The courage to start something new!
Letter to my friend and student Thora.
THIS IS FOR YOU.
So many beautiful moments belong to you. If I handed out stars to my yoga students. They would all be yours. Five ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️for:
Courage. Discipline. Overcoming obstacles. Positive attitude. Showing up. Not giving up.
I miss you.
I remember the very first time you came to my studio. You had signed up for a private yoga lesson. The first thing you had mentioned on the phone was your age.
“I am 82 years old. Can you teach me yoga?
“I have taught my mother”, I said. “And she had Parkinson”, I encouraged you.
You told me you felt a lack of balance. Bending down to tie your shoes had become difficult. This was not something you would simply accept!
You not only became my oldest yoga student. You became the student I admired for showing up no matter what. You were always curious to learn. A student with a burning desire to make old age worth living.
Thora, you are the student I mention when people tell me all about their “why nots”. They all fall short of what I tell them about you and your “why”. Why you included yoga into your life.
“Because it works”, you would say.
And let me add here: “Because you showed up!”
🔮I invite you to look down tomorrow.
9 am Pacific Time.
Zoom in over Santa Rosa, CA.
I am teaching a summer experience to four young people. Things have not been easy for them. I am teaching them everything I shared with you.
Sarina is one of them. Thora, she is 26 years old now. I dearly remember your interest in her. I finally found what I was searching for. A new campus is opening it's doors in the Fall. Created by parents like us. Movement and doing Yoga is part of the deal. It's goal is to transition young adults into independence. So they too can live the life of their dreams. Can you see me smile?
And guess what?
We are using your balance beam*! Lynn donated it to the new school. Every time we move it out onto the lawn, I want to give that beam a hug. Each time you are there with me.
So, come over tomorrow. Tell me what you think! I make sure I see your smile.
Salute to you! You practiced yoga into your 90s. You did not give up.
Love you as much as I miss you.
My dear friend Thora.
Thora left this world in May of 2017.
When I saw her challenges with balance I knew what to do. She needed to practice on the beam. I learned it all from my daughter. Being born premature she presented me with opportunities to find new ways on how we do what we do. Like how to walk when walking did not occur on it's own.
I learned how to do things in a different way. I asked my carpenter friend James to make me a beam. It needed to be a little wider and low to the ground. Sarina walked this beam every day of her early years. She did yoga on the beam. We had picnics on the beam. Anything to help her balance - until she side eyed me. 😏
When I met Thora I brought the beam out of its shadow. It was such a winner again. A few weeks after we started to practice on it, she brought her carpenter with her. She too wanted a beam at home. Can you see her commitment? The beam is not just something to walk on. On the beam you learn to be present: walk tall, focus, trust, be patience. One step at a time. And breathe! On and off the beam. Thora mastered all of this!
If you read this far and yoga is not in your life. Look at your why’s.
"Feeling good is the primary intention". Danielle LaPorte
I had prepared this whisperer yesterday. Ready to push send.
Then I thought “let’s wait a little”…I love Danielle LaPorte’s books, I love her online presence. Her “truth bombs” delivered to my phone.
I’m glad I did.
I would see her in a couple of hours. She was on tour to promote her new book:
“White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping it Real On Your Spiritual Path - From One Seeker to Another”.*
She was going to speak at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It cannot get more sacred!
Full of fond memories of a different phase in my life I waited for the door to open. I remembered the concerts I listened to. The many times I walked the labyrinth with Sarina. Many many years ago. - My friend Maria arrived. Nothing better than to share what rocks your soul with a friend.
A sold out event! Women lining the steps and streets. All wisdom seekers. It filled me up and put sparkles in my core…
Now, inspired by her voice I’m ready to add these sparkles to what I wrote yesterday and get this whisperer to you.
"Feeling good is the primary intention." Danielle LaPorte
I have this quote pinned on my whisperer wall. Written on a sticky note it found it’s way on my husbands desk (I sneak quotes his way. Better then words…)😊
“Showing up is a victory”
“Find ways to show up to what you don’t like”
are only two of the golden nuggets Danielle shared. They are brothers and sisters of this quote.
If I choose to feel good it’s more then a smile. For me it is about the choice I have. To find ways to show up to my life - as it is. True acceptance delivers contentment. It teaches you surrender.
Saying YES! 100%.
We need to show up especially if we don’t like what we see.
“Find ways to show up…”. More so if it’s incredible challenging. Sometimes on many levels. If there is no way out. That’s when we learn.
I do believe that it is our duty to get up and step up to the life we have. We will bend - but we don’t need to break, is one of the mantras I live by. I need that skill. I cannot change my daughters challenges. But I can choose how it makes me feel. It is my daily practice.
We must cultivate this and commit to grow the tools we need. Find a practice that holds us accountable. That supports us on our journey.
For me it happens on my mat and when I visit my trees. It happens in the pockets of silence I create. When I
P A U S E.
B R E A T H E and
B E P R E S E N T.
When I notice my breath get in touch with my core. Stillness. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go.
That is a victory!
From here I take it out into my life.
Mindfulness is a gift you can give to yourself.
Side note: You know the BREATH is always with you? Right? Your best friend… reliable… ready to help you put your feet on holy ground. Lift your heart. Stand tall.
N O W - Try this!
Read first, then close your eyes. Feel the rhythm of your breath. Let the breath breathe you. Imagine for a moment….as you breathe out the universe is breathing in. As you breathe in the universe is breathing out. Now do it.
We are not alone.
That’s when we can choose our intention and ask: “How do I want to feel today?”
That’s when a quote like this is not just a few words pinned to the wall.
That’s when I embody mindfulness. When I walk my talk. When I show up. To what is.
I do believe in smiling. Smiles are contagious. My smile can change some one else's day. If I smile my brain listens. Eager to break the habit of negativity or complaining it sends signals to my brain. It feels better with a smile. It works. Each time. Science has put a stamp on it!
I am honored to say, I grew up in hard times but my parents both showed me their smile!