"That's why they call it the noble path, Kim." my friend, Kris Moon, said over the phone.
We'd been on the phone for an hour already, Kris calmly listening to my typical-of-late waffling thoughts. I've been lost for months now, feeling like there has been no path, much less a noble one-- caught in that moment when the trail fades in the woods and you realize you've actually been wandering aimlessly, thinking the path was under foot all along. I've been standing here with no path, staring up at the tree tops, appreciating the sun glinting through the branches, yet stuck.
There are people in this world who resonate with you at such a strong frequency that you need no introduction. Kris is one of these people in my life. We've actually only sat face to face once. Our entire relationship has been long distance-- a comforting, strangely familiar, voice across the distance. She moved to my home town, Asheville, NC, as I was leaving. She took over my social media and marketing position for one of the local studios and our first conversation was about strategy around how to promote the philosophy of that studio in a conscious and attentive way. Hours later and I knew I had a long time friend, another teacher on this arduous, strange "noble" path. Sometimes just knowing Kris is out there, asking the same questions, holding each moment, each choice up to the fire in the same way that I am is enough to keep me from falling into that same fire.
Another close friend and fellow teacher, Kate Lundquist, shared a piece of inspiration that resonated with her in a recent class. The gist of it being that you can't place a seed on an altar and expect it to grow, that in order to grow we have to continue to plant ourselves in the dirt.
The "noble path" is one with no destination. There may be peaks on the top of beautiful mountains with 360 degree views but there is always a downhill that leads to a different view, a different day, different weather.
I've been asking myself these last few months, am I off the path or am I surprised that the path took a different turn than I expected and I sit there asking, should I go forward or should I go back?
Oh, but there is no forward or back and the path itself is an illusion, it simply represents where you think you want to go, and when you look back where you think you were-- but even that exists primarily in your mind.
If I could define the idea of being on the noble path-- it's a commitment to awareness and to constant growth toward being a better human being. But that's where I stumbled, I've looked at myself recently and I see no growth, I see myself sliding into fear, darkness, insecurity, shame. They're all familiar, but I suppose I thought I was "passed" it all, or perhaps the issue is wrapped up in that word "better." I'm currently switching it out for "more compassionate."
Months of working on self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and I'm starting to come out of the other side of this. Within this struggle, however, I've made a difficult, but I feel the very right decision, to return to my hometown, Asheville,NC.
Birmingham, AL has been an opportunity for tremendous growth for me as a teacher. I'm still amazed by this community. The soil is fertile here for anyone with an entrepreneurial dream. My dream was to start a teacher training program and it has been wonderfully successful, thanks to the fortuitous and synchronistic partnership with Rebecca Impello. I'll be returning monthly in 2017 for the second year of the HereNowYoga Teacher Training program and am glad to have a way to stay connected.
In the meantime, I will slowly be saying farewell to my weekly classes and private clients and setting up home in Asheville, NC.
Thank you for everything, Birmingham.