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The season of the silent night is here as I watch the winter snow fall so softly. A white blanket of profound beauty greeted me in the early morning hour. It’s a divine opportunity to be quiet, cancel my active day and be still.

Ahh..the best of being is in a safe warm home. However, my empathic heart is holding space for those less fortunate, whether they be stranded at a crowded airport or left homeless with the whimsy of mother nature’s wrath.

The extremes of climate change are present in everyday living and once again, I am reminded how fragile the ego is to the power of nature. Humble to the forces that are so out of my control. Giving myself permission this morning to gather space for deeper self reflection and push pause on the “to do list” that occupies my chattering mind. I enter a place of sweet reminders that life is precious and rushing is so abusive to the soul. I long for more days like this that have offered a permission to “not do”.   

This past year was filled with many blessings; and yet, I am so aware of the loss and grief that come with so many people’s hearts breaking. It was a year with many souls struggling to make peace with letting go and the uncertainty of solid ground.

The gift that I can give is to offer my profound enthusiasm for living life regardless of what chaos surrounds us in the moment. I greet each day with possibility for adventure and wonder. I make a true effort to see past my judgments or bias memory to view each soul as intrinsically kind.

I feel in our world today there is a sales pitch for Pollyanna naivety and that we market the idea of “happiness” as a product of manipulation. I am fully aware of all the horrors of human behavior acting from its bias fear. I just have chosen to stay in the witness of holding the opposites and choosing to see the world with possibility for higher good. It doesn’t mean that I don’t suffer at times with the confusion of doubt that will arise when I am tired, too distracted or confused. I too am very human and need to practice what I so love to teach—the tools of yoga. I am no guru or saint; yet I love to hug, greet and listen to another human being going through the pain of living.

Life will not give us only one flavor, and it is never a straight line. The many spirals will continue to break our hearts open. Our obstacles and challenges must be acknowledged. I refuse to offer a quick fix of distracting the mind with all the various ways we find to avoid the experience of feeling. Sadness of tears brought me to my knees in deep grief and pain is as much my life story as my joys of laughter and moments of pure ethereal bliss.

I refuse to rescue someone from their own sense of empowerment. I want to inspire each person to commit to their deepest desire in an effort to grow. To move forward as the soul propels itself deeper into an awaken state of self actualization. It takes patience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Not in the capacity of the intellect to go there but into the free fall of being held by the profound and mystical presence of a fully conscious soul. The path is to alleviate the suffering of the mind, not to harm it with anesthesia.

I have now realized that teaching yoga is not just to "feel good" but an opportunity to dig deep into the dark places of unconscious behavior. To change behavior can be just another form of abuse without first becoming aware of the hidden thought behind the action.

To make conscious one’s thoughts is the practice of listening that arises when opportunity for stillness is honored. Intention to be still, quiet and focus the roaming mind away from its daily identity of doing. Just as today offers opportunity as a “snow day” for me to share my heart. Permission to unplug and share my inner landscape.

I spent years resisting teaching any teacher training courses. I have always considered myself a practitioner of healing and never wanted to offer just an outer persona as teacher. But I realized that the course is an opportunity for students to learn the history, the philosophy, the function of the poses, and the many ways the mind needs to be refined. Teaching the course, gives students a way to help heal their own story and move into the joy of being enough.

I hope that I inspired a renewed commitment this season to embrace the quiet and the beauty of a silent night. Extending a heartfelt blessing to everyone in our community and beyond that may we will willing to embrace the fullness of life with passion, joy, and a renewed sense of wellbeing.