Down an alley at the back of a health food shop off Hait Street, San Francisco I walked down the stairs and into The Center for a Visions and Dreams workshop hosted by Maggie McCloud. Maggie and I met at a San Pedro ceremony in Cusco last April, in the garden of Casa de la Gringa Mountain House near Temple of the Moon, flowers and hummingbirds. I was in her hometown of San Francisco to exhibit Om Padma at the Yoga Journal Conference and was trying to pick up the vibe of the place.
As with so many cities, it was hard to get a measure of San Francisco. Her gems were hidden from the tourist eye. After a few days of walking around I began to see the city behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. I had decided to take an Air BnB apartment up near the University of California campus at Berkeley. An old friend was up there teaching political theory while writing his PhD. The apartment was a home from home as I lit a fire in the wood burner and struggled through my jet lag.
Entering the Center for Maggie’s workshop I knew I had finally landed. The Center is a gallery tea room and yoga centre all in one basement-level space. It had just been freshly designed with natural wood, low level tables and chairs, candles, kilims and topping it all off the most gorgeous exhibition of paintings. The paintings fitted the surroundings perfectly, natural, beautiful, the essence of feminine power and vulnerability. And it turned out the artist, Hannah Natali, was co-hosting the workshop with Maggie.
Hannah had dressed the yoga studio with her art, with feathers and with Paolo Santo. All of this resonated me deeply. Hannah had also been in Peru working with the plant medicine teachers and jaguar was in the room. As we practiced together my intention to finish my book crystallised, ready to be spoken and witnessed as we held circle. During my one on one with Maggie I was able to let go of resistance and lean into the task ahead. Finishing.
Three days of Yoga Conference in the basement of the Hyatt. I met fellow yoga entrepreneurs, I held the faith while the yoga market was empty of customers, I felt in deeply to the dedication it takes to show up fully. Nowhere to hide, accountable only to yourself. Hope sprang when I met an editor from Yoga Journal who asked about featuring Om Padma yoga bags in their magazine. That is the prize.
On the flight home I reflected on my connections and experiences. I knew it was right, but I didn’t know why. In awe, as always, of the mystery.