Honor the Past and Play the Edge – Anusara Art in LA
I’m at my Aunt and Uncle’s in Los Angeles, two days have passed since the Anusara weekend workshop that capped John’s Advanced Intensive in Hollywood. I’m enjoying what seems to be my first opportunity for R&R in weeks – perhaps months.
Which is all well and good, don’t get me wrong. The frenzy of my lifestyle, the admittedly reckless pursuit of my dreams and my art is a conscious choice I’ve agreed to and the rewards (and difficulties) for such behavior abound. John Friend said ‘every time you explore your art you get a revelation – a window into your true nature, your talent. To make art all we’re really trying to do is align with Nature, then the magic happens.‘
These last few weeks between Anusara events have been particularly difficult for me. Overwhelmed by my sudden and complete dedication to learn from John, compounded by firehoop orders, summer booking negotiations, hoop workshop plans, choreography opportunities, training schedules, Tantra studies, social events and performances, I was beginning to think I bit off more than I could chew. In retrospect is wasn’t my full and fast-paced schedule that had me in tears more than once, but my fumbling along in a body/mind that had been rewired in the week prior.
‘The more you love the more you’re going to cry,’ he said.
Well, that’s true. The opening and unfolding of my heart at this moment is active – and palpable. Layer by layer peeling back to reveal a greater source of light and with it a raw vulnerability that leaves me breathless. Simultaneously weakened in its magnitude and full of robust, unwavering joy. To be able to *feel life* so profoundly is a gift that’s called ‘meaningfulness.’
That’s it really. I have people in my life that I love with such force it could only be called ferocity, opportunities that resonate and reflect my inner being, chosen responsibilities that make my heart beat faster in recognition that the edge is just one step to either side. I’m scared, I’m thrilled, I’m excited, I’m alive.
And of course, I’m human just like everyone else and in creeps doubts and darkness, challenging my chosen course, poking at my vulnerabilities. It’s taken everything I’ve had to not succumb to what overwhelms me, and yet, at times that’s exactly what I’ve needed to do. John said; ‘you have to always be student to the Grand Artist, don’t think that you’re in control.’ Trust.
Friday night the Mystic Mirrors and members of the Anusara community gathered at an art space in LA this side of hip. In between aerial performance sets, John’s poetry, Tiffany, Will and Justin’s dance, hoop sets with Anah Hoopalicious, Nayeli and Erin, fire spinning, light shows and schmoozing yogi-like, I took inventory of this new territory in reverence for its next-level undercurrent. As we pass from one threshold to another – one diksha to another, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused…lost in the mire that is the mud to your lotus flower. The key John taught, is to trust in the Absolute and to pray. Not for challenges to be removed but to cultivate the strength to pass to the next level effectively, safely and skillfully. To grow and move on, is the best way we can say thanks – to honor the past and ride the Tiger into innovation, onto the next level of our Life’s Art.
Ask for Grace, and dance.
* All photography taken by Mario Covic