The first one was when I was very small and I rode a horse for the first time. This was the beginning of a lifelong passion, one that I continue to be humbled by and honored to experience.
The second time, was when I was in my 20's and looked up at the full moon on the 6th night of a ten day silent meditation retreat, and felt for the very first time, that I was home on this planet Earth and in my own being and that wherever I was, was exactly where I was supposed to be.
I had another one of these incredible moments when I took my first yoga class with my teacher-beyond-time Larry Schultz.
And most recently, last summer when I first stepped onto a standup paddleboard in the Florida Keys- It's almost as if in that moment some part of me knew the world that this newfound and immediate passion would unlock for me. Though the feelings were abstract and not at all tangible, linear or concrete, The feeling was incredibly powerful and I was acutely aware that somehow everything in my world had changed.
And yesterday, my heart sang as my paddle board was surrounded by manatee- not one, not three, but countless. The largest spanning easily upwards of 14 feet long and the smallest a young calf who ventured from his mother to poke his head above the water and look at me. He then came under my board sniffing and touching it to inspect this curious being (me!) floating on the waters surface.
There are no words to describe the exhilaration of being welcomed by these sentient creatures into their dream like, atmospheric world. To look at them and feel my own wonder, awe and joy reflected back touches on something at the very core of what it means to be alive. As I lay here now, I still feel the energy of this experience softly rippling through my body, heart and soul.
Originally Awakened Heart sanctuary was a physical place, a sacred spot as far as I'm concerned, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia's Loudoun County where I camped with my family, and collaborated on a horse boarding/people welcoming sanctuary where I held yoga and mindfulness retreats and equine assisted events. But Awakened Heart Sanctuary has also always been a reference to the place within each of us, a place that we may have forgotten about our maybe not even believed was actually there within us, a place of limitless peace and joy that can be awakened in each of us.
It is my mission to share with you the experiences that have awakened my heart in this lifetime, to support you in awakening to joy, a sense of belonging and a reverence for all of life's beings. May your heart be awakened. May you be at peace. May you and all beings be happy and free.