Curiosity is Contagious
Curiosity is Contagious
Last month I traveled to the Oregon woods to witness the total solar eclipse with my friend. Months of planning and anticipation did not prepare me for what I experienced. We gathered with a small tribe of curious others on a quaint rural bridge over the Santiam River. It was a clear, bright sky that morning and Moon did not make Herself visible at all in the hours preceding the event.
Right on cue, all eyes to the sky, illuminated only by the intensity of the source of the brightness that She set forth to obscure, Moon slowly entered stage left to cross in front of the sun. As we began to track Her one-woman debut through the dark lenses of our hard-earned, well-marketed, paper eclipse glasses, more people began to emerge from their rural cabins to make their way to the bridge to join us. With the growing crowd, the social buzz amplified, and suddenly small talk threatened to jeopardize the profundity of the moment of totality we had traveled 3000 miles to experience.
So, as the hour began to pass, we quickly made our exit from the makeshift stadium seating in search of a more private slice of sky. We ventured up a dirt road and considered a clearing visible from a dusty field between residences, but we both sensed we could do better. The river was beckoning. Peeking every so often through our glasses to check on Moon’s steady progress, we scurried back down through the woods, hiking toward the river bank. The sun was more than three-quarters eclipsed by the time we arrived, and we were relieved we still had time.
The tall forest around us was green and lush and the river, refreshing, cold, and crystal clear. There was no one else in sight. We disrobed and waded through the water, settling in for the spectacle upon a big rock. It was the beast seat in the house. I outstretched my legs to feel the water trickling through my toes. As we perched there among the rich beauty of our natural environment, we honored the silence between us. Tuning in with all of our senses, we completely merged with our environment. I felt like we were Adam and Eve taking our rightful place in a newly-gifted paradise.
We continued to track the cosmic development through our glasses as we breathed in the clean fresh air and became increasingly alive in the stillness. The sky dimmed and crickets slowly replaced the soundscape of birds. Suddenly, without warning, the moment had arrived. My jaw dropped open and my eyes became wide. My mind fell away. Moon had slithered over to completely obscure the sun. I had never seen anything like it. A sensory wave of awe enveloped me. I felt as if I had been transported to outer space, witnessing something wholly surreal. I imagine it was how one might feel upon seeing the solar system up close with naked eyes for the first time. It was a moment of pure transcendent bliss.
Moon held steady for a full two minutes and we marveled at the beauty of the sun’s halo surrounding Her. She had taken her crown. My mind's chatter began to return as I became fixated on how I might hold onto this experience. Just like that it was over. As slowly as She had begun to first glide over the sun, She continued in her revolution to move past it.
The birds began to re-emerge and we remained, eyes fixed to the sky, for the next hour to bear witness as she completed her cosmic journey. Within the hour Moon had again completely receded, out of sight, into the bright blue sky. It was two full days and nights before She returned to the sky to take her well-deserved bow before us. We had by then just arrived to the magical Mt. Shasta. Noticing Her that evening as the sun began to set West of our gaze atop the mountain, I was filled with a childlike enthusiasm to welcome waxing Moon back to our visible sky. I eagerly await her Encore.
I founded The Curious Spirit with the intention of creating spaces to honor such moments of transcendence, and the many forms in which they grace us. These moments take us beyond the mundane and afford us a glimpse of our natural state beyond the cultural lenses through which we have been conditioned to experience life.
This month we held another powerful Women’s Soul Circle in NYC where we explored fear and bravery with our growing sisterhood and raised $240 in donations to assist with bringing relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Our next Women’s Soul Circle will be offered on Friday, October 6th in the shadow of the full harvest moon. Please reach out if you would like to receive an invitation.
I am also co-hosting a networking tea for conscious creators and entrepreneurs at Luv Tea in the West Village on Thursday, September 21st at 6pm. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us to support one other in building and marketing our ethical enterprises.
In other news, I am excited to announce that I was just named as the new executive director for The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). I have been involved with this progressive organization, that works toward normalizing transcendent experiences and educating professionals about how to work with those who have had their lives transformed through them, since 2012. I first began working with ACISTE to interview experiencers and create case studies for their mental health, life coach, and spiritual director certification programs and have presented my research at several of their conferences in the past. I am looking forward to the opportunities this new role will afford me in building and expanding this work into mainstream healthcare and professional training programs.
In two weeks I am headed to the beautiful city of Prague for the International Transpersonal Conference to learn from pioneers in the field of Transpersonal Psychology such as Dr. Stan Grof. Along with the likes of Abraham Maslow and Carl Jung, Dr. Grof founded the transpersonal field dedicated to exploring the transcendent and highest realms of human potential 50 years ago. I look forward to sharing my conference experience with you upon my return next month.
I hope that by sharing my story, you remember to make space for the transcendent to enter your life and encourage others to do the same. Please consider how you might like to contribute to our growing community of seekers at The Curious Spirit. I welcome and encourage your ideas and feedback.
With love and curiosity,