First of all in your own house… let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
~ Mother Teresa
First of allIt is during times of chaos, fear and colossal change that I turn to the science, philosophy and practice of yoga, the guidance of spiritual teachers, the wisdom of nature and the care and joy of family. This month I’d like to share with you some things that I am doing (and not doing) to keep steady, calm and light. I hope that you too have leaned into your yoga practice and making use of these tried and true ancient tools that are all too relevant and useful today.
I was recently at a yoga workshop with Shari Friedrichsen who started us off with this quote by Leonard Cohen, “Clarity not hope is the the opposite of despair.” She encouraged us to be clear about who we are and to bring that into the world. Thousands of years of yoga, tested and practiced reveals the truth of who we are – luminosity. In my own experience and having been a devoted yogi practitioner for over 25 years I believe that this is who I am and who you are – LIGHT. We say after yoga practice, “Namaste” the light in me sees and honors the light in you. There is no better time than now to look within and to know what blocks and walls I have stored up inside of me that perhaps cloud or separate me from the light and love that is at the core of my existence. My greatest contribution and voice right now could be the shedding of my own fear and animosity and instead radiate light.
Another teacher, Katerina Wen has reminded me that a yogi doesn’t just sit around all day, cross legged in a cave and hope that things will get better. A yogi is an activist. A yogi has a conscience and therefore is willing to take action in the world for justice, equality, peace and inclusivity. The clarity that comes from yoga and meditation is exactly what I need to make positive change in the world. I am priviledged to be able to even study and teach yoga. I do not want to take this privilege just for myself or for granted but instead turn it into generosity and service.
I will always remember wise words from Mother Teresa that one of the most important things we can do consistently to help the world is “to go home and love your family.” I have felt the yearning to do both – to go out into the world and to give, to teach and to help. I also find that my family needs me and I need them. This can be a form of self care and nourishment. I find more and more that at Bainbridge Yoga House we have a home and a family and deep care between us all. I’m grateful for the friendships, smiles, hugs and eyes of light that say, “I see you and I care about you.”
Let us all continue to deepen our practice, loosen our grip on fear and doubt and illuminate from the inside to the outside.
With gratitude and love,
“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.”More food for thought from Mother Teresa:
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”