Before I tell you all about our last day, I thought it would be nice to tell you more about who I would be saying farewell to. I had intended on sharing more about my group members along the way, but there was always so darn much to talk about.
The night of our meet and greet, I met a young woman, who had spent the last year taking care of her gravely ill mother. We shared a common history, addictive parents and the aftermath of their addictions. Her mother had survived after all, and she was freed to return to her life, luckily for our class. She was a kindred spirit from our first conversation.
I told you about the woman who had survived cancer five years ago, her quest to live without the fear she faced every day. While I doubt she will never again fear cancer, I know surely that she came to look at her life differently in these six weeks. She discovered a great deal about herself, and we all watched as she week by week peeled away the layers she had draped herself in. We are what we believe, after all. I can only think that cancer will find a different gal if it ever does try to return, a gal that won’t be having any part of it.
We had a sweet young mother of two, who believed she was taking life too seriously, always worrying about her family. She felt she had begun to lose herself, her zest for life, and wanted to do something to work toward changing that. You know how I feel about the universe and coincidence? About half way through our class, her son became extremely ill, the kind of ill that leaves you standing in a hospital corridor as they whisk him away, not knowing if he will survive. A few days later when she shared the story with us, along with a happy ending, I doubt there was a dry eye in the room.
My thinking is this, seriously, I couldn’t draft a better story than the universe does. I’m sure she will have her own way of thinking about the experience, but in my mind, the angels showed her in no uncertain terms that in the big picture, she really has no control. And if that’s true, then you might as well enjoy the ride, because this gift of life we have is truly meant to be enjoyed, and no amount of worrying beforehand will change the outcome of any story, a lesson I could have used at her age. Another kindred spirit.
It was a joy to watch her throughout the class open up, show herself more and more as the class progressed. She’s an amazing spirit truly, the kind of force this world needs more of.
We had a 17-year old, mild mannered and shy in the beginning, but who in the end, gave us all a run for our money in terms of teaching yoga. What a little spitfire, loved her.
We had a school teacher, who will one day gift the yoga community with her kind and positive nature. We had a practicing yoga teacher seeking more knowledge, who helped the rest of us amateurs greatly.
We had another extremely caring and kind woman who makes it her mission to spread her kindness.
Our one male student turned out to be our caretaker. Go figure. A sweet heart to be sure, who I have no doubt will become an incredible yoga instructor.
We had no shortage of young women, all with a story of their own, so doggone courageous in their youth. I believe the class gave each of them a mirror, a glimpse of how truly amazing and powerful each and every one of them is.
We had an unusually strong woman who actually ran a 50-mile marathon the weekend before our last one, who was working on understanding that her powerful strength could be used in her personal life as well.
And our teachers, while there to instruct and teach us, still shared parts of themselves and their struggles as the class unfolded week by week.
Probably what I enjoyed the most about this class was the vulnerability each person exhibited on a regular basis. In the workplace where many of us operate on a daily basis, we don’t see much of that. And it’s easy to judge others because of that, because we don’t see their underbellies and we don’t understand the true story behind their behavior.
But in a class such as this where just by virtue of the studies, every person is forced to share at least some of their story, you come to understand that everyone has their own mountain to move. I’ve learned this before in my life, but it’s easy to lose sight of it. I hope I can hold onto this as I move beyond the class, because if I try always to remember there’s a history behind an action of another that I may not like, I can be much more forgiving. I don’t have to like another’s behavior, but an understanding of their pain can make all the difference in my reaction. And my reaction doesn’t have to add to their mountain.
I always go to this, but being a math lover, I just can’t help myself. Expanding that idea, if we all work at just not adding to someone else’s mountain, it’s simple but powerful.
Paraphrasing again the words to Cross to Bear, as I say farewell to my classmates,
deep in my soul, they will leave a permanent crease.
Next post, our final day.