I’m in the middle of a juice fast. Nothing extreme. It’s a simple 3-day juice fast. I’ve experienced different kinds of fasts over the years – water, kitchari, raw, and juice. Though I haven’t done them all, I’ve experienced my fair share. Each one brings a different experience. Some bring up emotions more than others. This fast in particular, I’m finding myself with green juice in one hand and a red-hot mess of emotions in the other hand.
I’ve been in the crux of a pretty major decision. I’m an educator and as an educator, most of us are looking towards the horizon to discover the next possibility. This is how we grow and how we guide our students to grow. Harvest the moment and keep planting seeds for the future.
I suppose this decision contained a few important seeds for the future and I wanted to make sure that I picked the right seeds that produced the best harvest. Yet, to take this a bit further, a harvest may look beautiful and plentiful on the outside, and still more, if the seeds aren’t properly nourished and cared for, the fruit may look appealing, but the taste may be bland, even bitter sometimes, and lifeless.
I’ve had my share of shiny, lifeless harvests. It’s time for the good stuff and that’s generally not an easy road to travel. I wondered deeply if I had the strength to continue down the road less travelled.
In my gut I know what to do, but then my head starts knocking on the door. Let’s just say that the tug-of-war hasn’t been clear-cut. It’s hard to tell who is the winner. With the emotional depth that is surfacing, my insides aren’t the only thing being detoxed. Tears have been intermittently running down my cheeks like the whitewater rapids rushing through the Rockies.
After much contemplation, I’m discovering that it’s not really the decision that’s causing the whitewater tear jerk works, but the decision has accentuated a truth deep inside of me. It was the door that led me to the real deal. Again. This truth has shot to the center of my being like Robin Hood pointing his aim to the latest food delivery.
We never know when the moment of transformation happens. Sometimes we can sense when we are in the midst of something spectacular and messy. Transformation doesn’t send clear instructions, only vague invites that we must discern.
Perhaps you have guessed it already. I received the invite. It’s been a bit confusing because it’s not time for the invite. Well, so I thought! It really doesn’t matter what the decision holds, but I think we can all identify with major crossroads that come up in our life. Some decisions can change our life trajectory, while others have seemingly little impact.
As I’m floating in my own detox river, it became clear to me that while I may have a strong raft, I can’t simply navigate this life with any oar, but that I have been gifted the golden ore of life by my kids I teach in what we colloquially call, “the hood”.
So, it was in that moment at the crux of my decision where my career could diverge into something faintly familiar or be challenged and simultaneously filled with the most beautiful, wonderful kind of connection and love. The choice was obvious, and yet, subtly not so obvious. I had to pull more layers back and really dig deep about who I am. Several juices, tears, and much contemplation later, I chose the golden oar of life.
It was quite numinous. In that moment I found you. My kids. Not outside of me. But, somehow, they were right inside. I found a piece of you in me. It was an intense moment, perhaps several. It was apparent that I truly found myself in my kids.
There is a sense of belonging that is deeply present. It’s the kind of belonging many of us try to find in the outside world. But this belonging, you can’t put your hands on it. It’s only felt. I felt it to my core.
So, there I was standing with this deep realization and tears running down my face right in front of my students. I was completely vulnerable. It was raw. There was no filter. There’s nothing romantic about it. It’s a hard and tough love, but it’s real and beautiful and safe. At the sight of my seemingly distressed state, my students surrounded me with the most sacred love and giant bear hug. I had arrived. And, so did they. I belonged there. We belonged to each other.
In that moment, I found a piece of me in you. And, in that moment I found you – the golden oar – guiding me along through some of the rockiest currents on my sacred journey.
Om Shanti Om ~