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Don’t miss this (it might not be what you think)

The ground is moving. The earth is spinning. The air is swirling. The light is flying.
It’s all changing.
Unknowns. Unseens. Understand nots.

But.

Don’t miss it.

The birds feeding outside.
The water boiling behind you.
The deep purple of the grapes on the counter.
The bright green of the limes in the bowl.
Nora watching storytime in front of you blowing bubbles into her leftover lemonade. From last night’s desperate dinner drive through.
The sun filling the expanse of the bay window.
Your butt in full on contraction as you stand at the counter typing.
The whisp of a cat who runs up and in.
The clunk of ice cubes.
The voice of your husband filtering up from the basement.
The wind in the leaves of high spring.
The boil in the pit of your belly.
The craving of a chai mid-morning.
The growl of the trash truck outside.
The piles of laundry in the playroom.

Don’t miss it.

See this. Here. Now.

This is the magic.

This is a life. Alive and pulsing and beckoning you to be Here.

There is nothing to wait for.
Even though your shivering chest thinks otherwise.
And your doing mind craves more.

This Now. Allow it.

Pause now.
See. Listen. Feel.
Arrive.


I am grateful for your reading eye. And I’d love to connect with you.

Leave a comment to share 10 things from your Now.
What else is there beyond your first glance, your first listen?
10 things.
20 if you dare.

With gratitude,
Rachel

p.s. If you’re curious about one yoga tool that I used in writing this piece, check out my 90 second video overview of mindfulness. Please excuse the back light. Learning am I. And imperfection is a core value for me. Enjoy.

The Classroom

 


Before we jump into one of my mind’s most recent wanderings, I want to share that I’m experimenting with filming a video version of me reading the current blog. Check it out here if you desire to watch and listen instead of read. And please share with others as it may serve.

Sending gratitude.

Now, on we go. (I feel a bit like the trolley in Mr. Rogers heading off on the track. Toot toot!)


A Truth

8 minutes. I am giving myself the 8 minutes of my daughter’s social studies video to tell you something.

So, what do I want to tell you?

I want to tell you that we are learning in our house. And I don’t just mean the kiddos in their school at home adventure.

We are re-remembering and seeing anew. How to support one another. How to listen to one another. How to see one another.
How to support ourselves. How to listen to ourselves. How to see ourselves.

We are discovering how deeply our big rocks are our big rocks. Togetherness, separateness, self reflection, humor, truth telling, surprise sharing, kindness giving, body moving, food preparation and – yes – indulgence as well.

Rest and move and Be and share.

We are learning how to support ourselves and one another in this sometimes paradise sometimes prison of a home.

It is a beautiful and gnarly thing.

I cannot speak for the other 4 members of my family. They are on their own journeys of which I will never fully understand the intricacies or impact of their experiences. But I can speak to what I know of my own.

What is most pivotal for me right now?

For me right now, I see all of the things that I typically define myself by. The list was two pages long in my journal this morning… a sampling follows here:

I am the one who needs lots of space.
I am the one who is fragile.
I am the one who feels a lot.
I am the one who is overwhelmed easily.
I am the one who can sit with others in their hard.
I am the one who takes care of others.
I am the planner.
I am the
on and
on
and on…

My mind rips and wraps and builds this model of me. This thing that I perceive is so solid. The corners and edges built by my experiences and thoughts and beliefs. And my assuredness that I am not me without those corners and edges.

But why?
Why am I not me if I am not seeing many clients?
Why am I not me if I am not writing and sharing?
Why am I not me if I am yelling in parenting instead of being calm and clear?
Why am I not me if I get frustrated with my spouse instead of being understanding?
Why…
I am still me.
I am.
You are.
We are.

No matter the turns. No matter the twists. No matter the thoughts. No matter the convictions.

You are whole. I am whole.
We are whole.

Ruthie is done with her video now.
8 minutes is up.

Be well,
Rachel

Loud

I don’t have any great words for you right now. No eloquent speech or captivating story.

Instead, I have simple words. Objective sensations.

Tight and pulsing and throbbing ears. So much hard and sharp that meets them – so much of what we deem to be loud. Of my children. Of the news. Of my thoughts. Of my husband on conference calls. Of the grief that is surging for the loss of my nephew two years ago to this day.

Of. Of. Of.

For every thought I have, a real live little voice seems to interrupt it. A question. A request. A celebration. From these 3 little people who rely on me. Who turn to me. Who trust in me.

For every moment of peace I find, a cacophony of noise crashes in. Screeches. Dishwasher on twice a day. Doors slamming this way and that.

Even the sounds of spring feel too much right now. The birds never ceasing their back and forth calls. On and on and on and on…

Silence. I want silence so badly. Just a little quiet. Just to be off duty for a minute in time. Just a little space.

I remember this feeling. A yearning. A pleading.

“Just give me a little space.”

A tightening in my chest and a cinching in my belly.

I know how to take space in our normal. I am a master at it.
I am no master at this new way of doing. Not even close.

So that’s why I don’t have any wise words for you. Because I am swimming and surfacing for air here and there. In the stillness of the pre-dawn morning. In the pause between the voices. In the gap between you and me.

When my nephew died, I remember the silence was deafening.

In this moment of global and personal heartbreak, the sounds are crushing.

I trust myself in this. To navigate and to dance and to fall and to rise.

But oh man, I am not graceful in it. Watch me try, flounder and fall. Watch me stand up again. Learning to walk once more. Learning to breathe day by day. Learning to swell and stand down with the pulse of the world.

I don’t have wise words for you. Because I don’t have the bandwidth to separate my words from the blur of letters, words and sounds that are flying this way and that. Constantly. Day in and day out.

Fortunately, there are plenty of folks who do. The words that helped me to re-remember what I need to know right now are those of Ethan Nichtern in his weekly podcast, The Road Home, Practicing in the World As it Is.
Receive if you desire.

One step. At a time. Sleep. Feed our 5. Explore routine. See them each as I am able. Repeat.

One day this will not feel like survival. One day this will not feel so damn exhausting. Like I just had a newborn arrive in the house. Or a dear loved one abruptly exit the world. One day, I will sink into this and see the magic that was here the whole time.

And for now, this Is. My resistance. My reluctance. My frustration.

My grief for what was and what may be.

My love for what has been and what is.

Wishing me and you and all of us – every single one – peace.

With Big Love,
Rachel

Fix Not. Fuel Not.

 

 

How very curious. In my last note, I wrote about Not Knowing. I wrote about what Not Knowing feels like in my body. I wrote about what Not Knowing feels like in my thoughts.

I know that right now we are in wide company in our Not Knowing.
And I know how terrifying that can feel.
Frozen in heart. Shivering in arms. Tightening in chest.

“It is unsafe here and now,” say the body and mind.

As it has for so many, a fear wave came over me late last week. Fear of what Is happening in other places. Fear of what could happen here. Fear of my own suffering. Fear of those whom I love suffering. Fear of the vulnerable suffering. Fear. Fear. So much fear wrapped into and around this zip and zoom of the unseen migration of covid-19. I walked around in this cloud of fear for most of two days.
It’s coming… it’s coming… it’s coming,” pulsed the thoughts.

And then, a break of grace within.

On Friday, we returned from a couple of days at the lake and a few days prior to that in the Virginia Beach area. The van reflected said week of travel with its toy bags, overnight bags, sleeping bags and more packed and overflowing. We emptied the car and somewhere along the way, I tucked a magnet in my pocket. It was from my kiddos’ Curious George travel set. A big hit that has been around for the better part of eight years.

Later, in the midst of my functional fear fog, I put my hand into my pocket and felt something. I took it out and turned it over. A small sign stared back at me,

South” in black block letters on a grey background about the size of my fingernail.

I paused. I felt. Clouds parted and clarity descended.

My mind was turned southward on the wheel of awareness.
It was turned toward a single point that was all consuming.
Fear in every direction in which it looked.

Yet, it was missing more.

It was missing the other 99% of the wheel of awareness.
It was missing True North.

The birds flying to and from the feeder, the sun shining bright and warm in the sky, the moon and the stars steady and quiet, the azaleas blooming, the wind dancing, my kid screeching in protest to her older sister, the swish swash of the dishwasher, the coolness of the air on my hands, the sound of a skillsaw at the neighbor’s house, the in and out of my breath.

The great, big, humongous flood of the millions of pieces that make up any given right Now.

The loudest thought is not the only one.

True North is a choice. It is a deliberate navigation of the mind to turn toward what soothes, nurtures and quiets. I was reminded of this when I saw the magnet and realized I was turned around on my path.

No matter. Pause, reorient to the compass, and start again.

Over and over and over. A million times we lose our way from True North. And a million times we turn toward True North.

This is yoga therapy. This is the art of slowing down. This is feeling what is arising and pausing to respond with skill and compassion. This is choosing to live what we value.

Fear is sharp and loud and hard.
In the same moment exists smooth and quiet and soft.
Ever here. Ever there. Now and always.

This is Is. This immeasurable hard in our world right now is very real. And in fact, it is always here. There is death and suffering then. There is death and suffering now. There will be death and suffering again.

It is hard. It is hard hard hard.

And yet as Frank Ostaseski says in his book The Five Invitations and regularly in his teachings, there is infinite suffering. And to meet it, there is infinite compassion.

Pause. Notice.
Where do you stand right now on the wheel of awareness?

And for just one moment, just one breath, navigate to More.
Choose your True North. 

I stand with you.
We stand together.

Wishing you peace,
Rachel

Say Anything

I’m scared. I’m a bit numb. I feel flawed and out done. I see the many many yoga teachers, movement experts and mindfulness teachers who surround me and my comparative mind wanders again and again to “What do I have to contribute?”

The same piece of me watches my family and sees their impact as well. Public school teachers deeply gifted in their craft. A skilled contractor with tangible skills of mind and hand. Understood trades by the veins of our culture.

I feel the odd man out. I feel the black sheep. I feel that with my job – yoga therapist – no one knows what I do or how I do it (sometimes me included). I feel it is simply an apparition. It is not real nor of value. How do I articulate why it helps and how it can help – deeply help – in this world of hard and sharp and fast? How it is helping moment in and moment out. Now.

Sigh.

I feel light and wispy in this moment. Like the wind could blow me around if it desired to. I know I am off. I know that my tejas – my fire – is but a whisper spark. I know this because I feel great fear and doubt in how to step forward. I don’t know how to share this thing that is nebulous and ephemeral. I don’t know how to articulate why it matters. I don’t know how to offer help to those who feel helpless. To those who feel choiceless. To those who feel groundless.

But I know what those things feel like. I remember them from before.

I remember them from now.

Stuck. Small. Tiny. Flimsy. Willow the wisp.

This feeling is uncomfortable. It is sour in my mouth and acidic in my throat. This place of not knowing how to proceed or what to do is twisty in my belly – as if I can feel the coil and wind of my intestines crushed into my abdomen.

I do not like this moment. I do not enjoy it. I do not find pleasure in it. I hate exposing myself to you in my rawness and ramblingness.

But I also know something.

I know it is okay. All of this. Is okay. I know that you feel it too in your own way. I know that I have felt it many times before. And I will feel it many times again. I know that just as the foggy morning greeted me upon early rising today – I could not see the houses surrounding me for the thick of it – this foggy settling around my thoughts and feelings will burn away too. On its time. In its way.

This feels ick. It feels yuck.
It feels like… not knowing.
It feels like… sadness.
It feels like… nature at work through the living of a life.

Yesterday at dinner time, Greg came in the front door. 4 year old Nora vaulted out of her seat and away from my incredible homemade waffles. (My value is still clear to me in the waffle making arena.) She bounded over top of John and Ruthie who were mid-game on the kitchen floor, raced across the living room, down the few stairs into our foyer and leaped into her father’s arms.

“MAKE WAY FOR THE PRESIDENT HUGGER!!!”
she bellowed as she found her stride and destination.

And she is. Nora is undoubtedly the President Hugger of our world.

Her enthusiasm is contagious. I will let it fill me and inspire me now.

I sit in my fog. Not liking it. But also loving it because I know it has something to offer me. In this moment, I don’t feel that I have any great action or skill or knowledge to offer this world. I have a great deal of pondering, reflecting and feeling. But I don’t pretend to know more than anyone else. In fact, I think I may just be the President Not-Knower of our world.

And then I remember a quote from a dear teacher I sat with on Maui last January.

“Not knowing is most intimate.”

Yes. Yes that is a truth. I feel it solid and steady in my bones. Clear and fluid in its light.

So, I will not know. I will trust it. I will love it. I will drink tea with it. I will remember that I am not alone. That I am never alone. And I will wait and see what flower grows from this rich and fertile soil of deep.

Oh, and clearly I’ll accept many hugs from Nora the President Hugger while I wander walk.

With gratitude for your presence,
Rachel

p.s. If you’d like to join me for a practice – after this super excellent sell of my skills and knowledge – please do signup for YogaFest on Saturday, March 28th in Raleigh. It would be lovely to share time together.

Love Is

My kids have decided that jumping through a hoola hoop is the game of the moment. I hold the hoop at the directed height of the given offspring. He or she takes the mark, runs full out and then adopts the chosen approach to get through the hoop.

Almost 5 year old Nora skips the jump part all together, splays arms high and runs full speed at the hoop linebacker style. Of course, this results in said hoop flying out of my hands with the force of her awesome body. Nora stops, spins to face me (hoop underfoot) and grins ear to ear. Why jump when you can barrel?

Ruthie, at nearly 7 years old, finds the run and the leap and has to mechanically pack up her naturally extensive body to get through the opening. It is tricky for a graceful gazelle to contract her power.

And John. John takes a deep breath and pauses in start position, hard off the line he gets up speed with the lead of his head jutting forward, and he curls into the tiniest 9 year old ball of human that I have ever seen. Nothing but net as he follows his instinct to curl in, to curve, to contract.

He hits the ground solid and steady. He comes to upright with a blank face that slowly expands into a huge smile.

“Woah! How did I know what to do there!?”

I grin and witness him. I witness his joy in this moment for the intelligence of his body. For the briefest of moments, I sit into it with him.

And then this mama yoga therapist wonderer who can’t shut up for long says,
“You know how you HATE that you can’t touch your toes in a forward fold? That you have to bend your knees in gym during them or else you can’t breathe?”

His body loses both inflation and elevation as he recalls this well felt experience of his body.

“Yeah, I know,” he sighs.

“Here is the cool thing, John. Those forward folds are hard for you for sure – which is partially because your back is able to curl in a ton. You can fold up like a snuggly baby into a ball with no problem, right?”

He ponders this and his eyes begin to light again. “Yeah… I can. Wait, is that why I can do this so easily?”

“Yup. The same reason you get so frustrated with your standing and seated forward folds is also the same reason you can curl up so tightly in your spine. And fly through that hoop with no thinking about it.”

He is quiet. His eyes are big and feeling into this funny Truth.

Something he can do beautifully with his body is the flip side of something that drives him crazy with his body.

He cocks his head and stares into nothingness for the briefest of moments. I see him sitting down in gratitude and peace for this thing that Is. This body that serves.

I recognize that there is more to it than “His spine is super flexible so his legs are tight.” There is in fact always more to consider in a moment.

But there is also a place to stop and be in the beauty of the Simple.

Because the Simple is also the stunning orange and red leaves.
That become the piles of dried and crunched debris to rake up.

Because the Simple is also the sunny and warm.
That morphs into the cold. Or rainy. Or humid.

Because the Simple is also the moment of stillness.
That flows into the rush of doing.

The Simple is merely the flip of the complex.
And both exist simultaneously in any given breath.

For whatever we don’t love, there is some flip that we do love.

And perhaps it will serve you, me, us for a moment to see the Simple truth of some challenge that we face. Some gift of our’s that is wrapped into a perceived obstacle. Some grace that is inherent and quiet in the shadows of the hard to hold.

I invite you to join me at YogaFest in Raleigh on March 28th to explore more of the simple in this practice of everyday.

May you embrace the Simple in whatever way you need this Valentine’s Day. May the complex rest for just a breath. Just a moment. And may our intention in this space ripple outward to all those in need.

Just like John, you do you. And see more.

Take good care,
Rachel

Mama, what is…

Nora and I are driving down Interstate 40, cars whizzing by left and right. The world in motion. We somehow sit in stillness inside of this 4,000 pound box of metal (I looked that up. Yipes!).

Her voice comes out of the quiet,
“Mama, what is ‘weak’?”

Simple questions can stall my brain. This one does for sure.
You see, to me weak isn’t just “not strong.” Weak isn’t the opposite of something.

Weak is relative to something.

I feel some twists and turns in my chest and belly as I struggle with how to communicate this to a 4 ½ year old. I feel a thickness in my throat as it is clogged for words. I rest into the sensations and allow myself to wonder wander. “What does ‘weak’ mean to Nora?”

“Nu, you know how you have the bucket in the backyard that you like to loop the rope through? And then you pull the rope to get the bucket up to the top of the playset.”

“Oh,  yeah!!” she exclaims with joy. I can tell she actually feels the exuberance of the bucket game as we sit here and talk in a van moving at 70 miles per hour. For the moment, her entire being is IN the bucket game.

“Well, if nothing is in the bucket, can the rope pull it up okay?”

“Yes! It’s easy for the rope to do that.” She is clearly back in the car with me as she squeezes her eyes, scrunches her nose and noodles on this one.

“Okay. What if you filled the bucket all the way up with sand? What would that be like for your rope?”

“uh…” she pauses. I can tell she is traveling through time and space to see the bucket. To pull on that rope. To feel its resistance.

“If it had sand, it would be really heavy. My rope might break.”

That’s right, girl.

Heavier load – that rope might break.
Lighter load – that rope is good to go.

Weak is relative to the load at hand. Whether it be physical, emotional or mental, weak is not absolute. Weak is relative to a situation or a demand.

Heavier load means we need some additional tools and skills. Maybe a new rope. Maybe a buddy helping us to pull. Maybe someone below lifting while we pull from above.

Lighter load and we’re good with what we’ve got. The rope is good. Our body, mind and heart have got it.

Either way, it’s all relative. All the time.

You are not weak.
I am not weak.
We are not weak.

We have infinite potential to grow and to expand. To carry more. To lift heavier. To breathe easier.

But we are not weak.

“But mom…” interrupts Nora to my meandering meaning making.

“Yes, love.”

“I know some ropes might break if that bucket gets too heavy. But the purple rope… the purple rope can do ANYTHING!”

I smile. The inside of my chest sparkles outward with happy for this little girl.

She is the purple rope. You are the purple rope. We are the purple rope.

So there is that. Both and.

Come play with me at YogaFest on Saturday, March 28th in Raleigh for my class “Getting Curious: Asana for Explorers”. The group will pick the poses to explore at the beginning of class and I will guide you in breaking them down and rebuilding them. It’s kind of like playing Legos with your body. And no, we won’t be doing Nora and Ruthie’s handstands from the picture above. Registration is now open here and you’ll receive a $5 discount as a student of mine when you register with the code, RMFIVE.

I know that seeing you there would help me remember the purple rope inside of me.

Come along if our path’s align.
Take good care,
Rachel

Stepping Out

Welcome to 2020. It is glorious to be here with you.

Our little family of 5 has begun a new tradition in the past couple of months. It is that of “thanking ourselves.” We sit at the dinner table and if someone has something they know they did but also know that others won’t really know about otherwise – and gosh darnit they want to be seen for it – then they announce, “I would like to thank myself for…” Emptying the dishwasher. Or picking up my room. Or cleaning up the cat puke. Or whatever. We all tend to giggle when we go around and thank ourselves. It’s a funny feeling but there is also a reverential silence.

So, as the New Year kicks off, I want to thank myself for something.

I would like to thank myself for doing hard work on myself and for loving myself. And for continually practicing the art of “give time time.”

My heart used to sit in fractures. Rachel the parent had a specific toolbox of tone and mannerisms. Which gave way to having to “ramp up” for Rachel the yoga teacher. Which gave way to crashing after teaching for “Rachel who just left it all on the floor.” Which gave way to the cycle repeating itself. And then there was “Rachel the sister” and “Rachel the wife” and “Rachel the daughter” and on and on. It took a lot of energy to switch masks, tones, and (figurative) makeup in all of those scene changes.

And I didn’t even know I was doing it.

I just knew I was perpetually exhausted, suffering many migraines, and overall unsettled. I felt like something was missing and I didn’t even know what it was.

Then I was given the gift of authentic community. I was given the gift of learning more about the science of my body and brain, more about embodied movement, and more about the science of Ayurveda.

Most importantly, beyond the concepts, I was given the structure and support to practice the integration of the concepts into my life in my own very particular and unique way. And over time, I saw the fractured Rachel merge into one Rachel.

Just me.

I am me. In whatever I do, I get to be me. Because that’s actually all I’ve got. Me. Steady and ever present Me. All of it is Me. All of it is now fed by my heart.

Is my business really my heart? Undoubtedly it is. The Rachel that parents her children also works with my clients. The Rachel that loves her grieving friends and family is also the Rachel that leads my teacher training. The Rachel that moves in her morning practice is also the Rachel that listens to my husband. Me. Myself. And I. So, yes, my business is my heart. I can say that with full conviction.

And my heart has two things right now that are close to its center that I find vulnerable and scary and unknown. Because I don’t know if they will be received by the public “out there.” I don’t know if they will be valued. I don’t know if they will be wanted.

So, I feel my short and tight breath. I pause for it and offer it acknowledgment, “I feel your sticky and scared – and I’m with you breath. I also know that these offerings are needed… so we’ll step forward together, breath. All is well.”

Here we go.

Share time for a couple of big things that present opportunities for us to be together.

1) SAVE THE DATE: YogaFest, Saturday, March 28th
For the first time, I will teach at YogaFest in Raleigh. This is the largest annual fundraiser for You Call this Yoga (YCTY), an organization that tirelessly provides yoga opportunities for underserved populations. I am deeply grateful to support YCTY in the work that they do. I would love for anyone who will be in the Raleigh area to come and join me on this day for my session as well as any other teachers that pique your interest. More information is at www.YogaFestNC.com . I’ll keep you posted on registration details as they are released.

2) 2020-21 Teacher Emersion Program, Begins March 13th
Susan Jackson, my dear friend and colleague, and I are slated to begin our second Teacher Emersion Program the weekend of March 13th. This program is unique. It is demanding in its curriculum both in the classroom and on your own time – exploring biomechanics and movement on your mat, applying Ayurveda in your everyday life, living the ethical precepts of yoga and selected tenets of Buddhism, and practicing the integration of all of these tools. The core word that both Susan and I use here is “integration.” This training values what yoga can bring to a class of students in a studio – and will certify you to teach others as a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance – yet its focus and  structure assume that trainees are taking the tools as far as they desire into their own lives.

At present, we have a handful of dedicated and ready students – and we desire to find 1 or 2 more with equal passion for the work. This is not to be taken lightly and we know that. If you are ready to understand your body, your mind, and your heart with more skill and depth – if you are interested in delving into becoming a superb learner and your own best teacher – then please do reach out to us. Rachel@PureResilienceYoga.com and Sunny.Yoga@gmail.com .
We know you’re out there… we just don’t know who you are yet. 🙂

———-

That’s it for now. I sit on this chair in my living room as the weather turns grey and the rain moves in. The few remaining dried brown leaves skitter dance with one another. The birds chirp in staccato and the distant cars go in whoosh. I sit here. While you sit there. Wherever you are. With whatever it is that you see and hear.

Wherever and however our paths cross, may our ripples travel far and wide.

Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, go ahead and thank yourself for something. That will be a ripple all in itself.

With gratitude,
Rachel

Choose

Nora is fast forwarding in this moment. She knows that kindergarten is approaching and yet at 4 ½, she has very little concept of it being six months away. We are driving in the car in silence to pick up her brother and sister from school and out of the silence emerge her crisp and yet halted words.

“When I think about kindergarten, I’m feeling kind of excited. And I’m feeling kind of nervous. I feel somewhere in between.”

Wisdom in its imperative smallest of nutshells.

“I feel somewhere in between.”
I feel both and.
I feel all of that. And more.

Nora is brilliant. As are all of us.

This work that I do is about letting it all in.

The good stuff is easier to let in. Kind of. Most of the time. Because we can also do a hard stop “Woah, horses” pull on the reigns of life when we realize how good things are. Or perhaps even that they are better than they used to be. We can spin into wonder of “When will the other shoe drop?” meanwhile missing the beautiful Is.

The harder stuff is… well, harder for most of us to let in. We don’t tend to like the heavy that comes with it. And without skillful practice and support in leaning in, the harder stuff can also bring “hardening.” A toughness. A resistance. A stickiness.

Yet the hard stuff for me has inevitably held the most magic as well. When I touch it, I touch the overwhelming, earth shattering joy that is its flipside. The joy rests in the slipstream of the timeless moment. The moment that is always Now. The grief rests in my attachment to what was or what I think should have been.

And there is room for all of it.

Somewhere in between. Where the rivers meet.
Both and.
All of that. And more.

Grief is the death of a loved one. Expected or unexpected. Grief is the loss of a job or a home. Grief is a child leaving home. Grief is hardship in health and body. Grief is in our helplessness as we witness suffering of our children and our loved ones and our world. Grief is not making a home cooked dinner when we are sure that is what our family most needs. Grief is not being able to “do it all” in the way we envision.

Grief is the past not going how we thought it would. Grief is the future not going how we thought it should.

Grief is wrapped into all of this. Big and small. It is a visitor that reminds us of our choice in this matter of life. It is a visitor that kicks us in our bum and says, “Choose wisely.” Grief is Big Love waiting to catch us when we let go into the fall.

On this Saturday, December 21st, I’ll provide a virtual gathering room on Zoom in which any and all are welcome. We will move a bit in a short all levels practice (beginners welcome) and then we will sit with each other. We will listen to one another. We will see one another.

Please know that I am not an active social media person. Instead, I ask you to honor any niggling feeling and to forward this to anyone who comes to mind as needing it. Do not ignore that wise and quiet whispering.

Saturday, December 21st
1:30-3:00pm Eastern Time
Remembering: From Grief to Gratitude
A Virtual All levels Yoga Practice & Share Session
Link will open 15 minutes prior to start time:
https://zoom.us/j/9665363832
Needed: A chair, a comfy blanket, & a warm beverage
Suggested action: A donation to a charity of your choice in honor of your grief

We will speak to and of something bigger than our grief. Memory weaved with Now. Hard weaved with heal. Close in weaved with coming out.

We all have pain. We all have joy. And our deepest connection and sense of belonging is built in the trenches of shared hard and joy. As the soldiers in the trenches, as the rebuilders following tornados, as the mourners side by side after loss. As the humans in joy and sadness.

May we gather and Be all that we are. No shame. No remorse. No apologies for our stumbling splendor.

I send my gratitude and deep joy for your eyes on these words.
I hope to see you soon.

Take good care,
Rachel