A Piece of Paper Blowing in the Wind


asher-wideThere are those moments in life that you know are meant to be, when it feels like everything is in perfect harmony. Then there are those moments, certainly fewer and farther between, that stop you still in your tracks — a rare moment that leaves no uncertainty about whether it is a regular event or a life-changing one.

Its synchronicity is multi-faceted. It is more than coincidence. It is obviously extraordinary. It’s clearly meant for you and, more often than not, you have no idea what it means. But it changes your life.

The first one of these moments that I have had in my life came in the form of a piece of paper. I was in my late twenties. I had just transitioned out of an incredibly stressful job situation and had begun practicing Yoga regularly. My introduction to Yoga was a perfect harmony moment. I had heard it was great for relieving stress (which it was) and my new job just happened to be down the street from a Yoga studio, which weren’t quite as prolific at that time. I absorbed every class and workshop I could — and it did bring me an understanding of tranquility I had never known before.

What I didn’t know is that would open a door to a wider world. I would later go on to attend Teacher Training at that studio, partner with its owner for a time, branch out into teaching other types of fitness classes, learn to practice Reiki and so much more.

It was about a year into deep involvement in the practice of Yoga that a single piece of paper, and more importantly what was typed on that paper, literally rocked my world. At the time, we lived in St. Louis Park, not from from Excelsior Boulevard. We rented a duplex near a wetland in a quiet neighborhood.

One morning as I took my dogs out before work, I found a single piece of paper, folded in half, that had blown right onto my doorstep. That happens. Garbage occasionally blows onto our lawns. Usually it would be an errant advertisement or piece of newspaper, but this plain white piece of paper had a message that felt like it had been typed for me and placed on my doorstep by some greater power.

At the time, I knew it was special. It didn’t dramatically change the way I conducted that day, but it changed the way I looked at everything. Its meaning — or my interpretations of it — have changed over the years. It has always held special meaning for me and reminded me of the path I started, even before I began practicing Yoga — the path I began when I started seeking answers to questions of my health and well-being, my spirituality, my relationships.

Once you begin to ask, you open up a world of answers and questions. Once you begin to ask, it’s hard to stop asking.

On that single, white piece of paper was simply a poem. A Rumi poem to be exact. I know it by heart. I still have that piece of paper, 14 years later.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep!”

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