- Shaman Steve
The Beauty of Flow
Adventure time! I had the time of my life in the Sierras a few months back driving Jeeps off-road on some very difficult terrain. I was offered the opportunity to camp in the Los Padres Forest and would have access to drive a Jeep for the weekend. Too much fun everyone. My day always starts early and last Friday was no different. I start my day with a daily spiritual ritual that has evolved over time. Each person should dig deep to cultivate this spiritual discipline at some point in their lives to see the value of silence and self reflection. I had a few errands to take care of prior to driving to the meet up location. The plan was to meet Swami Tommy at a storage facility in Lebec CA at around 4pm. I would leave my truck in the storage unit. Check out that parking job. That is the trust that I have in Swami Tommy. He is a very enlightening individual to spend time with. I always enjoy our conversations and experiences.
My plan was to take my truck to the local auto repair shop for an oil change at 8am. When I arrived, they indicated that they wouldn't be able to have my truck ready until later in the afternoon. Obviously that wouldn't work with my schedule so I alternated to plan B immediately. No complaints. No issues. Flow. We adjust to the wind. I found another spot about 1/2 mile away. I picked it based on intuition. This shop would be able to service my vehicle at 9:30am. No issue. I decided to handle a couple of errands. First I would grab a nice cup of tea. Second I would get 2 bags of ice and a phone charger for the car. Those were the last items I required for the trip before loading up.
I dropped off the truck for service and decided to hang out and wait for the oil change to complete. Chris, the owner, remembered that I was going on a trip and asked if I wanted him to go over my vehicle to see if there were any issues noted. I did. During the oil change, they did notice a couple of items that required attention. I was planning to leave the house at around 1pm for the 3 hour drive. Not tour. A joke for anyone familiar with Gilligan's Island. They said they would complete the repairs by 12:30pm which was perfect. I trust the universe and felt everything would line up perfectly. Swami Tommy let me know his departure would be pushed back so we were now meeting at 5pm.
They completed the repairs exactly when they indicated. I popped into my truck and it was driving very smoothly. The year is 2006 and it has close to 260,000 miles on it. My truck has been very loyal to me and I return the favor. Again, trust the universe when things do not go as expected. It is a much more aligned place to be. I remember fighting everything but the only one we exhaust is ourselves.
I got back to the house and loaded up the rear bed of the truck with all of the essentials for the trip. The delay until 5pm was ideal because I did not get on the road until 1:50pm. The drive ended up being over 3 hours. I pulled into the storage facility lot to see Tommy driving up the hill to his storage unit. It was great to see him. We handled all of our business here. I parked the truck into the storage unit like a boss. All with Tommy's perfect guidance and my perfect trust. An unbeatable combination.
As we pulled into Chuchupate campground, it was starting to get dark. I had purchased a new tent and hadn't set it up yet. This could be interesting in the dark. Trust. Always. As I was working on the setup, it was beginning to be difficult for myself with little light. I said to myself, "God, can you please send someone over to help me please? I could really use the assistance." Not 5 seconds later Anand appeared and asked if I required any help. Coincidence? Maybe... Everything sailed much more smoothly with Anand's help. I have had a few in depth conversations with Anand and I have learned so much from his wisdom. Be open to wisdom from any and all sources. That is the true sage. He has helped me level up so much because I took his wisdom to heart.
It was a long day and I was very tired. I cooked myself a quick meal for dinner and got ready for an early sleep. We had an early day in the morning. Swami Tommy and Don would be giving their Jeeping 101 tutorial on Saturday and then we would go on a trail ride. It would be a fun and exciting day. Some hand sweating action is always a blast!
I was up very early on Saturday for the Grand Risings of the sun and had a wonderful morning ritual. I then went on a 45 minute hike through the campground to a peak and took a few lovely pictures. I learned so much from the course presented by Zen Jeeping. There was a beautiful collection of souls together on this day. Everyone's eyes had a lovely shine when the adventure was complete. Many people did things that they never thought possible before the day started. Swami Tommy is providing a platform for people to experience peace, joy and upliftment at the same time. What a gift! Here is a sample video of some of what we did.
We got back to the campground in the evening.
Before the sunset, we did enjoy a taste of sun gazing. At camp, I cooked a simple pleasant meal and the campground crew enjoyed some time in the evening around the fire. The fire was welcome because the weather dipped into the 30s in the evening. Brrrrr. The plan for Sunday was to drive Miller Jeep Trail in the morning. A black diamond trail. Samadhi would be possible if I made any horrific blunders. MY goal on the trail is to stay present. Period. I am really outside of my comfort zone on some of this stuff. It is truly liberating.
We broke camp in the morning and hit the road. I was ahead of Swami Tommy on the road as we left the campground. Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw a squirrel dart underneath the vehicle. As I analyze this now, I feel like the squirrel sacrificed himself. As a Shaman, my instinct was to absorb the energy of the squirrel into mine. The spiritual meaning of the squirrel is to be playful. I am doing that more and more each day. Finding the joy in the experience.
As our caravan headed up what seemed like a 40 percent grade, our leader had issues with his rear axle. We were only 15 minutes into our adventure and we had problems. Swami Tommy handles all of this adversity like water over a ducks back. He makes everyone feel comfortable and safe under his guidance and presence. He also always finds a solution. I love being around problem solvers. Tommy pulled his and my Jeep off the trail onto a 2:1 slope. Ridiculous! The rest of the caravan continued on the trail. We would do a quick remedy to get the Jeep back to the mechanic. Then the both of us would hit the trail in one Jeep together and try to catch up. Tommy was amazing to watch. As he backed the Jeep up the slope, it popped the axle back into workable place. We handled the temporary repairs rather quickly and were on the trail again within an hour. It was nice to be a passenger at this time and watch how Tommy picked his lines and handled the rock obstacles. It was also great time for us to talk and bond. I have a great appreciation for his journey, wisdom and his essence. Here are some of those photos.
I am truly outside of my comfort zone on some of this stuff. The process of facing your fears and staying calm is truly liberating. I called my buddy Santos to relate the weekend story. As I got to the point in the story about the squirrel, Santos said, "Smith. A squirrel just came out of nowhere and is right in front of my truck. It is standing on 2 legs making eye contact with me. This is ridiculous!" I believe it is just another confirmation on the path. We are one with everyone and everything. When we embrace the ride, the truly magical opens up. May you all be infinitely blessed to begin your life's adventure.