Surrendering Beyond the Comfort Zone
“To love is to move the soul of the house, to love is to fly without wings” ~ Mario Quintana
Love is the affect of connection—the emotional perception of the connecting forces of nature. It’s that feeling of being harmoniously integrated and whole. It’s timeless joy.
We sensually experience our environment with the senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight. Our nervous system converts this information emotionally and intellectually into meaning. This meaning can create a cascade of reactivity when we perceive threat, causing us to fight or flee, or it can create an internal environment of peaceful, responsive awareness when we recognize the nurturing safety of connection. Love is inviting, peaceful, kind, joyful, and whole.
Who we are is often who we think we are. Well before our birth, we are affected by our environment. We have thoughts and feelings that result from things that happen inside and outside of us. As we grow and mature, we develop an intertwined series of beliefs and memories of experiences. Orienting our awareness toward those beliefs and memories and being attached to them creates the illusion that they are who we are. It is as if those thoughts, beliefs, and memories are the house within which our soul—our true self—lives.
When we feel love we feel harmoniously integrated inside and out. The illusion of separation is resolved into the reality of wholeness. As our attachment to who we think we are becomes less intertwined and less attached, who it is we really are, our soul, moves. It is recognized and shared at the deepest level of awareness. We realize we have the ability to let go not only of that which no longer serves us, but we also have the ability to transcend our experience by simplifying our lives and “flying without wings.”
The “soul of the house” moves as we transcend our experience, resulting in a deeply profound sense of loving connection.
From time to time in our lives we are invited to move beyond the bounds and comfort of our house to transcend our reality and be fully connected.
Embarking on My Journey Into the Wild
As humans we are all explorers and for as long as I can remember, I have been one, too. Learning about nature, science, medicine, and the human mind fascinates me. Being enveloped by nature has been the most enlivening environment for emotional cleansing and introspective integration.
Walking through landscapes allows me to experience joy that is deep and profound. It’s always been a dream of mine to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, experiencing all the natural beauty this terrain has to offer.
For the past several years I have had the privilege of working as a physician here at the Chopra Center. My job is to incorporate the healing modalities of western medicine with those of Ayurveda. We teach meditation, yoga, and Ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle. I have the pleasure of participating in medical consultations with people in the Perfect Health program, co-leading the Healing the Heart program, and giving talks on emotional wellbeing, daily routine and nature—all from an Ayurvedic perspective.
In addition to the services we offer in California, we also have the Chopra Addiction Center in Squamish, British Columbia. One of America’s National Scenic Trails, the Pacific Crest Trail lies roughly between the two centers.
Beginning April 25, I embark on a walking journey from the center in Carlsbad, CA to the center in Squamish, BC, mostly along the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be a solo journey of about 3000 miles. My intention is to complete it within five months.
My main focus will be on present moment awareness. My secondary focus will be on silence, nature, love, healing, and dharma—concepts David Simon called the five awakenings. I hope to provide updates every week or two on Chopra.com so you can follow me on my journey.
Answering the invitation of silence and stillness allows us the greatest opportunity to experience love at the deepest, most conscious, connecting level of our experience. So here I go … leaving the comfort zone and surrendering to what nature has to offer.