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by Liz

My favorite poet, Mary Oliver, died on January 17th, 2019. One of my dear friends sent me a text on that day to say that the news made her think of me, that when she hears Mary Oliver poems she always thinks of me. Then she sent this quote:

”When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.”

Several friends echoed the same sentiment throughout the day, that Mary Oliver reminded them of me, which got me to thinking about why that might be.

I have spent my life making meaning, and seeking out the precious beauty that vibrates in the cells of our aliveness. My torrent love affair with death is where it all began — death giving birth to life — an inner world that existed deep inside the intricacies of my body, my art, my writing, my music, and my love of trees, of birds, of rain, of horses, of the sea. It was there that I learned to be in the world, where things made sense, where I belonged.

I believe it was the same for Mary Oliver. She saved my life a million times, at least. I imagine she will save it a million times more.

“You do not have to be good,” she wrote.

“You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.”

For a long time, over two decades, I lived in the deep heart of Texas. It is there that I learned about laying down roots, and tending to the same soil year after year to make a life. It is there that I was reborn again and again, meeting loss and finding edges and trying and failing and trying again and succeeding and expanding beyond my own skin to sprout wings and fly and then pummel to the earth to begin the cycle again.

Root to fly.

On April 26th, 2018, my feet touched down on the fresh soil of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was the closest I’d been to the pristine magnificence of nature in over 20 years yet all I could sense was groundlessness, disorientation, and fear. In the unfamiliarity of my surroundings I forgot about beginnings, about rebirth, about home. It starts with the roots and works upwards. Little by little. One moment at a time. All that’s required is our presence. And our patience. This is how we build a life.

“Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.”

At the beginning of each session, my beautiful, carefree therapist starts us off with a short meditation. She has a Tibetan singing bowl that I imagine has held many prayers. I feel the soft weight of the wooden mallet in my hand for a moment before I bring it to the edge of the bowl, releasing the song to start our session. Then my therapist says,

“Feel your hips rooting down,
and your spine rising up,
out your mind,
into the sky.”

Something happens to me every time that brings me straight into the truth. One time during the meditation, geese were flying overhead and it felt like a personal serenade. I remembered Mary’s poem, Wild Geese.

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

I offer to you my new website, Root to Fly, that holds a fresh, inclusive incarnation of my full body of work. It has been living and breathing inside of me for the past year of endings and beginnings, of incredible sorrow and boundless joy, of deaths and rebirths. It is a marriage of all that I have held dear within my meandering life story; my personal practices; and my precious time as a teacher, producer, and psychologist. It is intended as a resource for my teachings, creative projects, and tools for our collective self-exploration. It is the truest expression of the dharma work that I bring to the world; it is my heart. I extend it to you now, and invite you in.

I so look forward to continuing this journey with you as it unfolds, to guiding you through the gateways of the home, body, and heart. May we all stay connected – to each other, to our roots, to our wings, to our heart of hearts.

All love, Liz

About Liz
Liz is a modern mystic who moves through the world by the beat of her heart. She believes in real conversations and deep inquiry that bring connection to life. As a yoga enthusiast, dancer, event producer, and transpersonal psychologist, Liz’s great love is sharing her passion for movement and the exploration of home as potent catalysts for transformation.

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On being reborn, again.