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don Miguel Ruiz



Musings of an Awakening Spirit

Stories, poetry & general musings of Rebecca Haywood, a modern-day Shaman with a penchant for bringing the divine into the human experience.

Rebecca's Memoir ~ Chapter 5

Though I didn’t know it, agreeing to travel with my Aunt Maria would put me on a direct path to my teacher, Sarita.  At first, all I knew was that the purpose of Maria’s trip was to intensify her apprenticeship with a man named don Miguel Ruiz.  Since she was a dancer, I made the assumption that Miguel was a dancer as well.  I even went so far as to daydream of somehow being discovered as a great dancer and being taken under his artistic wing.  Something to this effect would eventually occur, but it wasn’t exactly dancing.  I discovered about half-way through our trip that Miguel was an author and a Toltec Shaman.  

Maria told me amazing stories of her experiences with Miguel, stories of great teaching that resonated deep within me.  I giggled as my dreams of dancing were humbled by the prospect of such a great Master.  She went on to speak of receiving healings from Miguel’s Mother, Sarita.  It was then that I nearly jumped out of my skin.  I made her tell me these stories again and again until finally exhausted, she instructed me to read Miguel’s book, “The Four Agreements.”

I soaked in the pages of that book and with each word I felt closer to home and so grateful to have found a voice that matched my experiences.  “So this is why I came with you”, I said, my voice barely audible over the loud chugging of our forty foot RV, affectionately named Xena.  

She smiled in agreement, though in truth I couldn’t really know why I had come.  Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I was looking to go home and had no notion that home rested within me.  And like Dorothy, I would have to make allies, battle the Wicked Witch and unveil the Wizard before I could find the way home—from within.  

In the meantime, my cute little ego was satiated in its illusion of “knowing” and my mind became oddly quiet.  Unlike my usual habit of fanciful daydreaming, I seemed to be moving in a space of silence and reverence.  Like the calm before the storm, all was still, as I neared the tornado of Sarita’s energy that would send me on the journey of a lifetime.   

The day finally arrived in which we found ourselves descending the San Elijo mountains into San Diego.  The calm within me was starting to percolate into excitement as I envisioned what was to come.  As we left the desert behind and approached the city, I couldn’t help feeling as if we were heading in the wrong direction.  “Shouldn’t a Shaman live in the desert rather than the city?” I thought to myself, conjuring images of an adobe house surrounded by chickens and Saguaros.  

And so I introduce you to preconceived notion number one or, more realistically, number one thousand and one - all of which would be completely annihilated by the Ruiz family.  Some of these expectations, I would hold onto longer than others, but ultimately they each would dissolve.  They simply had no solidity to grasp in the reflection of the Ruiz family.  Unlike the majority of Spiritualists that I encountered, the Ruiz were non-dogmatic.  They didn’t need rules to bring them closer to God.  They bathed in a freedom of truly knowing God as everything and therefore didn’t feel the need to wear their beliefs as a costume nor did they feel the need to hold themselves separate from society.  This was simply what they were and, without the heavy presence of doubt that so many of us wrestle with, they had no need to prove it to themselves or to others.  It was a perfect reflection for a young girl trying so hard to look her spiritual best.

Though unaware, I was carrying an entire history of spiritual expectations to their doorstep.  Every spiritual encounter I had in my life, from Sunday school to Chakra balancing, had congealed into a ridiculous image of perfection that, in all of its’ pious splendor, had very little to do with spirituality at all.  Much like one of those children’s card games where they mix and match the legs, torsos and heads of different creatures, I was trying to hold up the head of a Buddha on the torso of a pregnant Mother Mary with the winged feet of Hermes.  I was a walking, talking figment of my own imagination.  If only I could have truly seen myself, I probably would have laughed my way right to God!   

So it was with the confusing company of my spiritual cyborg, that we made the final turn onto Biggs Court, the unassuming neighborhood of unassuming masters.  The excitement was now mixed with an inexplicable, but undeniable fear.  My Aunt extracted the keys from the ignition and Xena’s engine stuttered to a much deserved rest.  Silence.  And yet my mind was reeling in a jumbled mental static and my heart pounded in anticipation.  “Well, here we are.” my Aunt sang cheerfully, “Let’s go say hi!”  Suddenly timid, I made an excuse to wait in the RV, and watched her saunter off towards the Ruiz house.  

Tears began to well within me.  I didn’t understand why I was so emotional and yet there the tears were, streaming down my face.  I stood up and went to the mirror, staring into my eyes so full of confusion.  “What?” I asked myself, “You came all this way and now you’re going to run away?  And you don’t even know what you’re running from.  So really, where can you go?”  Though a doorstep away from my dreams, I had allowed my fear to paralyze me.  Even my heart seemed to stop, holding its breath in hiding.  As I held my gaze in silence, staring my fear down, the memory of my mirror-dream surfaced and I realized that I had to make a choice in spite of my fear.  Something larger than myself had propelled me here to this very moment and I was teetering on its precipice.

The RV door squeaked open and my Aunt’s face appeared, “Well, no Miguel today, but I had a wonderful healing with Mother Sarita.  We had better find a home for Xena before the energy knocks me out.”  Her excitement was ahead of her words and she inhaled to start another sentence when I blurted out, “Wait!  I want to see her.”  She smiled knowingly and said “I already told them you would be coming back with me tomorrow.  I couldn’t let you pass this one up Rebecca.”

I sighed with relief and gave her a big hug.  “Oh thank you Maria!  You are my Angel of Delivery!”  She let out one of her hearty chuckles and assumed her position behind the wheel.  Xena roared to life with a gusto that seemed to match the joy within me.  We were here and I was finally ready to greet my destiny.

True Love
Rebecca's Memoir - Chapter 4

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