I write this on the first morning of 2017, waking up early and surprisingly optimistic in the face of so many troubling and destructive events that are now present in our country and world.
Entering the sacred space of my meditation seat, I welcomed in the energies that would serve me best in the new year. I welcomed in clarity, strength of heart, the courage of my convictions, gratitude, and the resolve to be truthful on all levels with myself. To not only be flexible and strong in body but also in mind, and to live deeply from Spirit. I resolved to listen to my own compassionate and intelligent wisdom that drowns out the negative sound of critical judgment. My intention is to do my best to stay steady within myself, above the harmful emotional fray in the political arena, and observe the wildness, the craziness from a position of power where it cannot feed on me.
Following my 40 minutes of meditation, I felt strong, centered, open and ready to face whatever challenges 2017 will hold. In the last few minutes of practice, my orange tabby Molly jumped up in my lap, purring away, reminding me of my intimate and loving connection with the animal world and all they bring to us.
I continue to live in two wonderful worlds, on the Eastern and Western Shores of MD. Teaching my three classes at Willow Street Yoga in Takoma Park, seeing private yoga and meditation students, and playing with five of our seven grandkids each week is a total joy. Only an hour and a half away is much more rural Oxford, surrounded by water on three sides, with good friends and a slower and more natural pace of life. I cherish my long walks or bike and kayak rides and watching the occasional eagle and the geese migrate each year. I teach two classes in Oxford as well, and still find my role as a yoga teacher to be creative, fun and rewarding. I know that is a great blessing.
Recently we went up to Stowe, VT to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of John’s sisters, which was a total blast. John comes from a close-knit family, the oldest of six siblings who still love to be together for family reunions and special occasions. Both his sisters and I skied for much of the day in soft new fallen snow, and it was indeed a winter wonderland. I had not skied for at least 35 years, and was very pleasantly surprised that I could still, after a bit of practice, go down an intermediate slope without a spill. It was a fantastic combination of exhilaration and natural beauty that will stay in my memory bank for a long time.
I am excited about my upcoming annual yoga events with dear colleagues and close friends. At the end of this month Maria Hamburger and I will be teaching our second annual Jamaica Yoga Vacation. We just had two unexpected cancellations due to injuries, so we have two rooms available, which I will discount should anyone want to be a last minute sign up!! The dates are January 28-February 4. Please click here for brochure and registration form.
Betsey Downing and I will be again be teaching a mini Women’s Retreat at Kripalu in Lenox, MA, from May 18-May 21. We will practice Cultivating Courage and Compassion as our retreat theme. More information on that by clicking here. Spring is fantastic in the Berkshires and it will be in beautiful early bloom at this time.
Betsey and I will also be offering our annual Spirited Women’s Retreat at Meadowkirk Retreat Center at Delta Farm, near Middleburg, Virginia from Monday August 7 to Monday August 14th. It is only about an hour from the Washington DC area. More details by clicking here.
I am very excited to be leading a Yoga Retreat in October 2017 in Umbria, Italy. The dates are October 18 to 26, though we and many are already planning to tag on some extra days for sight seeing! You can read all about it and sign up by clicking here. I am taking 25 participants total, (non-yogis welcome), and already have 18 or 19 signed up, so don’t wait too long!
I wish each of you a hopeful, joyful, and peaceful entry into 2017. May we all have the strength of heart, the steadiness of mind, the clarity of vision and the courage of our convictions to face the challenges that will undoubtedly arise, and indeed are already present. May we each find a way to contribute to a cause for justice, for combating climate change, for more kindness and inclusivity, and to keep our hearts open in the face of resistance and struggle.
“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.“
“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.”
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.“
“We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.“
Happy New Year!