and sweep off the deck just yet? We only have a few months of warmth at best, and because of this it can feel like “hurry up and relax”.

Put away the winter gear, boots, skates and skis… pull out the rain boots and jackets and maybe the sandals… bikes (check the chains, tires and brakes!), helmets, climbing gear (check the sizes!) and make a list of what needs replacing… sort through the clothing stored in the basement, bring out what is seasonally appropriate and take what no longer fits to the thrift store… deep clean the house (which is so much better to do when the windows can be thrown open), prepare the yard, front and back… check to see if the lawnmower and other maintenance tools need tending to… sort through this year’s paperwork and schoolwork to see what needs keeping, make lists of what is needed for next year…

It can feel like being in the eye of the storm; trying to hold center while the world moves swiftly around me.

I can feel overwhelmed by all that is requiring attention. This is when I know it is time to take some deep breaths and remember that I am given no more than I can handle.  When I take the time to sit with my misarumi, I am always brought back to center. An inner sense of calm will bring a light to the center of a storm, and a stillness to the center of the mind. This creates a safe harbour in times of extreme flux, so I can relax into the ebb and flow of uncertainty.

It is not necessary to know what the future holds, nor is it necessary even to understand what is happening in the present moment. It is only necessary to find center, to maintain inner peace, and to gain clarity.

My regular practice is precisely for times like these. It is my ritual, and my artes are stable and familiar soul friends. This is where peace is regained – peace of mind, body, and spirit. I can be here and recalibrate, in order to be in acceptance of what is. This time is necessary in order to gather scattered energy, be in my own space, and allow room for fresh inspiration. My mesa is an extension of myself, and I can take the time to connect and find clarity with it whenever the need arises.

Suddenly, the peace that seemed unattainable makes itself available as I reconnect with its presence. The universal energies are always dancing and expressing, as nothing is ever permanent, and the only constant is change. In taking the time to connect differently with my mesa each season, and getting to know it all over again, I am getting to know myself all over again. And along with this comes the gift of having a clearer sense of my present obligations and commitments.

This is important in order to clean anything from my slate that is unnecessary, and taking up too much space in my mind, heart and soul. Once the clearing is complete, I am better able to focus on my center, my connection to misarumi and my right relationship to all that is within and around me. I feel better equipped to commit to working with my innate capabilities and the required preparations for the present moment… because the present moment is truly all there is.

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