I wrote the post below in 2009 when I was going through a transition in my workouts. I was reminded of it this morning, while I struggled...Read More
Trust Your Path
Life is exciting and hectic and—sometimes—overwhelming around our house right now. We have big changes on the horizon, and both Dave and I are close to completing significant projects that have consumed our imaginations, energy, passion, and commitment for years. As you can probably imagine, we’re feeling a lot fo conflicting emotions and, honestly, some exhaustion creeping around the edges.
Now is the time to rely on solid sleep and meditation to help us manage our emotional lives.
Which got me thinking about a visualization my favorite Kundalini instructor Robin gave us a few years ago. Maybe you need it now, too?
She had us close our eyes and visualize a path. There were no specifics other than that at first: just visualize a path.
I immediately thought of the hiking trail in Tennessee Valley, in Marin County, California. This is what the trail looks like as you start your meander from the trailhead to the Pacific:
Then Robin suggested that we engage our other senses — that we feel the ground beneath our feet, that we see and hear what was around us. I could almost hear the scritch-scritch of the sandy gravel under my feet. I could see the birds making lazy, diving circles in the sky. I could feel the sun shining on my face. It was all-together pleasant.
Then Robin said a few words that transformed the experience from pleasant to powerful:
“Trust your path, and know that sometimes, you won’t know exactly where you’re going, but you stay on the path. Trust your path — keep putting one foot in front of the other. The path may curve and meander. You might come to a place where you need to make a decision about which fork in the path to take. But whichever you choose, you will be on your path. Sometimes the steps might be uncomfortable; the sky may grow cloudy, the path may become shady or rocky. But eventually, the sun will shine, the path beneath your feet will become smooth. Trust your path.”
We used the visualization at different times throughout the class to keep us focused and engaged during meditation. Sometimes, my perspective of myself on the path was my point-of-view: when I looked down, I saw my feet in the dirt. When I glanced around, I saw the brilliant blue sky and rolling green hills.
Other times, I saw myself from above, a zooming shot from the clouds. I looked small, but determined. I saw myself committed, moving with intention toward… I don’t know. The future? Destiny? Or maybe just a really good snack?
As we moved through class, I moved further along the path. Sometimes I tromped up the hillside…
As I got closer to the beach, I could see the mist coming off the Pacific…
… and when I crossed over the last crest, I was greeted with wide swaths of blue.
When I finally reached the waves, I could imagine the fresh air rolling onto the beach.
And I realized that in Tennessee Valley, the path ends at the beach. But it’s not really the end, is it? A wanderer can turn north and climb the rocks to see what’s on the other side. Or head south to scramble over the headlands and find what lies beyond.
Trust your path and accept that sometimes, you won’t know exactly where you’re going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
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Darling friend, I stopped past today and this is exactly the thing I needed to see. (Why has it been so long since I’ve read a blog?!?!)
I was thinking of Robin and Kundalini just yesterday and this exercise is the right thing for me today.
Sending lots of love to you and Dave. xoxo
(Also, I think I’ve just added a new location to my “must experience” list”
Hello, beautiful girl! So nice to hear from you. I’m still in editing mode, so I’m slightly crazed, and it’s so lovely to remember you’re out there, being awesome you.
I found videos from Robin on YouTube a few days ago, and I was over the moon. Her soothing voice is just what I needed to help me chill out. Love back to you!
And yes, Tennessee Valley is pretty spectacular.
Hi there all you lovely people and you, awesome Mel!!! I always look forward to Thursdays, as that is the day of your 5 recipes a week. Today I needed some inspiration and just scrolled through and, lo and behold, read the post about staying on your path. I lost my beloved husband last December and must now try a very new path. We had been married for 30 years, so you can imagine the changes going on all the time. But I will follow my path, or try to, and go where it leads. I also would love and address or blog or some such thing for Robin, some meditation might just be what I need right now! Thank you very much for your recipies and your blog Mel. Lots of love and comfort to you and Dave from little Belgium, where it was snowing this morning….. MJ
I’m so glad this post found you at the right time! Sadly, Robin doesn’t have a web site at the moment, but I have some suggestions if you’re ready to explore meditation.
The Loving Kindness Meditation is a classic, and you could do that one forever and continue to get benefits. There are hundreds of recordings of it available — some free online! For a while, I was doing that meditation every day in the morning and before bed; definitely made me feel buoyant and resilient. You can get a good version here, along with a bunch of other high-quality guided meditations: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
I’m also really enjoying the My Meditation Station Podcast and My Thought Coach web site. Dozens of guided meditations that target different areas: http://mythoughtcoach.com/
I find that guided meditations are a great way to start a meditation practice because you have a little help to keep your mind focused. As you get more comfortable with it, you can expand into sitting meditations that don’t have a voice-guided component, or explore kundalini meditations that incorporate chants and breathing patterns.
Hope this helps!
What an awesome post Melissa. Slow and steady progress towards a goal even when you’re not sure where you’re going. I find myself battling with this sometimes, uncertainty can derail me sometimes which is why this post resonated with me.
Robin was a wonderful teacher, and her lessons — like this one — really stayed with me. Glad this resonated with you, too!