Deva, a syllabic poem
diva curvy woman skin bone skinny
define me no don’t define me let
ME put myself in boxes that shape and
mold and bend into curves like the one
around my upper eye lid eyes that shine
like moons, my moon women my moon women.
So you’re telling me I get two free trips
you're telling me I get to travel? for
free? i get a mentor too? i have to
check in? whatever man, sign me up.
immigrant parents taught me to eat all the meat off of the bone.
crack the bone and suck the marrow dry.
can you scoot a little closer what is
altruism when did she die when did
you stop eating how many pounds did you
loose who are your favorite teachers | tears are
leaking | older eyes are staring
little vanilla plaque card WELCOME TO
DEVA SOULJOURNEY on the floor crisscrossed
why is my font different than everyone
else? yoga art adventure cultivate
joy resilience. pictures of women.
Deva literally changed my life. In our last closing circle, the instructors asked us, “How do you think Deva has changed you?” I said, “You know, I don’t think it’s really changed me at all. I guess I will have to see.” And that is the funniest thing I could have said because I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I remember the way that my shoulders ached from my backpack, the way tears welled up in my eyes, lump in my throat, and the heaviness in my heart. In the moment, I wasn’t sure why I was crying. I didn't have the awareness nor the emotional vocabulary to say, "Actually, I'm experiencing grief that was packed away for a very long time. It's coming up back now because I feel emotionally safe to express it so that it may heal." So I told everyone I was tired.
As I grow each year, my understanding of why yoga is such a pivotal part of the Deva SoulJourneys expands. Yoga is a way learn how to be and live in my body, my refuge and it can also feel scary because it allows me to feel the sea of emotions that exists in me. I remember one distinct memory of doing yoga on my SoulJourney. We were laying in a circle on our black foam mats. Bri was leading the practice. We were in a supine twist on our backs. My knees twisted over to the right, my arms stretched out like wings, and I was looking over towards my left finger tips. Above me, the sunlight filtered down onto my face and I remember the trees and they remembered me. There is this familiarity of nature,
that it knows my name and my face.
A teacher once told me, if you tell someone to change in 3 months, they will. If you tell them to change in 5 days, they’ll transform in 5 and I love that. In a short 19 days, I touched parts of myself and saw glimpses of myself that I didn't know existed.
now, don’t get me wrong the ache
in my heart was still strong
from organs twisted in fear
of childhood pains and
life losses cut by shears
It's not that in 19 days, I did a complete 180 of my life and that everything was rainbows and butterflies, and that all I ever felt was happiness and all was well, but what Deva highlighted was that little voice inside that calls your name, hello, hi, hey maddie, are you listening? you're not listening. listen to me. The tools, such as embodied practices, self-reflection, and nurturing activities, integrated into the Deva program gently pushed me, called me, coaxed me into the direction of self-exploration, ultimately a practice of self-love. So I took and ran with it.
there’s a fire in me
and you can’t put it out.
Deva taught me how to do my life’s work, to go within and dig deep, to explore the wounded parts of myself and to heal them. The real work, I think. In my journey as participant of Deva, to an intern, to a program coordinator, to an instructor, I feel like it’s been a divine plan of being in partnership and dance with Deva. I’m grateful that I get to be a part of something so transformative that shapes lives of young women. When I think about the transformative power of Summer Search and Deva, I want to weep. I want to weep because of the ways they have carved space in a world that is not ours, that nurtures us and watches us grow. As I continue to work in partnership with Deva and Summer Search, I continue to realize how much they are invested in us, as students and as people, and in our dreams: for the sake of a fuller and juicier life.
every part of us that we dislike,
is a part of us unhealed.
it exists for a reason.
a judgmental brother,
a neglectful father.
the aches create winding, twisted,
so be gentle with yourself
as you unearth yourself.
Find inspiration with Maddie Lam @madelinexlam on FB & Insta.