Tag Archives: community

new year

One Way to Approach the New Year

As this new year approached and I was inundated with suggestions to leave my troubles in 2017, look ahead to 2018, come up with a resolution for the new year, and be excited about it, all I could feel was the need to be left alone.

The last six months of 2017 were horrendous for my family. My 86-year-old father underwent heart surgery on August 1st and due to medical malpractice, suffered a brain injury. Before this, he was a healthy, strong, intelligent man who went to the gym three times a week, completed the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle, and rode a tractor almost daily through acres of farm land. His heart is now as healthy as can be. His brain is not. Although he has progressed a great deal from being unable to walk, talk, eat, and control his bodily functions, our family has been through pure hell taking care of him. He and my mother now live with my family.

So, when faced with the anticipation of a new year, I simply felt stuck in the hardship of 2017. How can I not be? It’s still happening. So I wanted to put this off.  Could we just wait another six months for a new year? I’m just not ready.

So I turned to thoughts of yoga: love, light, peace, and truth in body, mind, and spirit. And that was my turning point.

New Years Day passed without a thought. I celebrated without the need to have discovered my resolution. Daily tasks were carried out in plenty of time. The house was transitioned back to normalcy from all the decorations, baked goods, and Christmas music.

What I had to remember is that this year has been difficult for me. And 2018 will continue to be the same, at least for the time being. In addition to the events surrounding my father’s injury, I have lived with anxiety and depression since the age of 19. I turned 50 last year. In fact, my 50th birthday celebration was brought to a screeching halt by what happened to my father. It’s been a struggle to keep my anxiety and depression at bay.

So I gave myself a break. A big one. I removed this huge need to identify what I desired for 2018 and gave myself the time and space to let it come to me. I created an opening to allow its entrance.

On January 1st, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, it flew right in. I saw a word I hadn’t seen in a while and had forgotten about: Sankalpa. This is a Sanskrit word in yogic philosophy that refers to a heartfelt desire. It is an intention or a resolve to do something. It comes from deep within and is often an affirmation.

new year

On January 2nd, I taught a yoga class using this idea as my theme, informing my students that they had one of four options:

1.) Use a resolution you’ve already created and transform it into a Sankalpa.

2.) Create your Sankalpa during class today.

3.) Be open to receive your Sankalpa if it is not easily coming to you.

4.) None of the above.

I had already chosen number three and I still haven’t been able to put it into a concise phrase, but I now know what I want this year. I want yoga. Not just the physical practice of yoga but all of the spiritual healing and connection that comes with it. I want to feel as much love and peace as possible every day, in every moment. I want to be able to surround the sadness I feel for my father with light and transform it into joy. I want to be true to myself and allow the time and space needed for all of this.

I can do it. I know I can. And I’m in no hurry.

 

Wonderful Places Where Yoga Heals

Project Balance

“Our Mission is to bring mind-body wellness to the children and families of our community through partnerships, education and outreach.”

Yoga 4 Change

“Yoga 4 Change is a non-profit organization that achieves meaningful change for veterans, incarcerated individuals, vulnerable youth, and those dealing with substance abuse. Our purpose-driven yoga program enables us to heal and empower these under-served populations, creating healthier, safer communities, one class at a time.”

The Recovery Village 

“Our patients reside in beautifully designed, private and semi-private rooms with comforting accommodations and amenities. We provide a rare retreat for our patients with a serene landscape and top-notch amenities to promote a healthy recovery environment.  Our full continuum of care reaches past your stay at our residential facility, ensuring continued success in your future.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

contributing writer

Kula: Family: Community: Love

My heart is so full of pride for my Kula and their contributions to my book being released on Friday November 4th.  In So Many Words is my honest and personal view of a small group of women who helped me change my life through yoga and spiritual guidance.

In this video from my YouTube Channel, Shanti Mom For One, MaryAnne reads an excerpt from the chapter we wrote together. It is a loving conversation about how dancers can spot each other anywhere.

My book will be available on Amazon and on my brand new website, also being launched on November 4th. I hope you will join in on the conversation.

welcome

Author in Waiting. Is the hard work done?

I am an author in waiting. Waiting for my publisher to say it is time to approve the lay out. Waiting for my videographer to show me his amazing work on the promo videos. Wondering if there is something I should be doing. But I did my part already. The hard work is done.

Or is it? Maybe waiting is harder. 11/4/16

Another sneak peek…

“Little did I know that a yoga community of women 20-25 years older than me would help me do this. They had been there, done that. They had grandchildren. They were enjoying retirement. Yoga was an everyday thing. They already had their man (or not). An outsider would say that we had absolutely nothing in common. Maybe we didn’t. But we had something. And it blossomed, gradually and fully, into deep relationships. It changed me. Forever.”

author
My Kula, enjoying a good laugh. Photo by Eriden Images.
author
Saying something profound, I’m sure. Photo by Eriden Images.
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Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Season

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 23– Season

A beautiful and loving season of yoga and community ended last weekend. After 15 years in business, Ocean Yoga Center closed its doors. We laughed a lot and cried a bit, but vowed to meet again somewhere. The friendships remain. The lessons continue to be learned. Many lives will never be the same because of the positive energy within those walls.

Before I left, I kissed this window goodbye. It felt a bit silly, but I didn’t care. I’ve probably expressed every emotion possible in that space. It was safe. It was my sanctuary.

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shanti

Book Update: Introducing My Kula

Book Update: Introducing My Kula

Kula (Sanskrit): A community of the heart, a group coming together of its own free will. An intentional community, a family.

As mentioned before, my first book is a collaborative effort. My mind is still racing from our first gathering on Wednesday. It brought me right back to our coffee talks, book discussions, and ongoing mutual respect. They are all so excited about this venture and are happy to be included. So, it’s time to introduce this group, my kula.

my kula
Donna: Dedicated to yoga, meditation, and spiritual growth; one of the kindest souls I know.
kate
Kate: The woman who changed my life with her caring yoga instruction and loving friendship.
maryanne
MaryAnne: A fellow dancer, yogi, and writer; she embodies grace and beauty.
my kula
Mary: She sets me straight with her sense of humor and acceptance.

 

 

my kula
And our honorary kula member and my publisher, Jamar Suber; a kind-hearted man with a desire to inspire.