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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lightness into Darkness into Lightness

I had the pleasure this evening of practicing yoga with and listening to the teachings of Yogi Amrit Desai, Gurudev. As he spoke I frequently thought of my boys and how I can live my life in way that will impart some of these teachings to them.

As Gurudev spoke this evening he reminded us that light wouldn't be light without darkness and vice versa. He noted that light and dark do not fight and resist at sunrise and sunset, they simple shift from one to the other.

Within ourselves we fight darkness, our fears and weaknesses, by judging, comparing, and belittling ourselves - fighting darkness with more darkness. Instead we need to release our fears and be in the darkness in order to let in the light through our breath and being present in our bodies fully accepting where we are without judgment. When we practice this on the mat, we can take it out into the world.

I find that we often fight against being where we are by wanting to have more, be different, feel better, etc. Gurudev taught tonight that the more we seek and grasp, the less we are connected to ourselves.

As they continue to grow and face the ups and downs of life, I hope to support my boys in being where they are as they are, trusting in themselves, listening to their inner voice, and staying connected with their true selves.  The best way I can do this is to honor them where they are in each moment and to practice honoring myself as well. Easier said than done many days. :)

These teachings reminded me of the quote from the Buddha which has been in the forefront of my mind recently, "Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal truth." To paraphrase this in the teachings of Gurudev tonight, darkness never ceases by darkness, but by light alone is healed.

Be where you are, accept the darkness and open to the light.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gifts of Hope

I have been surprised by my reactions to this tenth anniversary of 9-11. Today I burst into tears looking at the picture of the three fireman hoisting the American flag at ground zero. I am amazed at how raw and overwhelming my emotions are...and I'm much farther removed from it than the people who lost loved ones or were part of the rescue efforts.

It has been important to me this week to talk with the boys about the events of that day. I wrote a column on how to do just that and had the opportunity to share that on CBS4 as well.

As we talked together as a family, I found it hard to convey more than just the facts. Walkingstick asked where I was that day. I told him my story and explained how unreal it all seemed. How it wasn't just that moment, but that it went on for days and weeks as we watched the news, heard the stories, and mourned as a nation.

Each time I tried to talk about my personal experience, my eyes welled up and I could hardly speak. I tried to maintain my composure as they both seemed unnerved by my grief at something they don't really understand. In order to keep moving forward, we do not always understand how deeply these events have affected us.

Then Gigglebox noted, having been born that following summer, that he was "a gift of hope" after 9-11. He was exactly that. Conceived shortly after the attacks, his presence changed our lives and brought hope in ways we could never have imagined. How does he know that at the age of nine? He truly amazes me.

Today I want to honor the courage, compassion, and generosity of the millions of people who were affected by the events of 9-11. Their responses are also gifts of hope that remind us of the inherent good in people and give us hope for the future.

Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. We are all one, Peace, Peace, Peace.