Friday, February 27, 2015

Letting Go

Happiness does not depend on who you are
or what you have.  It solely relies on 
what you think.

~ Buddha

I've been practicing yoga on and off
for nearly 15 years: Gentle Yoga, 
Iyengar Yoga, Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, 
All-level Yoga, Beginner's Yoga and
other types long forgotten.

The off times happened during busy
years, or when, like a fickle friend,
I turned towards pilates or barre
classes, instead.

But we never broke up completely.

Right now, yoga and I are BFF's.
Even on sub-zero mornings this long
winter, I have stayed true to my
practice, dashing from warm car
interior to yoga studio door despite
the inclination to hibernate : )

The studio is on the top level of an
historic brick building. I love rolling
my yoga mat out on the wooden floors,
the soft swoosh of the ceiling fans
overhead and the whispers of my
classmates the only sound until our
practice begins.

Class always ends with a pose called
Savasana, or Corpse Pose.  After all of
the stretching, bending and twisting,
all the concentration to hold poses and
focus on our breathing, the purpose of
Savasana is to simply let go.

We stretch out on our mats, eyes closed,
hands lying with open palms at our sides.

Let go of your practice, whether you felt
weak or strong, balanced or unbalanced.
It's done, advises our teacher.  
Quiet your mind.

Savasana has taught me to be kinder
to myself. At the end of each day, if I
didn't accomplish all that I'd hoped to,
or had one {or two or three} more pieces
of chocolate than I should have, or was
unhappy with myself for something else,
I let those thoughts fly away.

We've all been taught to be kind to
others. But being gentle with 
ourselves doesn't always come as
easily.  We can be our worst critic 
when we should be our best advocate.
Our strictest boss instead of a 
cherished pal.

There are bad days.  There are good days.
Mostly it's a messy, beautiful mix of both.
When the sun sets, it's time to release the
day like a caged bird that's been set free.

It's done. 

In yoga class, Savasana brings me serenity, 
knowing that it's okay to just be, 
if only for a few minutes.

When you close your eyes tonight, I wish
you the same peace.  Let go of today.
Love yourself like you would an amazing
best friend.  Tomorrow will bring another
day and another chance to continue 
building a life well-lived.

Be gentle with that precious,
extraordinary, one and only 


{The light in me honors the light in you.}


PS: Thank you for the lovely comments and emails
regarding the loss of my dear father-in-law. You
made a sad time a bit brighter for me and I am
grateful from the bottom of my heart.

all photos:  P&H

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just Love

Do people look the same when they
get to heaven?

I don't know.  I don't think so.

Then how do people recognize
each other?

I don't know, sweetie.  She sounded
tired.  They just feel it.  You don't
need your eyes to love, right?  You
just feel it inside you.  That's how
it is in heaven.  It's just love, and no
one forgets who they love.

~ Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

After devouring Wonder last
week, this particular passage
from the book stuck to my
heart like super glue.

Just love.

The young boy's question is 
one we all have asked ourselves,
and I thought his mom answered
it with such insight.

Just love.

Our human adventure is filled
with activity from beginning
to end.  We learn, we strive, we
acquire:  education, careers, 
relationships and things.  

We also learn how to 
let go 
of all of them. 

Except the love.

So love well, my friends.

Just love.


Dedicated to my
father-in-law, Jim.

{my own photo}