The very first year I was inspired to work with a paired mantra and intention was 2015. In 2014 my dad died and I worked myself to burnout trying to cope with my grief. I knew my learning edge was to figure out self care as a matter of survival, but I had no idea where to begin.
It was perhaps an act of grace that I felt a mantra come to me that really captured the deeper undercurrent of that wish: “to rest in the palm of God.” I knew it was right because when I leaned into the energy of “self care” it felt like obligation, while the notion of resting in the hand of God—as confounding as it was to me at the time—felt so peaceful. I didn’t want to have to work at caring for myself. I wanted to find a safe and comfortable haven where I could, for once, truly give myself a break. When I breathed the mantra in, I got an immediate sense of what that was like. I truly embodied rest.
Without knowing it at the time, I had found the key to activating my Brilliant System, the inner flow we all have that has its own intelligence and knows exactly what’s right for us at each and every moment, and which naturally harmonizes with the larger flow of life.
That isn’t to say that I stayed in blissful meditation all year. To let myself truly rest when I didn’t have that habit meant making different choices. So each and every time I noticed myself feeling guilty about not working or beating myself up about not being a productive member of society, I would work with the paired intention to surrender and breathe myself back into the palm of God. This was the task my mind claimed for itself—to make one better, conscious choice at a time and cede authority to the Higher Mind—since it hadn’t the first clue about how to rest.
It still strikes me as nothing short of miraculous that from a place of depression and anxiety I was able to notice and trust my inner flow. Part of that was resting, but once I’d had enough rest (it was months but it felt like years), I felt a youthful playfulness spring from within and I found flying trapeze.
Those who know me from that world have little idea just how weak, uncoordinated, stiff, clumsy, and generally disconnected from my body I was pretty much all my life till I started flying. But my body wanted to move and my inner child wanted to play. At first I thought that meant signing up for dance classes, but life brought me the aerial arts—a world I didn’t even know existed outside professional circuses. Flying trapeze and aerial hammock became such a huge part of my life back then, and it was the first time learning a physical skill came relatively easily. I not only became stronger than I had ever been, but I also felt more revitalized than I ever felt in my twenties. To think I had started simply with the humble idea of “self care” makes me shake my head in wonder.