What is destiny anyway? Over winter break I saw the movie Arrival with my family, a story of a woman moving through events that seemed linear but in fact were not. As the puzzle of the main character’s life emerged, the notion of destiny came alive in me. Last week in a conversation with my daughter these words rolled out of my mouth, “destiny is when you have the feeling of remembering your future.”
We have all had experiences of meeting someone for the first time and having the felt sense you know them, perhaps from the future. When this happens to me, time slows down and I'm deeply grounded in the moment. Past, present and future merge together to create that felt sense of destiny. What if we cultivated these moments through a path of presence -- might we call in our visionary capacities?
This month we are exploring eagle pose and presence. Though Eagle is considered a balance pose I've always felt its power in the wrapping of the arms and legs, as if it is a representation of a spiraling double helix that forms our DNA. The magic happens when all our separate parts weave together, a gathering of our energy deep into our core. When we release this pose, it is as if we are actually flying, and we ARE the eagle, energetically. Perhaps this is true.
The eagle in many traditions is associated with the visionary. Most often, we bring a single person to mind, one whose impact shapes many lives and often appears effortless. In the past visionaries seemed to be a rarity and, to me, it seemed they possessed a special gift, some extraordinary power to see the future. This perspective felt intimidating. It seemed an experience for saints and out of reach for most of us.
Yet the times, and even time itself, is rapidly changing. My heart has been so deeply touched by the conversations, ceremonies, gatherings and actions that have arisen of late. Simultaneously I've been acutely aware of the toxicity of projecting outcomes into the future. I have been blessed to study the ways of the Q’ero, descendants of the Inca culture of Peru. I will never forget when my teacher Christina Donnell shared that they live without the notion of linear time. From their perspective conflict arises when we hold onto the past or fear our future. All life and possibilities unfold from the present moment. A visionary people, their ability to stay fully in the present moment seems key in their ability to See.
Science is beginning to discover and describe what seers and visionaries across time and culture have always known. The field of epigenetics is a perfect example of our ability to consciously shape our DNA, and ultimately our destiny, by how we think and feel right now. We used to believe our DNA was fixed at birth but now we know that genes can be turned on and off to shape the building blocks of what and who we are.
The capacity we hold to shift our bodies, communities and life on earth is directly connected to the extent to which we can be engaged in the present moment. There are many possibilities for how life can unfold from the cellular to the global. Training in presence summons a destiny that allows our lives to be of the greatest service, a visionary life. A path that is, in this very moment, available to all.