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The Leaf

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Empowerment
The Leaf

The Leaf

Fly CatcherI had several choices of where to go and what to do, but I was drawn to the river that day. I was going fishing. At least that was what I had in mind when I headed down to my favorite stretch of the Musconetcong.

The “Musky,” as it is called by the locals, is a sweet little river with riffles sparkling in the sun. It had been a while since I’d cast a fly rod, since in the recent past I’d only been Spey fishing. Technically speaking, a Spey rod is also a type of a fly rod but it is a totally different, two-handed system. The singlehanded rod felt light and vaguely unfamiliar in my hand and I feared I might be a tad rusty.

On this particular day, the sky was dotted with clouds so the light through the trees was intermittently sun dappled and then diffuse. It was early spring with chartreuse leaves unfurling in the trees. The air was still and the soothing sound of water played in the background of my senses. The water is still cold at that time of year, so I was geared up with polar fleece and heavy socks underneath my waders and boots.

Quietly I moved down the gentle sloping bank until I stood in the river at about knee depth. Line pulled off the reel, an attractive little fly attached, I made my first cast…and then the next and the next, as I rhythmically made my way downstream, one step at a time with only the wildlife to mark my passing.

A fox eyed a pair of Canadian geese, sizing them up for a potential meal. Birds flew about the canopy, and a merganser duck swam upstream. It was too early in the season for the duck to be trailed yet by a dozen or more chicks.

As I made my way down to the farmhouse stretch, a cheerful little riffle where the water dances its way over rocks before emptying into a pool, I caught in my periphery a small leaf hanging from a high branch, fluttering in the wind.

How odd, I thought. There isn’t any breeze today.
I looked more closely.
Is that a bird? Is it snagged up somehow?…Yes –Yes it is!

Fly Catcher with FlyThe branch with the frightened bird was hanging over the far side of the stream, too high for me to reach. I waded ashore, leaned my fly rod on a bush and picked up a stick. Wading back out beneath the limb I used the stick to snag the branch, pulling it down until it was within my grasp. Snapping the entire thing off, I turned my attention to the little creature that was fluttering wildly now. The bird appeared to be a small flycatcher of some sort: gray with a black head and tan sides. But I didn’t take much time to gather details as it quickly became apparent the source of its plight.

Someone else had obviously been to this fishing hole before me. Not surprising, of course, as this stretch of the Musky is part of the fishing club to which I belong. The angler that came before me had also been fishing with a single-handed rod and had clearly made a “bad” cast as his fly had landed in the trees rather than in the spot that was his intent. It’s easy to snag a tree or bush when the limbs hang over the river unless you make your cast just so. I’ve been to some places where the trees look ready for Christmas all year round, decked out with bright colored lures and flies left by anglers over the years.

By this point the little bird was understandably in a panic, flapping and flittering it’s heart out in an attempt to get away. Of course from his perspective I was a huge predator. Gently I closed my hand around him smoothing his frantic wings against his sides so that I could get a closer look at how he was trapped against this branch – at what was preventing his escape. The problem was tiny, oh-so-tiny, yet-oh so-strong.

The angler who came before me had left a little “trico” upon the limb, likely on a size 22 hook, so small as to be almost unseeable, with minuscule translucent white wings that imitate a trico fly. The bird had obviously been fooled by this imitation as he had attempted to catch a meal and had been caught instead.

I could feel the frantic beating of the fly catcher’s tiny heart as I gently eased the hook from his beak. I flung the offending branch and fly into the bushes and looked into the eye of the wild creature and as I opened my hand, he took wing.

By now it was dusk, the magic time when trout often surface to catch a meal. But I had thoroughly disturbed the pool where I was standing and no rising fish were in sight.

That’s alright, I realized as I waded ashore to retrieve my rod. Today’s catch and release wasn’t about trout. I had just thought I was going fishing. If I hadn’t been there to see the “leaf” fluttering when there was no wind, that little bird would have died.

Breathing deeply as day turned to night I headed for home, feeling quietly satisfied at an afternoon well spent.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Photo Safari Day

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Empowerment
Photo Safari Day

Photo Safari Day

For our July Article, we offer you some of the details of a photo safari day we had during a recent visit to Costa Rica. The impressions of our day were recorded from Ariel’s point of view. In our experience, observing minutiae – small moments – can be wondrous when you are there to experience them. We hope that you find yourself inspired to discover the details of your day – wherever you are – from the pictures and “word pictures” we offer. Enjoy!

The monkeys we heard at dusk, murmuring in the canopy above, definitely were Howlers. The following day, they began again, greeting the morning with a gusty serenade. As I passed under the awakening troupe spread out among the branches, I heard a suspicious “blop…blob, blop” all around me and I quickly advised Shya to take an alternate route to the dining area. I was fairly sure the sounds I was hearing wasn’t a random, morning bathroom call but rather a marking of territory against intruders, monkey style.

There was clearly more than one dominant male in the group as they howled in counterpoint, lusty overtones sung to the lightening sky. Deep chesty resonance, a crescendo of sound was offered to the heavens – a salute to the sun, the trees, the dawn of day.

After breakfast, we gather our things and the captain picks us up for the short ride down to the boat. Soon we motor away from the dock. The day is fresh before the heat arrives heavy-handed to press the air until it became difficult to breathe. Sun slanting through a high canopy of clouds, crickets setting a background hum, birds flitting, a young caiman scuttling away from our boat, reptilian eyes flashing. We motor up the canal, as dragonflies sketch random patterns overhead and vines trail in the water casting vague wakes.

We arrive at the lagoon and its glassy surface glitters with a profusion of bait. Soon, as if raining, the surface begins dimpling as the watery world awakes and the little sardines began to feed. The slightest sound – a cough, a shuffle of our feet or the anchor shifting on the bottom of the boat – causes a wave of response, tiny fish going airborne, fanning out from our position. A lone cormorant fans its wings. The clouds cast gauzy reflections and the distant purple haze of mountains flanks us.

Then as the day sharpens, Ms. Tarpon began to feed – lazily porpoising, displacing water, teasing us with her tantalizing presence as Shya stands, fly rod at the ready, poised in the bow of the boat. Our world is quiet but alive. The clear water of the lagoon mixes with the chocolate colored current of the canal. Great arcing leaps of baitfish sketch the path of feeding tarpons under the surface.

Shya casts, strips in the line. Casts again. The captain quietly repositions the boat with an electric motor designed to minimize noise. More casting. The sun rises higher. Heat. Sweat. Waiting. Cast again. The water erupts. 100 pounds of contained fury leaps to the sky, spraying droplets, large scales flashing in the sun. A breathless dance. Shya pulls her in, the guide hoists her up to be seen and then releases her back to her home.

Most people think that when Shya and I go fishing, it is all about catching fish. In truth, it is all about Being Here – whatever we are doing. And it is all about being here for the minute details of the experience. For it is in the details that the richness of life is revealed.

 

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

A Moment in Time

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A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time

by Wendy in Queens, NY

an excerpt from Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment by Ariel and Shya Kane

kidsswinging.jpgMy brother Brian was born a year and a half after I was. My mom told me that when she brought him home from the hospital, I thought he was a gift for me. When we were growing up, Brian seemed to know how to do everything without any help or training. I’d ask him, “How do you know that?” I was amazed and jealous that things seemed to come so easily for him, or so I thought.

Years later when I graduated from college, I found a job in New York City. My brother offered to drive my stuff and me from our home in Rochester, New York to my new apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey. We packed his Suburban to the gills and off we went. We made our way there using a good old-fashioned map since this was before cell phones and Google Maps. We spent the weekend setting up the apartment and took a quick trip into Manhattan to explore the area. The days flew by and the time came for him to head back. We hugged goodbye and off he drove into the horizon. As I watched my brother’s truck get smaller and smaller, tears fell down my cheeks.

Time moved on, life happened, and Brian and I grew apart. I held on to my belief that we would be super close again someday, because that’s how I thought it should be. That’s how I thought life worked. But Brian started using drugs. As his addiction grew stronger, the gulf between us grew wider. He got help, but it was a struggle and he repeatedly slipped back into his old habits. I had a lot of judgments against him, but they had started long before he was using drugs.

Eventually, I discovered a totally new perspective about my brother and my life when a co-worker invited me to one of Ariel and Shya Kane’s evening events in New York City. Soon after, I attended a weekend seminar with them and started to look at relationships through a different lens. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but my perspective just shifted. As a kid I’d made decisions to not be like my family. I started seeing how I held my family and myself as not good enough. I had ideas about what a “good family” looked like, down to how a good family should celebrate Christmas. In the past, I had sat at home feeling sorry for myself if the celebration was not up to my standards.

Then, one December, I had a spontaneous experience of how my life had transformed. I had flown to Rochester to celebrate Christmas with my family and quickly discovered that no one had made plans for a holiday gathering. Rather than going to that familiar place of feeling sorry for myself, I realized that I could plan something. This was a novel idea and I got excited at the notion of hosting Christmas.

With my sister Holley’s permission, I invited everyone to her house on a snowy night in December. I made all of my favorite dishes – cheesy macaroni and cheese, creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes and a big green salad. Holley finished it off with a fresh baked apple pie. My mom brought the frosted buttermilk Christmas cookies that she made every year. Everyone was happy to contribute. Hmm, maybe my family wasn’t such a lost cause after all.

Earlier in the day my sister and I had bought gifts for everyone, including a chess set that I thought my brother would love. Brian was a pretty good chess player and he loved the game. The doorbell sounded and I greeted my mom and brother at the door. It was as if time stood still. I looked into my brother’s eyes and I saw that I had a choice. I could drop my judgments and meet my brother Brian, as if for the first time, or I could hold on to past grievances. In a split second I chose to drop the past. I saw the light flicker in my brother’s eyes as I reached out to hug him and I felt the wall between us crumble. Even the sound of his name was sweet and I was excited he was there.

The evening flew by. After dinner we exchanged gifts. I felt sated and happy. I realized the picture in my mind of how Christmas should be celebrated was a child’s idea and I preferred the way it had unfolded in reality.

Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day EnlightenmentI was scheduled to fly back to New York City on Sunday night and to my surprise, Brian joined my mom and me on the ride to the airport. When we arrived and I found out the flight was delayed, I asked them both to come inside the airport and wait with me. I’d never done that before. I usually couldn’t wait to get out of Rochester but this time was different. We sat in Dunkin’ Donuts, sipping coffee and eating muffins, and laughing at stupid jokes. It was a lot of fun and the silliness was sweet and intimate. When my flight was ready to depart, we said our goodbyes and I made my way to the gate with a big grin on my face.

A few days into the New Year, I got a call in the middle of the night. My brother Brian had overdosed on heroin and his heart had stopped. He died later that night and I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that just a few days earlier we’d had some of the deepest and kindest interactions in years. It was as if I had found my kid brother again only to lose him.

I miss my brother but I’ll be forever grateful for the time I got to spend with him that Christmas. I’m thankful that I dropped the past and discovered who Brian really was while he was still alive.

 

This is an excerpt from Being Here…Too, now available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their award-winning books, their Being Here radio show and join their email newsletter.

Footprints in the Sand

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Empowerment
Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the Sand

For several years Shya and I travelled down to Great Harbor Cay, on the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. We traditionally rented a little condo on this small sparsely populated island with windows facing east overlooking the ocean – a beautiful place to watch the sunrise to be sure. On many mornings, I went for a walk on the beautiful sandy beach. The shore is long enough that I could easily go for 45 minutes in either direction, enjoying the lap of the waves while keeping a sharp eye out for treasures that the sea had dropped on the sand overnight. This little beach is its own world, one where “rush hour” happened when I occasionally saw another human being – perhaps two. While this stretch of sand is sparsely populated I still was not the only Beachcomber. Sometimes when walking along the beach I followed the tracks of a fellow explorer, noticing where he or she had veered left or right to investigate an interesting-looking tangle of sea grass that had been deposited by the waves upon the shore.

I must admit I really prefer being first to cross the virgin sand after it has been smoothed by the receding tide. When I have come upon the tracks of someone who has come before me, it spurs the notion that I have fallen behind somehow, that I am too late, that everything of note to be discovered has already been found.

One morning, Shya and I stepped out our door and debated briefly whether to turn left or right. He, fly rod in hand, me wearing my light cotton tee with a kangaroo pouch on the front ready to tuck away little treasures. I was also wearing my small belly-pack, complete with water bottle, tissues and more room for seashells inside. Everything a gal needs for a trek down the beach.

We decided to go left, toward the point where the sea wraps around, often leaving interesting shells. It is also where small fish, mainly schools of jacks and pompano, chase baitfish and are likely to take Shya’s fly.

As we walked along we saw a needlefish, a long toothy creature, cruising the shallows. Farther out, shoals of tiny minnows jumped, silver waves fanning out, cascading back into the slick water as they tried to evade a predator below. Occasionally little sandpipers bobbed and weaved their way up and down the gentle rise of sand in search of edibles too tiny for our human eyes to see.

As we walked in the wavelets, Shya’s gaze was pinned on the water as he scanned for the silhouettes of fish, ready to cast the fly, my attention kept being pulled to a flash of light or a daub of color as seashells winked at me in the morning sun. It was a leisurely adventure, not really going anywhere even though our feet were taking us toward that point of land in the distance. When a small school of jacks came hunting, we both caught and released several as we took turns enticing them to eat our imitation shrimp fly.

Eventually we came to the point and Shya waded out down a long sand bar to see if he could catch one of the larger predator fish cruising the water on either side of the underwater spit of sand. I, on the other hand, rounded the corner and ranged up the beach to see what seashells had been left by the ocean overnight. But to my surprise, instead of an unblemished surface, I found footprints in the sand.

Oh no! I immediately thought. Someone was here before me. From nowhere my leisurely morning’s mood disappeared and my competitive nature surged forward, activating those niggling insecurities that whispered: You’re behind. You missed your shot. You’ve lost out.

Prompted by those thoughts, my steps quickened, heart thumped and breath hitched. How could they have gotten here before me? Shya and I came out to the beach virtually at first light.

Scanning ahead, I saw how the trail zigged and zagged and I began to follow it. Several yards down the beach, as I took a step, I noticed that the footprints I was leaving in my wake looked suspiciously the same size as those I was following. I stopped in my tracks. Actually I stopped next to my tracks also and I tipped my head back and laughed. I finally realized that the person I’d been competing with was actually the ghost of myself, for I had come this way the night before. As I looked, it became clear that high tide the night before had not come up far enough to obliterate my prints from yesterday’s beach adventure. I smiled to myself, reminded of Winnie-The-Pooh where Piglet and Pooh follow their own tracks as they circled around the same tree again and again.

Relaxed once again, my eye returned to seeing the wonders in front of me. My attention was no longer turned inward upon perceived failings, and I was no longer subjected to that automatic self-defeating mental diatribe. My stride evened out and I enjoyed the movement of my legs, the textures under my bare feet as I turned around and begin walking back toward Shya.

Suddenly I caught sight of a delicate seashell standing in the fresh sand looking like a pair of butterfly wings poised for flight. Opalescent interior in pearl, aqua and pink contrasted with the darker outside. The outer edges were not smooth but adorned with many points, feathered fingers that would interlace when closed, currently reaching toward the sky. Gently I collected the shell, wrapped it in a tissue and tucked it in my pouch for the walk back to the little bungalow where we were staying.

As my feet found their rhythm, I quietly mused about how odd the notion was that I had missed an opportunity, that I was somehow “behind.” For I had just discovered not only a delicate treasure released by the sea, but the far greater wealth-of-being that happens when I let go of the reflex to get ahead, allowing myself the luxury to be right where I am instead.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Susan’s First Date

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Susan’s First Date

Susan’s First Date

an excerpt from How to Have A Match Made in Heaven

by Ariel & Shya Kane

mmih-3-awards-trans.jpgIt was still cool at 6:30 in the morning as we strolled barefoot with Susan down Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio beach. We were in the midst of one of our Costa Rican Self Discovery Adventures that we hold each winter. People come from all over the world to join us and use it as a time to get away from the normal routine of one’s life and relax. It is opportunity to look at the mechanics of your life in a gentle, lush environment without judging what you discover; a time to play and let your life unfold.

On this particular morning, Susan was talking with us about her relationships – or more accurately put, her lack of one. We have known Susan for years and she is such a lovely woman. Perhaps you know her or know someone just like her… She is a mover and shaker at work, well respected in her field, someone who people admire. Early 40’s she is pretty, slim, personable, smart, humble, and absolutely adores baseball. In short, she is a dream gal for most any man.

And yet, over the years we have known her, Susan has not had much luck in relationship. Traditionally she falls head over heals for a guy and eventually, after several months or occasionally a year or two, the relationship ends. Gradually Susan had stopped telling people when she really liked someone. It became embarrassing for her to admit when “things didn’t work out” and yet another one was over.

We asked her what was happening with dating. Grimacing, she replied, “I am taking a break. I just don’t see the point. I never have trouble attracting guys – it just never lasts. Something must be wrong with me.”

Discarding the idea that there was something “wrong” with her, we looked at her approach to dating. We encouraged her to take a transformational, anthropological approach – like a scientist, observing a culture of one – herself, looking non-judgmentally, with awareness. When you do this, the best place to start is where you are. Exactly where you are – in this moment.

“How are you approaching things right now?” we asked her. “Start to bring awareness to this moment, this instant, not someday.”

As we looked at her life in that moment, it became obvious that in her attempt to fix her “problem,” set things in order and make for a better future, Susan missed so much — The caress of the breeze as it tousled her hair, the sand between her toes, the steady lap of the surf.

As we conversed, it became apparent that Susan was rarely simply present to where she was. She was habitually driving forward for some desired result that was supposed to make her happy or fulfilled or better — in the future. It became apparent even in how she approached the conversation. For Susan it was a challenge simply to walk with us. She was so accomplished at thinking and strategizing that she kept losing sight of where she was. She missed the lovely shells, the sea foam and the way her muscles moved as she walked. She either charged ahead or got lost in thought and barely moved at all.

We asked her if she had ever dated more than one person at a time. She looked surprised by the question, as if we were suggesting that she was somehow “loose” or unwholesome. So we explained: “Do you ever meet one fellow for lunch on Tuesday and another for a movie on Friday night, etc. so that you can see who might really work for you before you jump ahead into a relationship? Sheepishly, she said “No.” That was when we suddenly realized that Susan had never actually “dated”. Instead, she automatically married: as soon as she went out with someone, she was trying to make him “the one.” Somewhere in the back of her mind he was already her mate – the perfect relationship.

We encouraged her to keep relaxing into herself and into her body for the next few days and forget about getting ahead. Let go of her plans to date or to not. Just be there and have fun.

Two days later during the course, Susan piped up with excitement about her first boogie boarding experience. As she spoke, we looked around and Ralf was beaming. Ralf is an actor who is gay and married. Due to their work schedules, he and his spouse had to come to separate courses, so he was there by himself. He is accomplished at riding waves and Susan had asked him to teach her. Here is what she said:

“I asked Ralf to teach me to boogie board because it looked like so much fun and it was obvious that he was really good at it. At lunch we went to the beach and waded out into the water. Although I was nervous, he made it OK. I hugged the board and the next thing I knew, the wave was coming. As I stood there, I realized that this was the one – the one where I could finally learn to boogie board. Much sooner than I expect Ralf said, “Jump” and I did. I made it all the way into shore! It was great.”

Ralf grinned, “Susan really listened! She timed it perfectly and caught the wave.”

Both Susan and Ralf were so happy. He felt smart, listened to and empowered and so did she. That was when the realization hit us. This was Susan’s first date. It was the first time she had ever “gone out” with a man without the mental computer casting forward to possible futures. She was simply being there enjoying the moment.

We realized that if Susan could bring that type of engagement to going on actual dates, where she was there simply to have fun and have that experience be complete in and of itself – not leading anywhere other than this moment, her life would transform. All it would take now is awareness. She habitually plans for the future. With awareness, Susan can now suspend that habit and be there. Who knows what will happen for her now – Having fun is a pretty powerful way to start any serious relationship.

Kane-player-wide.jpgSince 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

A Surprisingly Sweet Morning

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Empowerment
A Surprisingly Sweet Morning

A Surprisingly Sweet Morning

By Ariel & Shya Kane

The set up to our surprisingly sweet morning happened the day before. It was mid–August and Shya and I were in the midst of a trip to Oregon to visit my parents and to spend a couple of days fly fishing on the Deschutes River.

douglasfirsMy parents live in my childhood home of Gresham, a suburb of Portland. Their home abuts a forested area and the Douglas firs tower above – stately sentinels, old and moss laden. I like to stand at the base of those trees and gaze up to admire the sunlight shafting through the bows that march up the trunks in orderly rows.

At 86 and 85 years respectively, Mom and Dad enjoy our company, as we do theirs, and our visits are very relaxed affairs. The night before our fishing adventure to Eastern Oregon we set up the coffee and packed a lunch. We awoke early to the smell of coffee, toast and bacon, as my mom was up long before dawn to see us on our way.

Two hours later it was still dark when we met up with our guide Brian at the Imperial River Inn in Maupin. Excited for a day on the water we stowed our gear in his pickup truck and, boat in tow, we went to the area where we would launch. As the sky just began to show the barest hints of light, we all loaded into the drift boat and Brian began to row downstream to our first destination, as anticipation of the day before us filled our hearts and minds.

Although it was hard to believe, we weren’t the first on the water. A couple of drift boats had managed to put in before us. Stifling a curse Brian continued downstream as the other anglers had already taken up residence in his favorite spots.

river-columnar-basaltWe love fishing and particularly love using our spey rods – long two handed fly rods that turn the art of fishing into a graceful dance. The rest of the day was a ballet of loops and line arcing out over the rush of the river; watching it swing downstream in hopes that a Steelhead (an ocean going trout that returns to the river to spawn) is intrigued by the fishing fly passing by their nose enough to take a bite. Cast, swing, two steps down is the cadence of this dance and it is a quiet, restive meditation where each cast is its own reward and the tug of a fish on the end of the line is an occasional bonus.

The day turned out to be glorious, hot and dry. We drifted past magnificent stretches of columnar basalt cliffs and high above we saw a couple of big horn sheep, their stout bodies supporting their massive cornucopia curls of horn.

columnar-basalt-detail“Do you mind,” Brian eventually said, “if we start a little earlier tomorrow morning? It would be nice if we could get a head start so that we can get on the river before first light and so we aren’t following anyone.”

Our reply was an enthusiastic “Yes!”

The day ended with each of us having caught and released one fish. We went to dinner that night at the little restaurant associated with the hotel blissfully exhausted by our day on the water. After eating we took a shower, set an alarm for 4am, poured ourselves into bed and enjoyed a night of deep, deep sleep.

Our iPhone alarm roused us at 4am and we were surprisingly alert given the hour. Of course that is often the case on fishing mornings. They awaken in us the childlike anticipation of large swimming creatures lurking in the deep awaiting a chance encounter with our fly.

Our luggage was mostly packed so it was easy to house the remaining toiletries in our bags. We had left our waders hanging up so it was a simple matter to slip into our warm socks, long–johns, fleece pants and fishing shirts before donning our waders and pulling on our wading boots. As is our habit, we did a final check of the room to make sure we weren’t leaving anything of ours and, wheeling our bags behind us, we exited the room to the walkway.

The room spilled directly outdoors and we brought our bags to our rental car to leave them in the trunk for when we returned in the late afternoon. We had set up an automatic check out so after our day of fishing, we planned to have a bite to eat and then drive back to my parent’s house for the night.

It was now about 4:15 and the business of getting ready accomplished, we used our keycards to let us into the dining area that was preset for fisher folk and early travelers to use so that staff didn’t have to be on hand at that early hour.

Since we were the first patrons that morning we flipped the switch on the coffee maker and the pungent smell of fresh java soon filled the air. There were breakfast sandwiches, cold and instant cereal but we each elected to snag a couple of hard–boiled eggs and an apple. Food and cup of Joe in hand we headed outside to await the arrival of our guide Brian in his extended cab pick–up, hauling his drift boat behind.

Happily we set about consuming our food and sipping the hot black coffee. We were pleased to be ready before he arrived and eager to be out on the river before first light. It was still jet black out and in the high desert air the stars splashed across the sky like fistfuls of diamonds. 20 minutes later Brian still had not arrived so we sat on the end of the aggregate walkway, our legs stretched out before us, boots resting in the parking lot. 40 minutes later, still no Brian. By now we knew something was amiss. But given the circumstances, we had very little recourse to rectify the situation. There are no phones in the rooms at the Inn, our cell phone didn’t have reception in the area, and even if we did have phone service there would have been nowhere to call since we didn’t have Brian’s number and the fishing company where we booked our trip was not open yet. We briefly considered going back to our room but realized that if Brian did eventually show up that he would have no way to find us since the office wasn’t open and he would have no way of knowing our room number. There were two options remaining – get upset and complain or enjoy our morning. Getting upset wasn’t actually an option. What would it accomplish other than to ruin our mood and spoil our day? So we leaned into one another and enjoyed the quiet.

mountain-riverAs the sky began to grey, birds began to rustle. The smell of sage wafted on a slight breeze, insects hummed. We enjoyed the warmth of each other as we sat shoulder to shoulder, quietly chatting about inconsequential things. Our morning was unfolding in an unforeseen manner and we found the experience surprisingly sweet and intimate. All forward momentum in our lives was forestalled and what was left was the moment and being there for it.

Eventually Brian came roaring up, apologetic and highly embarrassed. He had overslept. His wife had awakened him saying, “Brian, aren’t you working this morning?” around about the time he was supposed to be picking us up. The problem was he lived 45 minutes away and when he awoke he still had to hitch up the boat trailer as well as stop by the fly shop for supplies before picking us up. And just as we had no way of contacting him, he could not reach us either.

We felt for Brian. It must have been a very uncomfortable ride knowing he was late. He had to have been rehearsing his apologies, knowing that the fact it had never, ever happened before (and would likely never happen again) would be of little consequence. He must have been surprised and a bit skeptical when we told him it was OK…actually more than OK. We were just fine and had been enjoying each other’s company and the dawn of our new day.

Sometimes life shows up with unexpected twisting and turnings. If you are there for them the results can be surprisingly sweet.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out moreabout the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

 

Life Will Provide if You Let It

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Empowerment
Life Will Provide if You Let It

Life Will Provide if You Let It
By Ariel Kane

I like birds and I really like taking pictures of them. I must admit that I am partial to colorful birds – except not always. The frothy white feathers on a great white egret have been known to catch my imagination and the silhouette of a little hummingbird sitting quietly on a branch at dusk has held me in awe.

Not too long ago while attempting to capture the image of a bright bird with my camera, I had a surprising life lesson. I was keying in on what I wanted, on what I knew. All the while I had been missing something new and exciting by being focused on my desires.

Shya and I were at Caño Negro, a sleepy little village in Costa Rica that caters to nature tours, wetlands bird watching and tarpon fishing. We had been fishing for a day and a half on the Rio Frio where Shya had caught several tarpon, one being a giant, on his birthday. It was our lunch hour and Shya was tying up a few fishing flies for the afternoon; I had seen some scarlet-rumped tanagers by the dining room beneath a tree so I headed there with my camera in hopes of getting a shot.

Scarlet-rumped tanagers are a midnight black bird and as their name implies, they have the brightest of red on the backside. Their markings are very dynamic and I enjoy watching them in the wild. The hotel where we were staying had a bird feeding station and I had noticed them there but I had also seen them in a nearby tree that would be a much more natural picture.

As I drew near the feeding station, the tanagers darted up into a tree. While I could still see them, I knew it would be a really tough shot. The birds were dark, in the branches and leaves it was dark, and they were backlit by the bright, glaring light of day. Still I wanted what I wanted. The moment was arguing against it but I thought I should try. I focused down my lens and tried different settings to capture what I thought was my heart’s desire, dancing this way and that as they shifted position in an attempt to avoid me. So keyed in on getting “my shot” that I didn’t hear the man come up behind me.

“Excuse me,” he said. “You like birds?”

I turned and saw one of the nature guides standing directly behind me. “How about that one? It’s a lineated woodpecker.”

I swiveled my head to the left and on a tree was a beautiful bird. It was bright and interesting and to my delight, was easy to focus on. I gave the man my heartfelt thanks and he melted back into the dining area. For several moments the woodpecker enlarged the hole he was working on while I captured his image.

As I headed back to my room I had to smile to myself. It reminded me once again of how it is so easy to look for what we know and key in on getting the things we think we want, all based in the past. When focusing down on the known, we miss so many things. All it took for me was stepping back from my quest and listening to an expert. So sweet that that man pointed me in the right direction. Even sweeter that I followed his lead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UK, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter here: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/ You can also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Ordinary Things By Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave
Ordinary Things By Ariel & Shya Kane

March 22, 2017 – Ordinary Things

“Sometimes I feel silly for how moved I am by ordinary things – but mostly I am profoundly grateful.” ~ Ariel Kane

Join the Kanes in this illuminating episode and experience how Being Here for the seemingly ordinary things can have a profound impact and open the possibility for well being in your own life. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, March 22nd at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 500 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here. 

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone 
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device 
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

Celebrate Being Here! By Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave
Celebrate Being Here! By Ariel & Shya Kane

KanesBH

January 18, 2017: Celebrate Being Here!

There’s a party happening and YOU are invited! Join hosts Ariel and Shya Kane as they celebrate the 500th episode of Being Here!!

Listen Live this Wednesday, January 18th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel 

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here. 

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone 
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device 
VoiceAmerica app for Apple 
VoiceAmerica app for Android

A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts By Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave
A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts By Ariel & Shya Kane

December 21: A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts

When you are really here, not lost in your plans or worries about the future, or tangled up in thoughts about what you would have, could have or should have done, then your life becomes vibrant. You perceive your body, your environment and the people around you in a profound way and life transforms into an exciting adventure in which every moment counts. Tune into Being Here and have this holiday time turn into a life full of joy where EVERY moment counts.

Listen Live this Wednesday, December 21st at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
– Podcasts app for iPhone: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201859
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device 
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

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