Inspiring Vines of the Pergola - #2 in series

Published May 15th, 2015

I don't know about you, but it has been a very wonky week for me. From the second devastating earthquake in Nepal, to a mysterious train crash in Philadelphia, to a sudden death of a young, close friend-of-family member, to a stressful surgery of a family member.

This morning, back at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, I almost ran to the Pergola. I couldn't wait to get to the comfort of her structure, pillars and elder vines. Once inside I whispered "ok you, I will not become dependent or addicted to you...but my gosh, it is good to be here today."

Almost everyday this week was filled with either totally unexpected changes or out-of-the ordinary crises, even emergencies. For the first time in a really long time, I had to be a witness to the choices before me with super-intense alertness, while pulling up all semblances of calm and clarity at the same time. I do not like making choices and decisions from a place of turbulence. I stepped up my meditation and yoga practice; added 10 minutes to each every morning.

Another thing I noticed this week is how easy it is to fall away from daily ritual and routine. When other issues look to be more critical, it is easy to say to yourself "I will eat later, or I will cancel that date with my friend, she'll understand..." It is as if you get caught up in a whirlwind, a tornado, that lifts you up off the ground and carries you someplace else.

Pillars. Structure. Something to hang onto to remind you where your feet are. Where your roots are. And during times of rapid change and 'crises' these things can be the most basic, the 'rocks' in your life. For me, my daily routine includes morning pillars of meditation, yoga and a piece of papaya for breakfast. A cup of coffee, and sometimes other fruit or slice of toast. Even when I have unexpected phone calls or meetings, I still re-arrange so that I can conduct these rituals. I eat lunch between 12-2pm. Always. Even when others in my life have "more important" things to do than eat. And I sleep 7-8 hours every night. No matter what.

It is the awareness of our choices at every moment that can help keep us sane, calm and stable. Because when you are aware you have the choice(s), you can check back in with your pillars, your values and beliefs, who you are and what you want, and make the best choice for all of that at each moment. Sounds difficult? Not really. And it gets easier with practice.

Here's to a beautiful, peaceful and relaxing weekend, if not in the 'world out there', at least in our individual hearts and minds.

Ashe

Entrance to Vine Pergola at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida

Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) and Madagascar Forest