I am sitting in a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Celebrate Your Life conference. I have the honor of being here to facilitate two workshops and to participate with a number of speakers and teachers who have inspired me over the years. As I sit here, I am bathed in a sea of gratitude for the amazing life that I am privileged to live.
This month I am reminded of the courage it takes to continue to open our hearts in faith, even when we have been pained by loss or heartbreak. There is nothing more heartbreaking than being faced with the inevitable: our mortality, and the remembrance that life is impermanent. This is a reality we deal with each day, and yet the desire to live must carry within it a gratitude of remembering or the faith of forgetting.
Traveling comes with its own distinct set of trials and truths. If yoga is a practice of equanimity in the face of constant change, that evenness takes on new meaning when we’re far from home.
On October 2, 2011, I led a class of 3,000 yogis, all in white, on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower’s Wall for Peace to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.
Whether I’m lost, found, late, early, confused or completely uplifted, Paris offers me lessons on Light — on being light, on absorbing light, on offering light. I’ve been teaching there twice a year for seven years, and my dream of teaching a class about the Light of True Gratitude and Peace in front of the Eiffel Tower has finally come true.
With this photo essay, I honor my beloved city of Light, Paris.
As our brothers and sisters in Japan struggle to find peace, understanding, support and a sense of order after this month’s devastating earthquake, I invite each of you to join me as I offer these words of prayer:
As we moved toward the end of this year, I really began to contemplate how I, personally, wanted to end 2010.
2010 has been a tough year for many. People are working harder than ever (if they are lucky enough to have a job) with less pay, fewer benefits and uncertainty about their job security. It has truly been a stressful grind for our minds, bodies and spirits.
Well, Thanksgiving is here and people are busy preparing for and celebrating the holiday. Wherever you are today, I ask that you join me in giving thanks. I want this time with you to be about practicing gratitude. I am grateful for the opportunity to write and share with you things that are important to me. I am grateful to offer this blog as a place that might be of support and gift you with a remembrance of who you are. I am grateful to be in a position to use my path as a tool for guidance of others.
The harsh tones of your alarm clock blare beside your bed and you can hardly believe it’s the start of another day. Your bleary gaze moves to the window, where the dense fog and darkness whisper that the sun is still sleeping soundly. You too are not yet ready to rise, to encounter the chill lingering outside the goose-feather comforter that wraps you tightly in a cozy cocoon.
I have been contemplating gratitude for the past few days. What came forward for me was that everything is a gift. When I look back on my life, I can see how every event, experience and person supported me in being the person that I am today.
I recently received the unexpected news that three people I love had been in a car accident. The mother and youngest daughter were killed and the second child, 11 years old, was in critical condition. These people are a major part of our spiritual community and youth ministry. I received phone calls and emails filled with shock and sadness. As I sat in the memorial service, I had such a feeling of sadness and loss. The children often ran up to me on a Sunday and showered me with hugs and kisses. I always felt such love and joy during these quick exchanges. Their smiles and joyous ways always filled my heart with warmth and peace.