It has definitely been a mellow winter by Lake Tahoe standards, and many signs bring the promise of an early spring. I hope we're not still seeing the same signs 2 months from now. Right now I'm watching a great blue heron making like a statue. He's standing on the other side of a small pond, amongst the orange-red willow reeds. A tall stand of dark green pines looms over the scene. Behind, like huge white behemoths, the snow-covered Sierra Nevada's tower. The heron just this second lifted its head and caught a fish with a lightning-quick jab. Before that we had watched for 10 minutes and it didn't move an inch. It reminds me of my life. My path has been towards that type of stillness. That still place where Innate hangs out with God. That place which, earlier in my life, I found at times by accident, and mostly didn't notice or remember because I was stoned on drugs. Later I tried to access that place through meditation and breath work and lots of other work, and even found some success. There was still a separation, though, between my occasional forays into stillness and the rest of my life. That place became sort of like home base in a game of tag. But more and more, through doing the work, that place is becoming home. I still leave, indeed quite often. And I always return. There's no place like home.
While watching this scene, the wild wind of March touches me with still-icy fingers. The stream we're sitting alongside rumbles by speedily, fresh with snowmelt, little eddies and ripples everywhere. Clouds of every conceivable shape roar across the bright blue sky, looking like a moving Impressionist painting. Again it reminds me of my life. As I abide in my still center, the storm rages on around me, mostly in my mind. Dark, doubting, envious, limiting thoughts of separation ooze into my consciousness like black slime. If I allow it, they cause me to see things as a victim and react as a robot. Attack. Run away. Do whatever it takes to prove I am right. Forget about love. About Spirit. Then my ego, my filters, my programming, my Mississippi rivers - collectively what I call my shit brigade - are free to rage on.
If I allow it. More and more, my home security system takes over. I remember to breathe. I remember that I am Spirit. That I need not allow my mind to control me, any more than I would allow my elbow or my kneecap to control me. I remember that I have a choice. I remember to choose love. And the shit brigade retires into the darkness of illusion where it lurks and waits, ever vigilant, for me to fall asleep again and leave home.
I am learning that what is truly real is love. That's it. When I am home in that still place I am resting at the altar of Love. From here, my choices are always right and perfect for me and for the universal song of which I am a note. The winds of Spirit are then always at my back, as I face in the direction of my right and perfect path. All the detours and distractions simply serve to illuminate my path with greater Light. And to remind me to come home. From here, I can love and serve as a chiropractor to my highest potential and express the principle through every facet of my life. I continue to work at being as still as a great blue heron, staying at home regardless of circumstances. As free as a bird.
Dr. Stew Bittman runs a "box" practice in South Lake Tahoe, California. You can listen an interview with Stew by clicking here.