Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Know yourself. Be yourself. Trust yourself.

This has been my motto for the last 13 years. I dreamt it one night during the year after hiking the Appalachian Trail in '98.

I am climbing the rockiest mountain side I have ever climbed, in the dark. I can see very well because the moon is so full, it is spilling silver over the rocks I am tripping through. A yoga guru standing on his head on the side of the mountain asks me, "Do you know what the secret of the universe is?" I can't speak, so simply shake my head no.

"Yes, you do," he admonishes me. Then he laughs this big, booming, deep, heart-felt laugh. He laughs so hard, tears stream down his forehead.

"Ho00, boy," He wipes his eyes with the heels of his hands, still standing on his head, mind you.

"That cracked me up."

I want to ask him what the secret of the universe is, but I still can't speak, so I sit down, cross-legged beside him.

"Everyone is rushing around trying to find the answer, but the joke is on them. They already have it. They just don't know where to look."

He turns his eyes on me and they are like the night sky, full of glittering stars and nebulous sky-dust. He taps his chest with his index and middle fingers, then taps my chest in the same place.

"Here, all the time." His face softens; the brow-lines melt away and he is neither old, nor young.

"The secret of the universe is this: Know yourself. Be yourself. Trust yourself."

And he laughs, only it sounds like the whole mountain is laughing.

I wake up with a start, sitting straight up in bed. Its so dark, I can't make anything out and for that magical moment, I am in between worlds. I am bobbing on the theta brain waves of twilight sleep; I say the words out loud.

"Know yourself. Be yourself. . . " and for a moment, I can't remember the last thing.

Then I hear it, softly, muffled by the thick darkness.

". . .Trust yourself."

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