Last weekend, Jillian and I attended the Tadasana Festival. Tadasana is a yoga and music festival that happened right on the beach in Santa Monica, California. (“Tadasana” is the Sanskrit name for the “mountain pose”; the first pose in a sun salutation.) It was a heart-opening, mind-awakening experience—perhaps the longest period of life where I was conscious of the interconnectedness of my life unfolding around me.
Since last December, I have been focusing my attention on networking with like-minded people and taking the next steps along the path of transforming my life into becoming a purveyor of information and inspiration about healing and wellness. So when Jillian recommended that I enter a contest sponsored by Mastin Kipp’s The Daily Love to win a ticket to Tadasana, I did—and won. (Thank you Mastin!) Seeing this gift as part of a universal message to follow my dream, we booked rather expensive plane reservations two days prior to leaving.
Once we arrived in Los Angeles, we caught a Santa Monica city bus that took us from LAX right to Jillian’s mother’s house—and it only cost $1 each. My next move was to find a way to get from Santa Monica to Sherman Oaks so I could meet my dad and step-mom for dinner. We hadn’t taken our shoes off for 15 minutes when my father called and told me that the play they had gone to see that afternoon got out early, so they had some extra time to pick me up. In fact, they broke their dinner date with the friends they had seen the play with in order to have dinner with me in West Los Angeles. Wonderful.
The following morning, with the fog dripping off the street signs, we set out on foot for the festival, thinking was a mere 18 blocks away—it turned out to be more like 15 miles round trip. On our inbound trek, we made friends with Jen Reed from Montreal, who took classes and hung with us on Friday and Saturday. Once we got to the festival, the good people at Tadasana graciously comped Jillian’s ticket, so both of us were surfing the yoga wave on house money. Hallelujah.
The yoga was phenomenal. Amy Ippoliti, Seane Corn, Kia Miller, Suzanne Sterling, MC Yogi & Amanda Giacomini, Lisa Walford… y’all rocked, twisted, pulled, pushed, and lifted us into a completely new space. But this kind of three-day evolution doesn’t come without consequences: Both Jillian and I “hit the wall” more than once as the spirit of awakening took us away from familiar waters and into uncharted seas. The cool thing was we were able to right our emotional ships in under 30 minutes every time. Brilliant.
Even our “big night out on the town” with matchmaker, author, blogger, and public speaker Marla Martenson was a gift. Perfect.
My biggest shift came while listening to Seane Corn at the beginning of her Detox Flow class on Sunday morning. She began telling her story about growing up in rural New Jersey and how the dumping of chemicals into the Passaic River by Dow Chemical and others resulted in skyrocketing rates of breast and kidney cancer. She added her own personal connection between her family’s Styrofoam factory and the deaths of her grandfather and father to kidney cancer. She went on to add the piece I’m most familiar with as a cancer survivor—that the foods we eat, the beverages we drink, stress, unhealthy holding patterns, the emotional baggage we lug around … all steal years from our lives and life from our years. At the end of her talk, I knew I had to give more of myself to my message.
It wasn’t until we were on the flight home to Colorado when Jillian said to me that she could see me up in front of people, like Seane was, that I knew I had to start this blog.
At each and every turn, I could see how the reality of the trip was a manifestation of the love, effort, care, and passion I put into my relationships, my community, my yoga practice, my Web site, and my desire to connect with people who will help me transmit the message of health, wellness, and prosperity. Like I said, it was surreal, and yet, I could see how all the puzzle pieces fit—even as they were coming together.
I don’t know if anyone has ever come up with a formula for how one’s thoughts and actions become their reality (it’s certainly not a linear equation), but this weekend erased all doubts from my mind that all three are inexorably intertwined.
P.S. I also want to give a shout out to Fabian Alsultany and Tommy Rosen for producing such a wonderful festival. My hope is that 2012 is the first of many to come.
About the author: Mark Saunders is Bartlett’s publisher and editor. He has written hundreds of articles for dozens of newspapers and magazines including The Denver Post and Water Efficiency magazine—focusing on sports, fitness, and water issues. In addition, he has also been the editor in chief of VeloPress and sports editor of the Colorado Daily newspaper. For the past 14 years, he has been teaching journalism & creative writing.