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  • Writer's pictureJohn Stuart


Choosing to take 6 weeks off of everything in life to reconnect with nature, my children, my Self and what moves me, soothes me and grooves me along with reminding me of the joyful being I am, the creative, the nurturer, the protector, the supporter, the humble warrior, the compassionate father, the student of life and the me that was slipping away was quite possibly one of the riskiest moves in my life, though it needed to be done. I had no clue what I was in for, what would show up and be revealed. What I did know is that I was an open vessel and firm believer that it would be exactly what was needed for me and trusted it would be just what was necessary for remembering the essence of who I am within and throughout.

The first 2 weeks of the trek was a road trip with my children through Badlands National Park, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks before rounding it out in Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods. This leg of the trip held deeper levels of significance than just a vacation. I was about to be away from my children for the longest period of time ever with extremely limited communication, so 2 weeks cramped in a 4 door sedan throughout the heart of America while camping in a 6 person tent sounded to be just about the right medicine to create closeness or chaos or a wee bit of both. Not only that, on a personal level, the sheer power and energy present in Yellowstone seemed like the perfect way to tap into my core, inner strength reflective of the massive volcano that bubbles beneath. The majestic, rugged backcountry of The Tetons has been calling me for quite some time - there’s something about the sacred masculine that seems to rise directly from the valley floor and the waterfront of its glacier lakes. Garden of the Gods has been the site for most of my major creative shifts in life. My daughter was born there (Colorado Springs), I wrote my book there and some of the deepest healing came forward there… divinely orchestrated. The depth and breadth of awareness and vision that was released during the time spent on the road and in communion with nature’s majesty is indescribable. I felt me peeking through the veil, once again. I felt the lightness in my body. I felt love finding its way back into the crevices where it had leaked. I felt the radiance coming back to light, though with slight reservation for fear of the unknown that still was present in the pit of my being.

After arriving back home, I immediately set off for India on my 32 day trek to holy Rishikesh, The Yoga Capital of the World, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Now was the time for the inner work that I self-prescribed fully trusting the medicine would be revealed as I had, essentially, removed every charge to my nervous system, every reason, every excuse, every subtle nuance that I could point to… it was now just me. Time to expect the unexpected. With the 11.5 hour time difference and a daily practice schedule from 5am-midnight, communication with anyone back home was a rarity. I was ready. I was willing. I was all in.

There were several moments during my trip that were life affirming, though what was the most potent were the connections made - the moment when a Rishi offered a private puja ceremony on the Ganga at 1am because he saw my pain as I walked the streets, the moment when a young boy selling flowers gave me an extra set perhaps because he witnessed my tears as I walked the beach, the moment when an elder paused in the midst of Aarti to gaze into my heart with his smile, the moment when Mohan and Director of the school stayed with me in the Emergency Room by my side for 4 hours while in excruciating pain, the moments when fellow students held me in my weakest moments of sadness, grieving, anger and pain. Community. Tribe looks after its own for the good of all. I remembered. I remembered me and the deeper WE. We are indeed better together.

This is where #BetterTogether became my mantra. I vowed to be of absolute service to this, my truth, to other’s truth, our collective truth, to hold others with compassion, gentleness, remember the magic, be a humble servant, listen deeper and talk less, see the future within the present, honor my boundaries and respect other’s, openly communicate from a voice of responsibility rather than reactivity, to no longer repeat the trauma bonding, to breathe love where there is apathy, to breathe peace where there is conflict, to love anyway. Always.

When love and life is worth every bit of what's revealed, we step up or step aside. There’s too much at stake to live a life half-lived. Love doesn’t hold back. Now is where life breathes. We are here to live with a complete sense of adventure, be of service, love and be loved, heal generational trauma and merge with the infinite.

There is always an opportunity for growth in every moment, we must be willing to set aside our ego, pride, right-ness and look in the mirror with an honest reflection. Breaking patterns isn't running away from them, it's confronting them and taking inspired action with the support and guidance of a loving community.

We’ve come too far only to get this far.

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