One of my best teachers of presence and heart was a man I met several years ago. I was a fairly good racquetball player, very able to focus in the present, but my fear would come in and sabotage victory. He reminded me that playing with my whole heart was the true nature of play, like the children. I was addicted to “winning”, so I would get way ahead and then give up. My false pride hated that. We went on to form a short lived partnership that together, we would revive the spirit of play in America. He taught me the simple act of hitting the ball to each other rather than away from. He invited me to begin using my atrophied side to gain more balance. My relationship with the man taught me the importance of suiting up and showing up. I journeyed to Marin County, California every month to complete 500 hours of “teacher training”. I completed that task and my life changed. I saw the correlation of grace and ease and how much I distract myself in my victim consciousness. At the time I smoked tobacco, and I was the only one in the class who used tobacco. I carried my shame well as I have always seemed to argue for the right to kill myself. Many say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I went on to look deeply into my life in AA’s “searching and fearless inventory” step. Granted, I focused on what wasn’t working rather than what my assets were. My guide or “sponsor” reminded me about the “white wolf” –seeing the beauty inside. My next major learning was two years of “walking around the wheel” a course that was offered by some Souix teachers about the importance of balance. I learned to make my first drum there, and I was hooked like an unaware trout. I began to slowly shift my addictive nature into drum making. I had no “intention” for making drums other than the joy it brought me. One of the questions I was asked by the first teacher was: What would you give your whole heart to? My vision of Heartspace is the answer to that question. From the lower world comes the fire-bird, the eagle that arises out of the ashes. Can I attune my vibrations to that of the fire, air, earth and water. Each element as each season have a teaching, and my 20 acres was/is to be a model of what can be replicated, yet part of the teachings are that growth has to be organic or it won’t last. So my shifting into a real and authentic luster has taken and takes practice, polish, time, space, patience and faith and trust. We are led by our breath and give thanks for the breath of life – our inspiration.