That Which I Cherish
Dearest Friends, those of you whose faces I know somewhere in my memory—
Dearest Friends, those of you whose faces live only in my imagination—
Dearest friends, those of you who read my words and walk this path with me—
Dearest friends, those of you who come upon these words with random perfection—
Of all the blessings I have been given, of all the gifts I carry, the most intimate and profound of them I do not speak about. How can it be, I who talk about Everything, I stall into silence when I consider this area in which I have been so blessed?
Today I commit to find the words.
There is no place in my life in which I am closer to Grace than when I am teaching. Within me there is no effort; there is no struggle. There is only Truth, which becomes effortlessly available and present. With the truest of love that I have ever known, my heart collaborates with yours, my students, my companions, and together we weave a web of healing and possibility. If you have studied with me, you know of which I speak. If you have not, let me introduce myself to you:
- I am a teacher with forty-seven years of wild and wonderful experience; from the barrio of the Philippines, from the inner city of Newark, to Kripalu Center where I have taught living yoga and mindfulness for twenty-eight years.
- I am a mindfulness coach, fully committed to the process of changing the brain, the body and behavior.
- I am a writer, an author, and companion of a cool monk disguised as a canine.
- I am a sober woman, because of my partnership with Grace.
- I am a wounded healer and I invite you, from my heart to yours, to join me in creating healing opportunities together.
My next program will be the Yoga of Recovery, November 10-12, at Kripalu Center. Let me tell you about it.
A thousand years ago in the early 1990’s, I created this program by carving out my understanding of living yoga and 12 Step principles. Although I was just a few years sober, even then I knew that addiction lived in my body, that the principles of yoga on and off the mat were profoundly and bizarrely parallel to the principles I was learning in 12 Step meetings. I somehow knew even then that disconnection from my body disconnected me from the moment. I realized that not being able to tolerate the moment was the core of my addiction. I knew that the healing of that disconnection lived on the yoga mat.
Over the decades that I have taught this program, in all its iterations, with you all, the parallels have melted together and these are some of the truths that have emerged;
- the healing from addiction calls for radical compassion and the rigorous use of will
- the healing from addiction calls for others outside ourselves to bear witness
- the healing from addiction calls for safety, for the opening of the heart and the calming of the mind
- the healing from addiction calls for community of heart
Come and join me, as we together create that community. Whatever addictions or habitual patterns with which you struggle, (a substance, a behavior, a fear, trying to control another’s behavior, a compulsivity, etc.), let’s weave our hearts together into that healing circle. Whatever level of recovery, if you are in 12 Step or not, whatever experience you have with yoga or none at all, come as you are. We are all invited—we are all needed.
Let us come together–in healing—in possibility—in hope.
Dear Friends, please follow this link to information about the program, Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12, at Kripalu Center. And please, share this with friends, with un-friends, with anyone in your world who might respond to this invitation. Perhaps this is life’s most unconventional marketing? Writing it has been my healing, with gratitude.
And what about you? What in your world do you cherish, hold dear and deep, yet keep in silence? Consider and please let me know.