Monday, October 2, 2017

Moderation in Maine

I went to Maine a few weeks ago. It was so fun. I went there because my friend Amy, (who some people might remember from her blog Progressive Pioneer) flew me out to teach some Kundalini Yoga in her area.

The Progressive Ps

Amy's awesome husband is the branch president, and she felt like it would be a great thing to build the kundalini yoga community in their area so I came to help them do it. I taught a couple of classes at the church for members and anyone who wanted to come from the community. One was a kids class, for kids and parents, that was meant to give them tools for stress relief and handling life. It was super fun and inspired me to start Kunda-Kids and Their Parents--which I will officially announce later today. It's a simple way to add yoga and meditation to your life. 

An intro to Kundalini Yoga Class at the Rockland branch.

I am happy meditation for kids.

Kids and adults join for a community Kundalini yoga class for reducing stress and living a balanced life.
I also did a Fireside about meditation when I was there. The whole weekend was well attended and everyone in Maine was very open hearted and friendly and the landscapes were just showing off  their beauty like they had never heard of winter.

I loved the scenery everywhere. 

Hello scenic beauty

These usually grow in bushes. Here there are trees!

I love meditating everywhere. 

Amy's son Sam having a God moment. 

And the best unexpected bonus was that while I was there, Rockland Maine happened to be having the Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Festival. First annual. It was a big deal, and there were lots of events and the new Poet Laureate Tracy K Smith even came and spoke and read. And I got to meet her. Huge poet crush by the way. She is also a Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry. 

Tracy K Smith at the Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry festival in Rockland Maine

She signed my book. And then I left it in Maine. Oh well. Amy will enjoy it. 

Amy, Tracy and I.

So basically I got to do two of my favorite things in the same weekend and I got to make new friends and deepen old friendships. 

Just a little sketch by Andrew Wyeth--the famous painter who is from Maine. I was so moved by his work. I had heard of him, but seeing work in real life is so different than looking at it in books.  

Even before I knew about the poetry fest, I could feel the poetry in Maine. It feels old, rich and deep with a history of artists. Its funny how some places just hold that vibration and it keeps attracting more of the same-- great artists and writers. Ojai is like that too. That's why I love it here. But I also love Maine. 

I woke up early to do sadhana on the beach and watch the sun rise. These beauties were already up.

I had never seen apple trees growing right on the beach before. 

I love graveyards.

Everything in Maine seemed quaint. Even a flannel and some rope. 

Maggie. She was my roommate in Maine. I love her. And I love the wallpaper. 

Sunflowers by the sea.
I did sadhana on a rock and watched the sun rise over hurricane island as a real hurricane was raging down this very coast. So surreal. It was so calm and still this morning. 

So here is what I learned from my trip to Maine. It actually started when I got home from Bali. When I got home from Bali I realized that very day that I need more creativity in my life. I worked on my novel and poetry a lot in Bali and I knew I had to keep it going now that I'm home. In my life I sometimes get really focused on one thing. For most of my life it was writing, but for the last some-odd years it was yoga and healing, because I needed them to save my life and make me sane. Now that I am sane, I have been feeling the need for balance. So when Maine happened this way, I felt like it was the universe telling me that I don't have to chose. I can have it all. Or have a good amount of both things I love. This is a good way to live. It's called moderation, which is the true definition of meekness. 

The world is all confused about what it means to be meek. In truth, it means to be moderate. Blessed are the moderate, for they shall inherit the earth. I felt like the people of Maine were a great example to me of moderation. They live close to the earth and in sync with her cycle and rhythms and they are all pretty moderate people--I didn't meet many extremes. Just good real humans.

And... I hinted at this in a newsletter a month ago, but since coming back from Bali, I have decided I want to finally get an MFA in writing. MFA means Master of Fine Arts-- which means graduate school. But graduate school in writing means I get to write a lot and be with other poets and writers--which for a writer is basically like a 2 year retreat. 

And so while I was in Maine I thought I would check if they have a low-residency program, and I found out it was ranked 4th in the country. So I applied! And they just called me today to tell me I was accepted to the Stonecoast MFA in poetry.  So.... it looks like I will be going back to Maine in January and July for the next two years. If I chose to go there. I am also applying to NYU Paris. Paris has so much allure, but I feel a stronger pull to Maine at the moment. 

This is going to bring some changes to my life, but mostly I anticipate them all good and trending toward greater balance. Like for one, I am getting some help around here. I hired a housewife! I love keeping house but I can't play housewife, provider, mom, and dad at once. So that will help me fit in the extra time for school. And hopefully allow me to be more of the kind of mom I want to be to my daughter without getting annoyed with her 10 times per day for not cleaning up her mess.  Wahe Guru. And I am a happier mom when I write every day and when I have a house of order. 

So that's all for now. I'll post more soon. 

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