It has taken me these two weeks to process the events of July, and to get some perspective on what lies in front of me, and where my focus should be.
I got to see my first-born niece get married, and to see all of my family in one place. I also got to see my Pops turn 80 - which makes him the oldest-lived male in his family history, by 3 years; and in his words, a new goal, to make it to 83 and be the oldest-lived Phillips. I see him doing it, easily. That was a gift.
I was fortunate to attend two of the Wanderlust Festivals, at Copper Mountain and at Squaw - at Copper, I was a Wayfarer, working with the Festival folks and hanging with my Off the Mat family; at Squaw I was there for and with my OTM crew. This year, I got to deepen some of the great connections and relationships that were already developed, and to find and grow close to many more quality folks who are asking some of the same questions that interest me - doing the work, maybe in a different row of the plot, but still a gardener in the same fields.
I also got to attend the Off the Mat Global Summit - a lot went on there. I know a lot when on there for many folks, but I'll stick with me. I was triggered, pushed, uncomfortable, nearly enraged, impotent, exhilarated, challenged, confronted and comforted, supported, illuminated, honored and on purpose.
The dialogs that were going on were incredible, whether they be direct part of the programming or as an offshoot at lunch as a conversation. I got to process a lot. I got to look for my contribution and to search for additional purpose - I got to 'hate Morpheus' and wish I'd never taken the pill; I got to find out that there was no spoon... I got it all.
As I've shared with a bunch of folks, I love the deeper or broader work of the yoga community - the consciousness, the education, the service, the purpose. So, I get into and attend these kind of events. But, much like the studios, I find that my gender is grossly under-present. Not about representation, it's about presentation and engagement. At the Summit, we had a pretty good group of guys, but we were still a handful in a hall-full.
So, I'm not sure what it means, or how it goes - except I don't see drumming or crying about "Daddy" - but I'd like to start to gather more men, figure out what the barriers and entries to the asana practice are. To discover what is working for those who are in the practice - what drew them, what kept them? To make entry point, to create radical welcoming, so men start to do yoga.
I know that the asana practice provided me with exactly the introspection and interpersonal skills I needed at a very crucial - and typical for men - point in my life. I want to make sure yoga is a 'first-resort' for men, and for men to join communities of intention with other men and with women, as well.
Anyway, wanted to give thanks and praise for the teachings - I had a great workshop on "Discernment and Purpose" this past Saturday, and my Sunday Devotional Flow class is becoming a real Kula with its own Bhavana; or, that is to say, a crew with a combined love of what they are doing! Thanks and praise for being a continued lesson to this teacher and a delight to be included with.
I also want to give thanks and praise for feeling on purpose - my primary purpose, connect folks with the divinity within and in the moment. I'm broadening that to more actively include men... additional purposes: have fun, share, learn, educate, illuminate, evolve, include, advocate, inspire and serve!
This is the month - August, potential, magnificent, majestic, noble, venerable... veneration, devotion, worship, to revere - as in the same worship and adoration afforded the Venus. Thus, what can you love, what can you devote yourself to, what can you discern to be both duty and honor, both service and privilege?
And, can you give thanks and praise?!