The Hobbit & The Owl - Preface
This is our story. We are two people who met and fell in love, after we both, separately, had experiences that should have scared us away from love forever. We came to each other with baggage from our prior lives and failed marriages. We met each other in our rawness, vulnerable and broken. And somehow, even though our previous relationships had stretched our hearts too thin, that rawness made us more open to deeper love. And we embraced it.
In stepping onto this love playground the second time around, we decided to change the rules from what we did the first time around. We thought we’d be better off if we were more mindful in our relationship, to ourselves, to each other, and to our connection with each other. Out of this desire, our 5 Mindful Love Practices were born.
Together, we became shamanic alchemists in creating this series. As Owleigh is a serious teacher, and Hobbit is a playful musician, we hope you learn something, have fun, and experience similar benefits to these mindfulness practices as we have.
The Meet Cute
Why am I drawn to message this guy? He only has one picture, and he’s wearing sunglasses. Usually when I see a profile pic with sunglasses I think “what is he hiding?” But with this one, I feel more like asking “why is he so humble?” At least it isn’t a selfie, and thank goodness he doesn’t have any shirtless bathroom selfies. Ugh, I’ve seen enough of those in my life to feel sufficiently nauseous. But his profile write up…WOW! Just wow.
a simple mind and active imagination
More R2D2 than C3PO
Getting a rickety thing off the ground is more my superpower than creating the perfect rocket ship.
I am drawn to the chaos and wisdom of kids in general. They are my puzzles, my energy transfer stations, and my muses.
Every person is my teacher.
more R2D2 than C3P0
Tao te Ching
Alice in Wonderland
The Tao te Ching and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are his first two listed favorite books! ALICE! I love ALICE! I love Alice so much that after my divorce I changed my middle name to Alice, after both Lewis Carroll’s wonderland and my paternal grandmother. And, I call my 2012 Toyota Prius Alice as she has taken me on hundreds of wonderland adventures.
And he cannot live without pockets, pens and paper? Who is this man? He looks like he wears tweed jackets with elbow patches and when he pulls his hands out of his pockets a number of crumpled up notes with brilliant ideas come tumbling out. He clearly has depth of spirituality, a symbolic mind, and a metaphoric tongue. Wowzer, my inner sapiophile is panting like a puppy.
After a few online dating messages, we shared telephone numbers, and within just a few exceptionally well written text exchanges, we set a time to meet.
It was January in Minnesota, where hibernation is the habit because temperatures below zero are the norm. He fumbled with the same parking meter kiosk I needed to use, so I stood quietly behind him, trying not to hover. My hands shoved deep in my pockets, my mouth tucked inside my scarf, hoping I wasn’t shivering too loudly.
“Well hello there,” he said, while waiting for his receipt to print, “I didn’t see you there."
Yup, humble, not hiding. And thank goodness, he didn’t think I was hovering.
“Hi,” I said, hoping my smile was inviting and not intimidating.
“It’s you,” he said, still humble.
“Yes, you must be Neil,” I said, while entering my parking space number and swiping my credit card.
We walked together across the street and entered the cafe. If there was anyone else there, I didn’t notice them. The server said we could choose any table we wanted.
I ordered wine, he ordered beer, we both had soup.
Stories spilled out of my mouth like I was blowing bubbles that he chased with his questions. Whenever he caught one on his tongue, the bubbles between us multiplied into more stories.
He described drinking from the firehose of tasks as a web developer for a state government agency. I griped about the big egos of the so-called masters of the yoga industry.
“I just have to tell you, you’re rather intimidating,” he said, smiling as he popped a bubble that was growing too big with every day gripes about life. Its slippery soap rained all over both of us. I didn’t feel his bubble popping was malicious. Rather, I squealed with glee at the cool splatter he left on our table.
Did he just call me intimidating?
And, did I like it?
“I mean that as a compliment,” he said.
I did like it!
And then, one by one, as if they had turned to precious multi-colored gems, he collected the bubble soap splatters of my words that had scattered like glitter all over the table. One by one he admired them for their brilliance and clarity, artfully complimenting me for nearly everything I had shared in the last hour.
I brushed my fingers through my hair.
Was my head growing big from his compliments?
Would it pop like the thought bubbles?
And just then, he started talking about humility as a vital characteristic for those who serve as leaders in their industries. I felt as if he gifted my own words back to me, polished and shined. I carefully tucked them neatly into a soft velvet pouch to keep in my pocket so the facets didn’t inadvertently blind anyone.
When the server cleared away our dishes, and brought us fresh drinks, leaving our table mostly clear for a new topic, Neil took the lead.
“Alice in Wonderland is a sacred text,” he said.
How did he know?
I hadn’t yet told him about my passion for Alice!
He went on to describe a penpal relationship he enjoyed with a spiritual mentor for nearly two decades. As he spoke, he dribbled little drops of insight he’d absorbed from the Tao, Lewis Carroll, a poet named Eli Segal, and the Cocteau Twins. As he dribbled and drooled sticky honey drops of disorganized thoughts and ideas all over the table, I found I couldn’t pick them up and gift them back to him as he did for me, so I dropped my own messy sticky colors between his, and we finger-painted the table together.