Mud Cake

Glen Ivy Hot Springs

My plan for my birthday to fly off to St. Louis to see one of my favorite bands, Cake perform at the LouFest didn’t quite go as planned.  But that’s life.  And I have learned to roll with the punches these days.  So, I simply switched gears and opted for plan B; a hike to Holy Jim Falls with Riley (although it was only a trickle), hanging out with my friends back back back stage at the Dave Matthews concert (in other words the parking lot), and then rolling in mud at Glen Ivy Hot Springs.  Not sure if it was the endorphins from the hike, Dave’s lyrics or the therapeutic qualities of the red clay from the Temescal Valley mixed with water from the mineral springs, but I was transformed yet again.  It has been a decade of transformations.

As I covered myself from head to toe, baptized in thick dark red Mother Earth, I let the hot sun bake the mud into a thick delicious crust.  I was one big mud cake.  My skin tingling as the healing powers of the red clay worked its magic.  I felt alive!  Awake!  Delicious!  Free!  Once the mud was completely dried, I began to rub the hardened layers off one by one, as if wiping off the last few years of my life.  The dirt fell to the ground, and the remaining mud, washed away in the showers, spiraled down the drain.  But not all of it!

Later that evening, I found remnants of mud in my hair, ears and other, “uh-um”, body parts.  But I did not wash it off.  I left it there as a reminder.  A reminder of what it feels like to be alive.

Dave Matthews Concert

For those of you that know me, understand that I am a very analytical person, always reading books, watching TED talks, writing, meditating, and conversing with friends about life and all of its challenges.  I have spent a lot of time searching for meaning.  But I realize I never needed to search very far.  It’s been right in front of me all along.  Actually, it has been within me all along.  True meaning is found in the ecstasy of the experience; an experience of feeling alive.  Because when I feel truly alive, I am in touch with my own divine nature.  I am conscious of my own light, fully awake, living my truth.  It’s like seeing life through Waterford crystal instead of rose colored glasses. And it is brilliant!

Joseph Campbell explains it like this:

 “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life.  I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

So, feel the rapture my friends!  Go ahead and smear mud all over your body, get up before dawn and watch the sunrise, take a road trip, swim in the ocean, dance like nobody is watching, do something you did not think you could do, do something others did not think you could do, drive with the windows down and the music blaring, sing on stage, go to a concert, write a blog, take a yoga class, pay it forward, create something out of nothing, conquer a fear, do something spontaneous, run in the rain, connect with a friend, tell someone you love them, volunteer, learn something new, hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, walk around the block, make love, read a good book, go to a museum, eat chocolate, get naked, visit an old friend, call your mom, hug your kiddos, watch Lord of the Rings, walk barefoot in the sand, crawl into clean sheets at the end of a long day, breathe…

Because you never know when you will take your last breath.

Carpe Diem!

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