Once when I was little, I remember sitting in my attic bedroom and trying to meditate. I had been drawn to the black and white yoga magazine I found in a friend's home and I wanted to try it. I had never heard of mediation or yoga, but I was intrigued. I led some friends with a meditation, chanting “7-up and Coca-Cola” as our mantra (ah, a child's mind). I was 8 years old.
I wanted to know what "health food" was, and when I saw anything that we now would consider whole and natural foods (such as salads and granola), I felt an awakening or remembering. My 8th grade project was on the unhealthy, high-calorie reality of McDonald's food.
I was hungry for knowledge. I believe that I was remembering something deep in my soul.
As a young girl I would lie in bed before sleep and read the Bible. We were not religious, nor did we go to church,but each night I held that holy book in my hands knowing deeply that it was filled with wisdom. Perhaps it was the thin paper that I loved to touch, or the leather cover and the sweet zipper that held the pages. Whatever it was it was, it was my experience solely coming from within me.
My relationship with God has always been super personal. I have kneeled on the floor in a bathroom stall before a big audition, filled with fear, and humbly asking for faith. It worked.
I have sat in the dark of the night crying...afraid I would never find love or have a family and in a moment of calm, I have felt that undeniable feeling of total grace ...I knew I would be ok no matter what and the huge relief that the feeling of pain did not kill me made room for love.
Those dark nights of the soul...oh how relieved I was to discover there was a name for such nights. As I mature and I grow I know that when those nights come (and lets be honest—they come in the day, too); I know that indeed, this too shall pass. The nights when I get up and I write and create from this energy are no longer feared, but welcomed.
When I was little, I was afraid of the dark, of the noise of the house, of shadows on the walls. Those moments were the deepening—the beginning of my personal faith. When I was scared but I got through it, and the sun finally came up, and I found myself closer than ever to my inner strength.
Resilience and innocence have paved the way in my life.. both of these have informed my decisions and the path ahead. To this day, I feel guided by both.
This is where so much of what I share with you here on Annapurna Living comes from.
This is where that seed of leading women in circle was planted...
And it is with all of this that I offer Inner Circle to you, or rather, that I extend the invitation to you. As we connect, we become stronger; our inner strength is magnified and reflected because we feel supported by each other, by these other women.
As Dorothy Day said, "We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community."
It couldn't be more true. There is loneliness, and there is hunger (like I talked about with Jules), and there is a way to feed these things, to feed ourselves. It goes beyond food, even the best organic food. It comes down to community, support, personal growth and accountability. Grace. It has never been more important to connect with ourselves and our communities.
Please join me if you'd like. Invite your friends. I will shout it from the mountain tops: I am ready.