BEAR Medicine

Two years ago I traveled back to Canada to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday. It was exciting to finally go home after 3 years in Europe. I was missing the wildness of Canada and of course my mother. My partner once said to me "Canadian skies are so far away, endless and expansive." He said that the the only time he ever felt such vastness was when he was sleeping under the stars in Tibet. "The sky goes on forever." I had never thought of it that way. But he was right, they were endless and magical. I spent that summer sleeping under those endless skies.

I love the word magical, it reminds me of being a child and my endless day dreams and vast imagination. I remember being a little girl going to school. We were allowed to play in the forests between the school and the ocean. We would climb trees and make mud pies for our imaginary beast, our friends. We would return when school was over for the day and sure enough the mud pie had been tampered with, eaten! Imagination is so vital to our life force. It takes us into Chita Kos, the infinite, limitless space beyond, but also including our physical body. Imagination to me is spiritual and one of the most important places I visit day to day.

Last week while I was teaching one of my students, a lovley girl began to cry. I could tell it was a release and a relief. And in the middle of her faint release I became overwhelmed with this feeling as well. My bear who I frequently visited in my meditation was sitting next to me right there in class as if I were in the middle of a wild forest. He had never spoken to me since my time in Canada 3 year early, and now he spoke for the first time. He is goofy yet deeply wise. His coat is shiny blue grey and he is 10 feet tall while sitting down. He was not facing me but sitting next to me. For the first time I looked up at him and he turned to me and said, "I have been sitting here to show you how courageous you are." Courageous means - not deterred by danger or pain; brave. My courage use to feel like angry, like pain, and at this moment I knew it had shifted to a deep sense of pride for myself. All that I had been through, all that I had overcome, all that I aim to achieve within myself, there it was in his eyes, this goofy, wise, soft, strong bear showing me this was the reason all along, courage. My self-pity lifted, my angry for not expressing lifted, my blame and rage lifted and there I was overwhelmed sitting in class with tears in my eyes.

I feel like a gazelle leaping through life, falling and rising! The bear by my side, my medicine bear. To all the teachers I love that have given me so much, including David Garrigues the most inspiring yoga teacher I have met. Teaching me to stand up, take action and look within! To Adarsa of Elemental Design for being the true Diva through my entire life, showing me the way of a true Wild Woman! To my sisters, all powerful forces . My mother who taught me Faith a vital lesson and my father who taught me to keep going! Also to Peter my best friend who taught me to Let go, let go and let go some more. Don't take your thoughts too serious, step back in the face of anger, watch.

I have been working on a blog using the book Women Who Run with the wolves. A book I have used for 10 years as a way to understand myself, my rage, my lesson and my life's journey. I feel so drawn to teaching with this tool. Teaching through imagination, letting go and of course my daily practice of my own devotion. That being yoga for me.

Here is an amazing piece from the Women Who Run with the wolves as she talks about Rage, funny enough this section is based on the tale of the Crescent Moon Bear. Now I understand my rage was really my own courage, this short paragraph shows us what to do with RAGE! " So rather than trying to "behave" and not feel our rage or rather than using it to burn down every living thing in a hundred-mile radius, it is better to first ask rage to take a seat with us, have some tea, talk a while so we can find out what summoned this visitor. At first rage acts like the angry husband in the story. It doesn't want to talk, it doesn't want to eat, just wants to sit there and stare, or rail, or be left alone. It is at this critical point that we call the healer, the wisest self, our best resources for seeing beyond ego irritation and aggravation. The healer is always the "far-seer." She is the one who can tell us what good can come from exploring this emotive surge."

There you have it. Have tea with it, find its source and see its future expression. Pause and consider; is this how you want to express this amazing surge of energy that we call 'rage'?

Much Love Amy

ps the photo attached is from a friend. Only moments after sharing my story with him he pulled up this photo and said... "I just opened Spotify and this was the first song that came up" A picture of a bear and a man!


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