A Place In The Circle

The road reveals all. It has always been a part of our collective imagination. Whether on a paved highway, a wooded trail, an open ocean, or the vacuum of outer space, it seems like the adventurer in us is always looking elsewhere for answers to the questions and problems we face here. Gazing at stars, dreaming in between waves, longing for a horizon different than our own, it’s like we’re always searching. And we travel because we think it’s out there where we’ll find it, whatever the IT actually is. This is what Kerouac seeks in On the Road, what Steinbeck is yearning for in Travels with Charley or The Log from the Sea of Cortez. It’s what William Least Heat-Moon is pining for in Blue Highways. The answers can be wherever we decide to look—hanging on a diner wall on Highway 20 in western Nebraska, in a swirling eddy on the Snake River in Wyoming, or at a football game at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Holiness abounds. Sacred is where we decide to bow and pray. 

I don’t need to travel to know this to be true anymore, but it is a lesson I know I need consistently repeated, a knowledge I need to re-engage with constantly—this longing for time to discover space—with family, with friends, with God, with myself. And on these roads of life I travel I find IT—the elusive I always seem to be searching for—the awareness, the connection, the thought, the feeling. On the road, I find it ALL.

For the last twenty-five years, it’s been this way for me. 

The 26 days I spent on the road by myself before I got married, Phish tours, cross-country drives here and there and back and forth. Our family’s latest journey to the wilds was no exception. Nine days. Denver. A Broncos and Jets football game. Playing music with friends in Jackson Hole. Catching a brown trout in the snow in Yellowstone. Losing my phone in the Snake River. Moose and elk and owl and fox, eagle and hawk. The Tetons. A partial eclipse. And the drives, Griswold minivan time. A girl, two boys, a husband, a wife—nine hours across Nebraska and eastern Colorado; ten hours through high plains desert and mountain passes, the Continental Divide. Here. There. Back to Iowa again.

It’s a story worth repeating. Family. Friends. Fishing. Football. Animals. Adventure. Music. Minivan. Time. Love. Light. Again and again and again. 


When I was younger, one of my favorite movies was Vision Quest (1985), the story of a high school wrestler who decides that in his senior year, he’s going to try to beat the best, to overcome the biggest obstacle, to conquer the one no one had ever beaten, the undefeated biggest, meanest badass in the state. It’s a movie about drive, about struggle and sacrifice, about desire. About love. It’s got it all, pure mythology—an old man, a friend, a lover, a beast. There are two parts, though, that’ve still stuck with me now all these years later—the friend who talks about the quest, the journey to find your place in the circle, and the old man, who reminds the hero that life is about what you do with your time, what you make of your moments. 

So, of course, it wasn’t just the nine days, time, it was what we did with the nine days—relaxing, resting, residing in a place that allowed us to explore space—with each other, the Rockies, the Tetons, the Broncos, the Snake, with ourselves. Feeling it is finding IT. And we found it all there. And of course, like we could’ve expected, it was inside us all along. I just needed to lose my phone to remind me to find myself. Just needed to dance—with the music, the mountains, my friends, and my loves to remind me that the two eyes that look out are open for the one eye to look within and see. 

We need help along the way. Guides. Teachers. Friends. Not to walk our path for us, not to make it easy, but to remind us of our grace as we struggle along the way. To help us remember life is for the living, that peace is a breath away, and that it’s possible to have a little fun along the way.

This is our yoga: to live with light, to be the sadhaka, to follow sadhana, to bow at the temple within, to serve our brothers and sisters, to experience union with God. 


The universe is forever expanding. We are too. Evolving. Learning. Living. Loving. Finding a place in the space. Spinning with grace in this ever-widening circle. 

If we were meant to look backward our eyes would be in the back of our heads. 

Ecstasy, the dizziness of delight. 

Forward. Drive.

The Way.  

By Ryan Allen & Meghan Nelson

Lumin Therapy provides integrative health and education for the mind, body, and spirit to those suffering or struggling to step into and live their heartfelt mission and purpose. Through the practice of physical therapy, medical therapeutic yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and resiliency mentoring, Dr. Meghan Nelson, DPT, and Dr. Ryan Allen, Ph.D., bring their over forty-plus combined years of knowledge and experience serving individuals, families, and organizations to learn and heal and live without boundaries.

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