Moving On

It has been a while since I’ve posted here.  Every so often I think of coming ’round to add a new post, but I never seem to get it done.  I think it is time to archive this particular blog.  South of Sabai has gone south, and I am moving in another direction.  Life has changed form, shifted shapes,  scattered new seeds of awakening, awareness, awfulness.

Awful, as in awe-full, as in “to inspire reverence” – the real meaning of the word before it came to mean something terrible.  Well, and for that matter, the word terrible once upon a time not only meant something to be feared, but also to be revered.

Odd, isn’t it, that fear and reverence were so closely intertwined?  But that’s the way with life, I think.  Pain and beauty, life and death – the pairs feed each other, need each other.  We never really grow and expand, or even become fully human until we’ve gone into the depths of awfulness. Pain and ugliness awaken beauty and compassion.  Isn’t it always the most intense experiences that cause us to say…. “I have changed” and give us a deeper understanding of who we are?

I have learned this: Life is sacred, holy, and beautiful in all of its forms.  Even in death.  Maybe especially in death.  When we acknowledge death we can really learn to live.

Hey you, yes you.  You reading this blog post…. do you know that you will die? No, I mean really, do you KNOW it?  It’s a hard thing for us humans to grasp.  And mostly, we don’t grasp it.  Even when it happens to those closest to us we have a hard time believing that this ego called me will ever end.

Partly, I think that’s because on some level we don’t really die.  What I mean is: the part of us that exists beneath our identity, that bit of energy that animates us, that bit we can’t quite define… that part lives on.  We know this at an intuitive level, even if we can’t quite say so.  Energy simply changes form.  But this ego, this identity called Amy, this body that claims to be Amy…. all the bits and pieces that make up the story of Amy…  this will die.

Here’s what I need to do before I die:   Live.  Yep, that simple.  I’m not talking about the kind of life that is a living death.  I am talking about awakening to the beauty that is all around.  I’m talking about following my passions and trusting that the unfolding paths will take me exactly where I need to be.

So.  I am archiving this blog and moving on. There will be no more posts here.  Not to worry, however, if you are so inclined to follow me around the web I do have a couple of new projects starting.  Because I am a blog addict 😉  I am starting up a new personal blog –  you are welcome to follow me there. I will continue to post on A Yoga Year (yes I know, I am way behind on my posts there too, but I will come back to it!)  I am also in the process of setting up my business web pages, and who knows what else will show up for me to work on.  So I will be around ~ in and out of cyberspace.  Feel free to continue to connect – I do love hearing from you.

Meanwhile, I leave this particular blog with a challenge (or is it an invitation?) issued to you as well as to me:  Let yourself know that your body will die.  Live with that knowing, and see if you can live with it joyfully.  Because I think (and I could be wrong) that if you live with it, and come to really know that your identity will die,  you might just discover that you have a deep gratitude for your life.

Gratitude is a huge gift.

Maybe you will also come to know that you actually love the life you live.  Now, there’s a gift!  And if you don’t love it, you will know that you can change it, and change it again and again and again until you find your passion, until you really fall in love with your life.

It’s a simple thing.  Remember what lights your fire and do that, be that.  If complaining that you will never do what you want to do is the thing that you love best… well then keep on complaining.  That’s ok too.  But if you want more, go for it. Is there something that calls you and you don’t heed that call because there are other things you “should” do….?

Here’s a suggestion: let go of the “should” and follow your muse.  Get wild, live outside the box.  Appreciate who you are, be grateful for what you have, and go on… be uniquely You.

Really, what else can we do?

 

“Go… be the flower, be the star…. go, and be the love you are… ”   (lyrics by Spring from Be the Light)

~ Many Blessings ~

be glad

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 14:29  Comments (4)  
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In Memory of Tanza, Dance!

The morning is cold, windy, gray.  It is June, and I still wait for summer to arrive here.  Not that there hasn’t been sun – there have been some incredibly beautiful (albeit cold) days.  Just this past Saturday, however the day was warm AND sunny. What a gift! A proper send off, I think, for my sister Tanza.   She and I share the love of warm and sun, and often we laughingly wondered what the heck we were doing here in gray, rainy Washington.purple wildflower

Even with all the rain, we did enjoy the spring here.  Tanza delighted in seeing different flowers and birds than what she’d known in Florida, and for me – well, I’ve lived in the desert so long I’d forgotten how many colors of flowers there can be.  I am continually astonished at the beauty around me – flowering trees and tulips and rhododendrons and bleeding hearts and lilacs and flowers I have no names for – an abundance of color and fragrance!

flyingTanza left here on Thursday.  I wish she could have stayed to feel the warmth of the sun on Saturday, but it was not to be. Instead, she flew free, dancing I believe with the lightness that can only come from leaving your body behind.  She once told me that the thing she loved most about dancing (her training was in classical ballet) were the high leaps. The sense of flying, stretching out her arms to the sky, leaving the ground, being free.  Living Large.

For all of her love of flying, she also loved the earth.  She helped our niece design her garden, and taught her how to plant so as to attract birds and butterflies.  She loved the trees, guardians of the land, and knew the devas that inhabit the growing things.  From ocean to ocean, she loved the water.   Atlantic ocean,  Pacific ocean, the Baltic Sea and more – in all her travels she found the water to be her home, and it fed her spirit.

I can’t imagine anyone living with more grace and beauty and love than my sister Tanza.  She was a dancer, an artist, always willing to step out on a new adventure, someone who cared deeply.  Even in her pain, she saw beauty, thought of others, cared for life.   She understood more than many that life is sacred, that life is love, that life should be lived, fully.  She lived her life in such a way that all who came in contact with her felt something special, and she leaves behind a legacy of love among many, many people.

DanceThese are her words:  “We are creative beings, so in memory of me… do not send flowers, but contribute to your favorite charity, or call your mom, or plant a garden.  In memory of me, I request that you light a candle to the angels, dance to your favorite song, write a poem, in short, be creative!  Plant a garden,  turn a pot,  do something you’ve always wanted to do.”

Today, in memory of Tanza, in memory of all those who have gone before us, in honor of all those you love, in honor of your life – Dance.  Do something you have always wanted to do.  Don’t put it off.  Live your life with full attention.  Love the sacredness in this life!  It is a gift to be here – honor that, and celebrate your very molecular existence.  We are, each of us, a miracle of Love.

~om shanti~

Lori Ruth Smith

Tanza Lorraine, aka Lori Ruth Smith
October 18, 1955 – June 2, 2011

A Daily Challenge

A short post today, to direct you to another post on another blog…. (if you are interested)

I’ve been thinking about what happens when we make a commitment to something, anything.  In my New Year’s post, I said that it is never too late to begin something new, but the flip side of that is that it is never too soon.  We can begin any time, any day.  We don’t need to wait for New Year’s, or a birthday, or until our body feels better; until we have the perfect tool, the perfect place, or until the stars are lined up correctly and the situation is perfect.  We simply begin, now, whatever the circumstances.

So I am taking my own advice.  I have been wanting to deepen my yoga practice, to make it an integral part of my life.  Over the past few months, I’ve let my personal practice go, relying on the occasional class to keep me yoga-fied.  It’s not enough for me.  I crave a deeper relationship through yoga, and so I am re-committing myself to my practice.  I’ve decided to take this commitment public, and begin a blog specific to that journey.

You can read the introductory post in that blog here. I also invite you to join me…. if there is something you would like to step out and do, do it, and share your experience.  A journey traveled with friends is a journey well shared, and one to be treasured.

xmas_sunrise

Thanks for hanging out here with me.  Namaste.

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 09:42  Leave a Comment  
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1/1/11 ~ New Year’s Day 2011

kona looking down from Kona's ButteWhen I wake, the world here is white.  Snow throws itself down toward the earth, piling up across the landscape, turning even the air, and the space between things white. This is not the slow, meandering snow that comes with big soft flakes. Not today, not this first day of a new year.  No, this is fast and furious, sharp at times, like a pointed white rain.  The new morning of a new day in this new year comes with its own intent, its own resolution.  Kona and I head out for a walk, letting the wet sharp cold exhilarate our moods.
little boxes
The early morning is quiet, few people stirring, the roads thick with tire pressed snow, the sky indistinguishable from the distant view. White, white, white.  Up on a hill we call Kona’s Butte, we look down over snow covered roofs on identical houses that stretch out deep into the whiteness, disappearing into forever. We climb higher up the hill, above the town, above the cookie-cutter houses to the east  (“little boxes… on the hillside… little boxes made of ticky-tacky…” )  and the manufactured and older homes to the west.  Up here – no houses – just sagebrush, rocks, a quiet meditation in the meeting of earth and sky.

Sometimes, to climb above a city is to climb in to a new awareness, a place of stillness above the metaphorical and literal noise, a place where the brain can momentarily cleanse itself from its ordinary busy-ness.  In today’s early morning, the town below is as quiet and still as the hill, and I walk and watch as  slowly there are signs of waking: trucks with snow plows begin to move over the roads, increasing numbers of cars traveling to and fro, people up and about… the new day begins.

I could be writing here about New Year’s Resolutions, and looking back at what was, making plans as to what will be.  There are plenty of posts to that effect (here is a good one from Tiny Buddha, if you want to read a different perspective on making and keeping resolutions).  It is a good time to take stock, to recognize who we are, where we are going, make adjustments based on future plans.  But then, so is every day.  That’s the thing to remember.  New Year’s Day is an arbitrary point in time, one we have collectiva bit of greenely designated as a reminder to take a closer look at who we are.  So use it ~ not to judge yourself for all your bad habits and make promises to yourself that you never intend to keep – but use it as a simple reminder –

A reminder that today, like every day, is new, a day that has never existed before.  Anything can happen. On any given day little shifts can create big changes.  We can make adjustments to our direction,  choices to be happy,  appreciate what we have, those we love, who we are, the bigness of this life that we live.

It’s never too late to step out of old patterns, to do the things you always dreamed you could do, to create new adventures, and live with great bigness.  Whether it is a new day of a new year, or any other day,  it is possible to make a different choice ~  and as Mark Twain reminds us:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Magnificent suggestion! Whatever you do, wherever you are…. live the big life, whatever that means to you.   Seize this moment – don’t wait. Live it fully with joy and gratitude, and let every moment be your resolution, your creation.

The sun is out now, and the sky turns a bright blue.  Contrast is restored to the landscape, colors re-assert themselves.  People are awake and moving, life turns ’round on itself, and today is a brilliant day to begin again (for the first time).

On this beautiful New Year’s Day, 1/1/11, I wish you the greatest of  joy, an abiding peace, and a deep gratitude that gives you the courage to live the life you choose.

~
Peace is every step.

The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles at me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the endless path to joy.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

pure joy

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my words, thoughts, and actions contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom.

Om Shanti

Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 14:00  Comments (6)  
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Small Spaces, Large Living

I’d forgotten how the wind can blow here in the Carson Valley. Hard and strong, whipping between the hills, whirling with yellow gold maple leaves. They dance together across the roof of my tiny trailer as I awaken, making me believe it must be raining. It’s not. The clouds, tossed about by the winds, are at first dark and stormy, then momentarily relenting, they reveal bright morning sun.

We arrived here on Monday, nearly a week ago, greeted by warm sun and cold uncertainties. Our little caravan consisted of a Penske rental truck (driven by the amazing JB) pulling our small 21 ft Komfort trailer that (yes, really) would soon be home; followed by me, four cats and a dog in the Honda Odyssey, pulling our vintage tent trailer (that might soon be up for sale – it IS a collector’s item – interested?) Everything we owned was there on the road… Maybe like a turtle we are learning to carry home on our backs. Learning, I say, because even this trip we carry too much. Let go of much of what remains in the rental truck – next trip, we carry only what fits in our home.

Downsizing. We’ve been downsized, people say sadly, yet here we are downsized, and gladly. It feels good to get small, to release the extraneous, to let go of the irrelevant baggage. Really, how little we need in order to live! Some things are admittedly hard to let go of… this must be my third full library that I’ve gathered, then sold or given away. Books are good friends, and while sad to see them go, I imagine their lives expanding into other people’s lives, sharing good words, good stories, good times. In letting go, we expand.

So what’s left in that Penske truck that would require temporary storage? JB’s tools, for which I will never begrudge him. They have saved us too many times to count, fixing what needs fixing, making life simpler, and most recently – keeping us on the road, and safe. And my tools – those implements I keep for work: massage tables and accessories, Thai mats and yoga mats, and books relevant to my learning.

And kitchen things. I said to jb, as he was selling and getting rid of our many household goods – if its in the kitchen keep it and pack it – but I hadn’t realize how many kitchen toys we have! I love the kitchen – want to someday grow my garden, to be able to can, freeze, and store food; cook, bake, and play. I love good food, nutritious, home made, organic. For now, though, in the simplicity of a small space, I will keep only those things that are currently relevant, so some sorting and selling and giving away will make our stuff even smaller.

(btw, here’s a great video animation about Stuff that’s been around for some time – if you haven’t seen it, take a look.)

We don’t need much stuff to live, and live well. While life circumstances necessitate change, it is also an opportunity to be really conscious about our lives. What is our impact on our Earth, our environment? Lessening our footprint, living sustainably, supporting life, living compassionately – these are issues that matter to us, and are informing our choices as we take new directions in our life. Living in a tiny space is certain to make us more conscious about resources – how we use what we use, and what the impact is on our immediate environment, and on Earth herself.

I love this Earth. Driving, traveling, exploring – there is so much beauty. How do you ever choose one place to live? The ocean, the mountains, the desert hills ~ from desert sagebrush to open sea ~ there is beauty in every landscape. Everyone should travel, at least a bit, even if its only around their own backyard. We need to see, feel, experience the beauty of this Earth in order to come back to our true responsibility of stewardship.

JB and I, and our country dog, are living in a city now (small, granted, by city standards, but large when compared to outskirts of La Pine) – we are re-adjusting to traffic noise, occasional sirens, an overwhelming number of people and dogs, lights that prevent us from seeing the stars at night. And yet, even here, we can see the sky, the sunrise over the mountains, the cloud patterns above us, the leaves falling to compost on the earth below us, the bits of green tenacity that rise up through (creating even) cracks in the concrete city. Earth: she is determined to Live, with us or without us.

I’d like it to be with us. Our lives are intricately connected with every other life on and including this planet. So how do we begin to align ourselves with the Earth, our Home, in such a way that we all survive? How do we come to realize that our health is intricately connected with the health of the earth, that the health of our planet is intricately connected with ours? (more on that later!)  How do we come to know that we need each other, in community, for health to be realized?

It’s all grass roots. Remember that famous quote from Margaret Meade: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Living sustainably, being good stewards of our home, is a choice we each can make, individually and in community. Maybe we don’t make changes all at once, but simply becoming aware of our impact on the earth is enough to allow the changes to begin to unfold… once you know, once you really see, changes begin to happen. How can they not?

So here we are, JB and I ~ living small in order to live large. We are making decisions with a new level of integrity, being aware of our every choice. Yes, we still have a car – we had to use oil and gas to get to where we are, and will again, as this is a temporary location. But we also now live where our bicycles and feet can become primary modes of transportation, saving the car for only occasional use. We are conscious of where our food comes from, what we eat, how much stuff we use and how much garbage we produce. Living in a small space will help increase that awareness. Our goal is to live lightly, to be more compassionate, to love the earth, and the people on it, and to live with the integrity that love requires.

~~~~

It’s late in the day now. The winds have gone, leaving rain clouds settling in the valley and snow dusting the higher mountains, and I am remembering that there are hot springs right here in Carson City…. mmmm, cold weather, hot springs…. Oh yes. Off we go to soak our tired, sore bodies in healing waters ~ a gift from the earth for which we are indeed grateful.   🙂

Published in: on November 7, 2010 at 18:14  Comments (1)  
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Autumn Equinox

I arrived home yesterday, the Autumn Equinox.  The earth turned toward a full, bright, harvest moon, and Jupiter sparkled with sunlight.  A rare occurrence, they say – the harvest moon on the date of the equinox, the moon in conjunction with jupiter and uranus, jupiter in opposition to the sun: a night sky watcher’s paradise.

It is a time of change ~ seasons shift, the earth moves, the journey continues.  “Home” is also in transition. Boxes are packed and hearts are opened as we wait, listening, for the unfolding of what comes next.   This Is.

Tonight, we enjoy the full moon.

~~~~~~~~~~
Full Moon Festival, by Thich Nhat Hanh

What will happen when form collides with emptiness,
and what will happen when perception enters non-perception?
Come here with me, friend.
Let’s watch together.
Do you see the two clowns, life and death
setting up a play on a stage?
Here comes Autumn.
The leaves are ripe.
Let the leaves fly.
A festival of colors, yellow, red.
The branches have held on to the leaves
during Spring and Summer.
This morning they let them go.
Flags and lanterns are displayed.
Everyone is here at the Full Moon Festival.

Friend, what are you waiting for?
The bright moon shines above us.
There are no clouds tonight.
Why bother to ask about lamps and fire?
Why talk about cooking dinner?
Who is searching and who is finding?
Let us just enjoy the moon, all night.

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 21:01  Comments (1)  
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Happy Is

August 19, 2010

It is cold this morning, and Autumn is in the air here.  The sky is clouding over, and it will rain again today, like it does in this part of the world: Rain, unrelenting.  You have to wonder about the weather in a place where “wellies” are part of the fashion statement.  Yesterday, at the train station, a woman wore wellies with her mini-skirt, making my birkenstock clad feet feel woefully under shod.  It was a fore-warning: at the other end of the journey, stepping off the train in Osende, my body was completely drenched within 2 minutes, and my feet had the long forgotten experience of wading in puddles.  I really felt as if I should have a yellow raincoat, rubber boots, and matching umbrella, just like the pictures in children’s books.

Early this morning tho, back here in Humlegaarden, birds were chirping, chattering, lively.  Someone mowed the grass yesterday (there is nothing they don’t do in the rain here!) and so the birds were in fresh grass heaven.  Lying in bed, I heard the birds, and imagined a warm summer day….

Well, it’s not quite warm, but the sun was out for a bit, and before the clouds returned, we walked down to the sea and soaked up the bright blue sky and drenched ourselves in sun and sand.  By the time we walked back for breakfast the clouds were already returning, the wind picking up, the chill in the air.

What makes you happy? What makes your heart sing? she asked.

Lots of things…

The sun, after days of rain.
Good conversation, easy company.
Yoga.          Breathing.
Teaching.  Yes, teaching.         Sharing with an open heart.
My cats.  and Kona.
Seeing new things,    learning new things.
Places i’ve never been before.
Writing, sometimes.          Morning coffee.
Sharing a laugh with jb.

Simple things.

I’m a simple person, really.

But here’s a truth.  None of those things make me happy.  I mean, sometimes I can do or be all of that and not be happy.  In fact, I can be unhappy, and do any one of those things and not come out the other side happy.

Here’s what I know: the happy comes first, and only then I can rest in the joy of the simple things.  The magnificence of morning sun only stirs the joy in my heart when I am willing to be present to it.

So what is it that makes me happy?  Being present?   Being open?   Where does happy come from?

I want you to be happy (she says, I say, you say) and I recognize that when we want others to be happy around us, it is really our own deep longing to feel our own state of natural happiness.

surise after a stormIt is true that when the sun shines, it is easier for me to tap in to joy.  And yet, even in the midst of deep fatigue, even in the presence of pain, even in constant rain, and with a gray day headache, or a migraine  –  I can stop for a moment, just stop, and breathe, and drop in to my center.  I can notice the beauty around me, notice the magic of a moment, and touch in to a place of “being happy” deep within my soul.

With that knowing, I can be happy anywhere, even in a clinic with crazy doctors, and radiology departments in hospitals where I don’t speak the language. I can be happy in the presence of pain, and suffering.  It does not minimize the pain, nor does it necessarily take away the pain, or the sadness, or the helplessness of any moment.  Maybe though, happy can exist along side the pain, along with the suffering.  Happy is a deeper state, a place of wellness beyond the sick, a place of joy beyond the pain.

We all have happy in us, somewhere.  Even in the depths of depression, happiness exists.  It has to.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  At our core, at our very essence, is laughter, and joy, and real love.  It is not based on anything outside of us… it is who we are.

How do we get there? How do we access that, and remember that truth?   When pain is unrelenting, when suffering seems the state of the world, when all it ever does is rain, rain, rain….  how do we drop in, and know that behind the clouds the sun is still shining?

Sometimes, we just forget, and that’s ok.  Somewhere, somehow, sometimes, we remember. In a moment, we see differently, suddenly present to the beauty around us, to the life that exists beyond stories, beyond pain, beyond identity…. and we remember, we awaken.

We are the Life that we live, we are the Love that rises up within us, unexpectedly. We are the beauty in a sunrise, the magic in a forest, the song in a heart.  We are here, having this experience called Life, with all its ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and pains… And we are the Joy that exists always beneath it… the pure joy of experience in this human body….

What makes me happy?

Laughing. Suddenly, for no reason.

Who knows, maybe pure, honest laughter is the cure for everything.

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 04:30  Comments (2)  
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Bicycle Yoga

This morning the sea is dark gray and opaque, with rough white capping waves.  At the beach, the wind and the waves create a comforting white noise that those (theoretically relaxing) noise machines can never truly imitate.  The skies are gray, with random raindrops…. very unlike the bright blue skies and warm sun of yesterday.
bicycle
Last afternoon, I borrowed a bicycle, and rode into Helsingor, a ride of about 8 kilometers.  It was a beautiful ride, along the coast, through tiny beach towns.  Many bicyclists, people walking dogs, sunbathing on the beach, swimming, picnicking, the deep blue water speckled with white sail boats, and closer to Helsingor, the ferries.  bicycle round-a-boutThis is a great place for bicycles….  not only are there pedestrian paths, but there are bicycle paths everywhere (even in the round-a-bouts!)  It is a very accepted and common mode of transportation here.

And can I just say….. Granny bicycles rock!  Ok, you hard-core bicyclists out there may disagree, but I think the old “Granny style” bikes (which is what Sven, a patient here, called it, as I was picking out a bike that would fit me) are definitely the way to go.  You know the kind… picture the bicycle ridden by wicked old Miss Gulch from the Wizard of Oz, basket and all.

Ok, so it probably means I am a pleasure bicyclist and not a sport bicyclist, but I really like sitting upright: spine long, heart open, smile on my face. It’s gotta be better on the body than being all hunched over, intent on the destination, forgetting about the journey.

And that’s the joy of it – not only is the bicycle something to get me from point A to point B, but it is also something that allows me to enjoy the journey… To see the sea, to smell the air, to open to all sensations…  feeling the breath, completely in the moment, this too is yoga.

Yoga is not all about asanas, although I love asana practice. Asana practice, hatha yoga, is invaluable for learning how to be in the body, how to be in the moment, how to be present with breath, and to stay centered in the midst of stress and chaos.  When you learn the focus of hatha yoga, you begin to see yoga in all of your life….

like on a bicycle.  Of course any activity can be yoga, or not.  I can take that same ride, and be lost in thought… thinking about yesterday,  and wondering how to make things happen in the future, and not be present to the air, or the sea.  That would be good too, and it would be healthy for the body, and good exercise, but it’s not yoga.

My preference is to take that same ride, and feel the air on my skin, the breath in my body, smell the sea and ride right out of time…. letting it become a meditation, a grounding activity, connecting me back to source.   Life giving, life affirming yoga.

When I can do that, on a bicycle, in an asana, in a sitting meditation on the beach, with joy, then I can also remember to ground and center even in the chaos and stress and pain that life may bring.

A street in Helsingor

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 05:39  Comments (2)  
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Thank You, La Pine Yoginis

Live Large. That’s what I would leave you with. Live Big. Live beyond limitation and expectation, and continue to feel the expanding breath within you.

Together we have played with this thing called yoga.  We may have come to it thinking it is all about physical posture and fitness, yet we found it to be so much more.  Together, we played with the deepening breath, found new ways to feel asanas, encountered limitations, moved beyond them. We have explored the edge, and discovered the surrender that takes us deeper. We have met ourselves in difficult poses, noted the impatience, the anger or frustration, the tendency to want to quit, the places we say I can’t, or I won’t.  We have courageously held those poses, felt those feelings, watched as we found ways to transmute, to release, to relax and strengthen simultaneously.  We have learned that a smile makes a pose feel easier, while struggle and tension makes it more difficult. We have learned how to use our breath to release the effort, and to move through uncomfortable places.  We have learned an amazing thing about yoga…. that all of this is useful when we encounter difficult and uncomfortable places “out there.”

We have discovered, maybe, that “out there” is really all about “in here.”La Pine Yoginis

Notice my use of We. (Whee! or maybe Oui!) I have been your teacher, yes, but I have also been your student, and your class mate.  You taught me how to teach, guided me when I veered off course, kept me to what it was you needed, and maybe not surprisingly, what I needed.  It’s no accident, no coincidence that we came together when we did. This was a journey that was meant to be, and while it changes now, it does not end.

Once, many years ago, I was on an airplane,  intent on my destination.  In the row behind me, there was a little boy, maybe 3 or 4 years old.  The airplane began to move, picking up speed. I heard a squeal of delight from behind me, and then as the airplane angled up, lifting off the ground, the boy sang out:  WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I laughed out loud, delighted with the boy’s delight. Yes, I had a destination, but there, in that moment, it was all about the journey.

Years later, in an unlikely yoga class in an obscure little town, during a spinal roll, a spontaneous WHEEEE! rose up out of the class.  HA! Yes! Here it is again! You, yoginis of La Pine, know a secret of yoga… one that it takes many people years to understand.

It’s all about the journey, it’s all about being here, right now, and loving this moment of life.  Yes, we have things to do, places to be, plans to make…. but if we focus too  much on the destination, we miss the entire journey.

So Live Large, Yoginis of La Pine! Feel everything, fear nothing, use your breath, let your yoga shine in your every day life!  Through ups and downs, hard times and joyful times, you know the power of laughter. You know the power of this community you have created here. You know the power of your breath, your movement, your Love.

As I leave you now, I carry you with me, always in my heart. I don’t yet know my eventual destination, but I guarantee you this: Forever on my journey, I will hear your voices in my head singing…

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With deep gratitude, Namaste, my friends.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
— A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

La Pine Yoginis

Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 23:41  Leave a Comment  
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