I don’t like being upside down and backwards. This makes Handstand a challenge for me. I don’t trust that my fellow students can hold me steady while I substitute my hands for feet. It’s a reflection of my own limited thinking, not an accurate assessment of their competence.
Still, I try. I go to class and work gradually. First, I achieved Headstand, which I couldn’t do a year ago. It’s a stepping-stone to the loftier goal of Handstand.
Yoga is always putting new challenges in our paths. Just when we think we have achieved a difficult asana, we discover that it was the modified version. It taught me to give up hope.
Sometimes I sit. I sit through the storm and I shake and I wonder if the
Winds will blow me away. I wonder if I can endure the violence, the rage,
The anger. I forget what it was like to feel safe and be at peace, to live in
The day my mother died, I was hoping for something, anything, to help alleviate my incredible pain and overwhelming sense of loss. I was also hoping that Mom was finally at peace. A Facebook post around the same time revealed that a friend of mine was hoping fervently for something as well: that she would find just the right shoes to match her new dress.
At first, it seemed so cruel and unfair to me that I was hoping for something so crucial while she was free to hope for something that seemed so insignificant to me.
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 a parent and grandparent, I was very hesitant to watch Rabbit Hole because I knew that it focused on parents who were dealing with the death of their child. After much encouragement from my wife, Lauren, and one of our community members (Mark), and with the tragedy in Tucson in the background, we watched the film last night and were absolutely mesmerized.
Despite a diet of organic, holistic dog food. Despite a pesticide-free yard. Despite daily exercise and plenty of TLC, our six-year-old dog Polar was diagnosed in October with osteosarcoma, an aggressive and indiscriminate type of bone cancer that leaves little time for weighing options.
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.
the garden has cooled,
and with it my possessiveness
— Robert Finch
My mom’s house burned down a few weeks ago. She lost everything. Ironically, my siblings and I had been trying to get her to consider moving since my dad died, three years ago to the month. She was living in a too-isolated area (in northern Louisiana) and could no longer keep up the two-acre property. Florence was reluctant to let go of all her ‘memories.’ She is a ‘collector,’ as are so many of us.
By Katherine Robertson-Pilling
I met Sandrine a year after she had been injured in a terrible car accident; she had spent months in the hospital, and still had very limited use of her arm. “You can’t sit around waiting,” she announced, “You have to get back to life.” Today she is stronger than ever and training for a bicycle race in Paris.
Recently, someone I work with made the transition. The death was sudden and unexpected. Many people were shocked, upset and in a state of disbelief. It made me start thinking that we can so easily take people for granted. We can so easily think that they will always be here. In fact, often times we are immersed in unrealistic expectations of others and, when they do not respond as we would like, we move into a state of judgment and blame. We withdraw or push them aside, thinking we will deal with this later. Sometimes that later never comes.