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Over the last few years I’ve been working on the word yes.  


Hey Sam, “You want to go camping, climbing, skating, slacklining, pick me up at the airport, do the dishes, try this hot sauce, go for a run, racquetball, eat oysters, make a new friend, make a video together?”


“uhmmm. yes? I mean, yes!”


It hasn’t always been easy and it’s not something that comes naturally to me, but I’ve been learning the value of the word and the adventure that follows it.  Last weekend it took me Shakti Fest; a springtime yoga, dance, music festival which celebrates the devotional path that has its roots in yoga, kirtan and meditation. Basically, you practice yoga 1-3 times a day, sing a lot of Kirtan (think Hari Krishna--Rama, Shiva, Govinda, Gopala), practice consciousness, breathwork, lie by the pool and sleep out under the stars in beautiful Joshua Tree, California.  No, your beloved Sam has not joined a cult, but I did have an an amazing time and really found myself challenged on a number of different levels.  


On my last afternoon out there I took a breath workshop that was led by a teacher named Michael Brian Baker.  Basically 75 of us crammed into a room just large enough for us all to lay down side by side, in no particular order or fashion.  Some guys leg was touching my head, my girlfriend was at my left side, my feet were touching someone’s shoulders and another lady was at my hip.  In other words there wasn’t a lot of personal space to be had. So here we were 75 open hearted hippies, 3 days into a yoga retreat, no shoes, sweaty, comfy and open.  Of course I felt some anxiety, but I just tried to relax and allow this hour and half workshop to challenge me however it was going to challenge me.  Michael was an incredible guide and just seemed completely kind, cool and open.  The instructions were pretty simple; lie down, close your eyes, palms up, calmly breath through your mouth, once into your belly, again into your chest and then out through your mouth. You’d be amazed at how intense this becomes.  My hands and my solar plexus were buzzing with energy, my nose and head were tingling.  I simply tried to quiet my mind and follow Michael’s lead, letting go of judgement and just allowing the breath to do its work.  Some folks cried, I laughed.   I actually found some real joy in just allowing others the space to feel whatever it was that they were feeling without judgement and to allow myself the same courtesy.  There was music in the background and at one point the song Angel by Sarah Mclachlan started.  It was one of the only songs I had heard over the 3 days that wasn’t simply Kirtan. Almost in unison the entire room began singing the song.  It was truly inspired.  When the workshop was done I was feeling a real connection with my girlfriend and with my friends and family, those present in the room and those only present in my heart.  I was high on love.  Truly. There are many people in my life that have touched me and profoundly moved me.  I was, and am feeling grateful to all of you that have. There is a lot to uncover and to learn in this lifetime, and YES, I am up for the adventure.  

For the remainder of the day, I couldn’t get the song Angel out of my head. It’s not a song that I’ve ever really connected with before, but somehow it continued to resonate with me, and I decided to try my hand at singing it.
ANGEL - Sarah Mclachlan Cover

I’m no diva but I hope I did it justice.  Maybe, while you are enjoying this new video please take a moment to subscribe to my youtube page and perhaps check out something else that I’ve created.

When writing about this experience I can’t help but feel a little cheesy.  Not many of you were there, so to some of you I’m sure it sounds really silly.  Which it was, but it was also potent.  

On a side note my dear friend Adam, whom I have spoken of on many occasions hurt himself while paragliding about a month ago.   He fell 400 ft. from the heavens with a collapsed wing, twisting and spinning out of control before landing on the side of a mountain.  He was lucky to have only broken his neck and his jaw.  The spinal protector that he had purchased and taken for it’s maiden voyage that day saved his life.  Adam will make a full recovery and will undoubtedly be pushing his body, and its new hardware, to it’s mortal limits within the next few months.  If you haven’t ever seen Adam at his inspirational best please check him out. Here, try this link.....check him out in China and see where it takes you.

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