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"This is your time. This is your movie. Live out your dreams and fantasies. Whisper quotations to the Sphinx at night. Sit for hours at sidewalk cafes and drink with your heroes. Make pilgrimages. Look up and down. Believe in the unknown for it is there. Live in many places. Live with flowers and music and books and paintings and sculpture. Keep a record of your time. Learn to read well. Learn to listen and speak well. Know your country, know your world, know your history, know yourself. Take care of yourself physically and mentally and spiritually. You owe it to your soul. Be good to those around you. And do all these things with passion. Give all that you can. Life is short, death is long."

Fritz Scholder (1937-2005)

Sometimes I find the daily struggles of life confusing and exhausting. My mind starts complaining about the future, getting caught in the fear of "what if..." - and then, I take a moment to shift and to remind myself how blessed I am to be alive. In this moment I take a reflective pause to witness all that is outside myself. I recognize that this "aliveness" needs to be nourished at all times, so I find it within myself to commit to begin again. I begin each day with a renewed sense of what is important and seek to live in a sense of wonder, awe, and appreciation for the miracle of life itself.

This summer, my family and I went on a pilgrimage to Vietnam where 13 years ago Patrick and I adopted our beautiful daughter Colby. This journey allowed Colby to touch her roots and come to feel a sense of belonging as she met the woman who gave her life, her birth mother. I often wonder if this was ordained from the beginning - that one day, this moment of reunion was destined to happen, and that I was just following my "marching orders." Patrick and I followed Colby's soul desire; her longing to know her own story. At her request and with her permission I started the search for Colby's story. And every step in this process has been a miracle.

At the end of this story, my daughter met the one person who could fill in the hole of doubt that was lingering in her heart, "why was I given up for adoption"? At the same time, this amazing woman, who at 17 was unwed and indescribably poor, did not have any choice but to give her own flesh and blood away in hopes of a better life, learned that there is only love from her birth daughter. Two souls were given the chance to touch and hug and feel that in love we can move forward and heal. Patrick and I were blessed enough to be the witness. Throughout all of this I followed my heart and listened, knowing that I could not control the outcome, but that I had to trust that Truth was moving us forward.

Life is always bigger than my small mind and my fears. Letting go of the outcome of this story was bigger, better, and richer than I could have every imagined. By listening to my daughter's heart I was fearless.

It seems that this year nearly all of the roles I serve - losing the role of daughter and shifting to share my beautiful daughter with her birth mother - have braved huge life experiences that have challenged my very core. Through all of this I have learned to listen. By listening I realize that I get to come home, return to my role as teacher, mentor, and director of Yoga Among Friends. These experiences have fed and nourished my soul in such a deep way that only through daily commitment of practice can I maintain a centered, focused, and healthy sense of living.

My wish for you is to live large and keep your heart open with passion and risk. We may not be able to control the outcome, but we can make the choices that will lead our lives into joy and empower us to let go of fear and doubt. There is so much fear and sadness in the world right now and all that we see and hear allows the mind to focus on the reasons to stay small. But, the more we slow our rushing thoughts and learn to meditate on the stillness, we can listen and respond to the pulse of vibration that says "seize the day" - then, our right action will be clear and we just have to LIVE IT.

We are so excited for the fall season at Yoga Among Friends. We look forward to helping you listen and start (or renew) a commitment to your daily practice. As your community we are here to inspire, nourish, and help you say YES to LIFE!


Laura Jane