Mina is a registered nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Seattle Children's Hospital where she cares for children and their families through their journey with congenital heart disease. Seattle, WA
What happened during or as a result of your EOA journey? How would you describe the outcome?
I’ve been trying to think of how to simply put into words the answer to this question when it feels so beyond words. I think the most concise way of putting it is this: Everything slowed down. It feels like all of life slowed down so that I could see and appreciate everything in a way I’ve never been able to experience before, especially in the natural world.
I also feel there was an internal slowing down that allowed me to explore within myself my own existence and what it means to be me. While I’ve always felt quite connected with who it is to be me, the why and what have been the places I’ve gotten lost. And though I by no means have it completely figured out (nor do I anticipate I ever will) the EOA journey gave me structure and community through which I could openly explore these questions. At the same time, finding ways to express who I am has always been a challenge, especially to find ways to share my true self outwardly. Again, the EOA village was SUCH a supportive container that held any and everything that wanted to be shared or expressed by any member. To find such a safe and supportive means of letting out what wants to come out truly helped me find ways to live outwardly what has always felt alive inside.
My deepest longing in this lifetime is to do good on this earth; to find a way to leave her better than I found her. I have always felt overwhelmed by this, as if nothing I could do would ever be enough. In struggling with this, I felt the calling to deepen into my interconnectedness with all of life. I feel so much gratitude that EOA provided me with the perfect framework to be able to explore this in myself, with our village, and on the land with all beings. I will be forever grateful for the way EOA changed the way I walk through this world, how it allowed me to see myself in everything and know that doing good, in and of itself, is always enough.
Expressions: Poetry and Music*
Poetry and Music introduction:
Expression through words has never felt like the way I want to or can express myself fully. After our very first group council I felt that more strongly than ever and I wasn't sure how I was going to move through that. The next day while out walking on the land I felt so peacefully blissful in a way that I now realize seems to come when I've deepened into my connection with Life. On my walk back to basecamp I started to worry about whether I was going to have to try to find words to express this. Then literally within seconds an entire poem appeared in my head and I pulled out my journal and scribbled it down while walking. It felt like a gift from the land saying, "here, there are ways outside of spoken language for you to share".
Like with poetry, I've also been opened to the expressive and connecting power of music making. While music has always been a part of my life I've never been comfortable or confident using it as a form of self-expression. The trust and safety I found in my EOA circle woven with the freedom and deep connection I feel when out on the land created a space for me that made expression through singing feel natural. I was able to let go of worrying about whether or not it "sounded good" and simply let it be what it is and wants to be. While writing and reflecting after completion of my yearlong EOA journey this sort of sung-poem-lilting-lullaby emerged that feels a bit like a capturing of my EOA experience.
i am everywhere
i am everywhere
but your eyes cannot see me.
so close them,
and we may get to know each other.
feel my effortless caress
as i wrap myself around you.
as my cool breath kisses your skin,
hot from the morning sun.
notice how i am one giant, gentle force,
yet with each hair on your body
you can feel me move you
in a different way.
allow me to help dissipate the distractions
of the noise in your mind
as you listen only to the song i create
as i dance across your body
and through this landscape.
close your eyes and feel me
for i am everywhere your eyes cannot see.
All poems music and lyrics copyright Mina 2017
The morning dawn is breaking
And the juniper is waking
Through her swaying wind-blown dance
She pulls your soul into a trance
Urging you to find your part
As the beating of your heart
Is echoed by a pounding drum
Whose rhythm begs for you to come
Join in this living harmony
That will simply let you be
You hear the singing of the birds
And can feel their joyous words
Telling you to let it go
And watch your spirit overflow
As the desert sun begins to rise
You open up your human eyes
And see beings in the light
Playing strong with all their might
The cadence of the call
Of our collective rise and fall
And it’s at this verse you know
There’s nowhere else that you must go
For the only question of this song
Is, How will your voice sing along?