Opening Windows

I know I have much to catch my readers up on, and while I feel a bit remiss in not doing so, I just find myself wanting to write about open windows.  I mean, can you blame me?  Is there anything better than an open window after months of hot summer days or cold winter nights, not to mention air so thick with smoke from the California fires?
This past week I have been finally able to turn off the air conditioning and open my windows wide …. WIDE … WIDE.  The fresh air feels just short of intoxicating, filling my lungs not only with such a sweet scent, but I am convinced it also clears my mind of summer cobwebs. I always say we humans can look to nature to see our reality, and I don’t know about you, but I am finding cobwebs everywhere in my home the last few weeks.  Could it be that we humans also gather the same within our souls?
Having been able to finally open my windows, I have felt such a high this past week at times, and I am convinced it has to do with the H20 entering my bloodstream, air that hasn’t been pumped through underground pipes that I don’t even want to think about truly.  Not complaining about air-conditioning, mind you … never … but fresh air is a highly underrated commodity.
My quiet reflective time this week, also known typically as driving, has been filled with such pleasant reminiscences of loved ones both far and near, along with a thankfulness for all that I’ve been blessed with.  What that life could always be filled with a fresh-air bliss …
Aww, but were that so, we would lose sight of the highs and the lows, and I for one, would never opt for that.  The last few months were to be sure filled with some sadness and stress, much of which I’ve already shared in my posts, so I welcome all that is Fall … the cool fresh air, and the change of colors in my garden that I love so much.  I can only hope that any looming sadness or pressure I’ve been harboring over the summer falls to the ground in a few months’ time along with the colorful leaves from my beloved trees.  In the meantime, I will enjoy the beauty of fall, as the colors in the nature that surrounds me change ever so slightly with each passing day.
Here’s to the start of Fall, the passing of another summer, the crops we tended to both in the soil and in our hearts, winter just around the corner bringing a time of rest and rejuvenation, the smell of pine and fires burning (that aren’t bringing chaos and loss to others in the fire season).  I can’t wait actually, but for now, I don’t want to rush this time of fresh cool breezes and the color of fire that will dot the leaves in a few short weeks.  Crazy how much we have to be thankful for.
Sending Namaste to all of my readers, but especially those who have lost so much this fire season.

Final day … the beginning

As I sit to write about our final day, the sun is thinking about setting, there’s a cool breeze coming through my window,  I’m sippin’ on a glass of wine at my desk, and I feel so blessed to have had this experience, to have met so many amazing people, to have had a family that supports and encourages my choices, and lastly to have started this blog.  Of course, this all makes me cry as I write.  But I just have to say thank you … thank each and every one of you for tuning in.  It’s meant more than I can say, my regulars, God bless you guys, and my newbies that join me each and every day … wow, every single time I get an email saying someone new has begun following, my spirit soars.  From my heart to yours, please accept my sincerest thank you.
The last day of class, now that I’ve made you wait so long to hear it, not of my choice, was not what I would have expected.  I arrived Sunday morning emotional, at first.  As we gathered in our initial circle, I didn’t have much to say, unusual for me.  The tears were very close, and my mood was quiet.  I wondered to myself, hmmm, what’s up with you?  I never let tears get in the way of talking.  And as you might have noticed, I always have a lot to say.  But not this day.  I decided not to push it.  It was what it was, I didn’t feel like talking.  By the close of the circle, I felt I needed to at least contribute something, so I told them I felt emotional, and that was pretty much all I said, and that I would miss them.  I had written a farewell that I had already shared on our group Facebook page, so nothing I was going to say fighting back tears would equal what I had already posted.
As the day progressed, my tears subsided.  Again, I questioned myself, what the heck is up with you?  Not much to say, and now you aren’t even emotional?  We were busy, so I didn’t have much time to contemplate, but even my classmate Ally kept questioning me with her eyes … “what’s up, Sue?  Where are those tears?”  I could only shrug my shoulders.
It was a lovely last class, and as we drew to a close, we each shared our thoughts.  We gathered together arm in arm in a closing circle, so blessed, each and every one of us, for having experienced this time together.  We have to have lifted the earth’s vibration at least minutely, which for 15 people, is saying a lot.
We all decided to meet at a local brewery to celebrate the close of our class.  I was happy to get into my car by myself so that I could try to make sense of my lack of emotion.  So strange for me.  Emotional always, but GOODBYES, oh my God, that’s a tough one for me.  As I drove the ten-minute drive, I cherished the time to myself to think … where was my sadness at the ending of my class?  Even Ally noticed it?  The ten-minute drive was not enough for me to figure it out, but I still enjoyed the time to myself.
The class was over.  The hard work was coming to an end.  I had accomplished my goal, and that was incredible.   But now I could return to my life, Rick, my kids, our home, our garden, our friends,  and yes, I could now go to Carmelita’s in Roseville on Friday night with Rick for an amazing mexican dinner, and reminisce about how much I wanted to scrap the whole thing and meet Rick for dinner that first night.  What fun that will be, maybe this Friday.
As I arrived at the brewery, I really didn’t have any answers, but I felt happy and grateful.  I enjoyed our gathering, and it was nice to wind down with each other.  As I made my exit, saying goodbye to everyone, I found my answer as I said goodbye to Scott, our teacher.  As he hugged me goodbye, all he said was, “the journey continues.”
I nodded in agreement, and realized in that moment that why I hadn’t felt too  much sorrow in this day, was because I didn’t really see this as  an ending … quite the opposite, it was only the beginning.  I had only just made it off the diving board ( high dive, of course) but I was just in the pool.  This was a beginning …  and in place of sadness I felt excitement for the journey.  The horizon leveled itself, and the view was intoxicating.  There simply was no room for sorrow.
Yoga is here to stay.  And these fine souls will only be as far away as a text or a post on our Facebook page.
Will share with you my goodbye to the group ….
“My final thoughts … 💞I am writing this for you guys, not the blog. I may at some point share it with my readers, if it seems to fit, and maybe not. I never quite know till I’m writing. But as I write this, it’s for you, regardless of whether I share it going forward.
To put into words this experience is a task, so much emotion to put on the page. But if I try to tell you all how I feel on Sunday before we leave, it will only be left to my tears to convey what’s in my heart. And I do not want to rely on that.
Something no one but Scott knows (a story I shared on the boat at lunch) many years ago when I was 23 to be exact, I found myself in muddy waters. Growing up was no picnic, and I was in some pretty rough currents, if we keep to our river theme. I was having non-stop anxiety attacks and truly was a mess. I began therapy with an amazing psychologist, a young man, probably in his mid thirties at the time, a funny, charismatic man, a thinker outside of the box (very much like Scott and Tess) pushing boundaries in every direction and getting amazing results with people. A side note, because that’s all he ever let it be, he was a quadriplegic. (Really, I’m sitting here telling this quadriplegic about MY problems?) He certainly had an edge, and he knew it, and he used it brilliantly. He had a confidence about him, the devil in his eye, and most importantly, he knew how to teach people. He never let anyone dwell too much on why. For him, it was more about how … how are we going to change this? I fell in love with this man, as did most who met him, and he became a dear friend over the years. He had three therapy groups he ran each week and I joined one of them.
From day one, I absolutely loved the group. The dynamic of people coming together to move what was in their way, just as we have, was intoxicating to me. While others wanted to run, I rooted in. I was there for the long haul.
I spent the better part of three years working on my issues. Ron believed in emoting, so we all cried, raged, loved, healed in no particular order. We loved each other and in time, every person I ever saw in his group healed in some way, even those who fought it.
When I came to the point I no longer needed the group, I had no desire to leave. Seriously, where was I ever going to find this kind of connection again? I was 26 at the time. Ron had a female peer counselor in each of his groups, so I set my sights on manifesting. (Been doin’ it for years) I approached him and asked him if he ever had an opening for a peer counselor if he would consider me. Angels????? It just so happened that one of his counselors leaving. Coincidence? Not likely.
I was 26, and his only concern was I looked so young, and would be counseling people sometimes in their sixties and seventies. It reminds me of us yogi beginners, we will seem a bit naïve and I’m sure a little green to our students at first. But I was confident. I told him I would handle it, I would earn it.
It took about a year (so be patient with yourselves at first if you do decide to teach) but after that time I was in my stride and I spent the next ten years in this amazing role, helping others to heal, healing myself still because you will never give to another and not receive something back. It was one of the most enjoyable roles I’ve ever had in my life, short of being a mom and a mate/best friend.
And yes, guys, I cried all the way through it. At first, I tried not to, but that was an impossible task. It was like asking me not to breathe. I eventually gave into it, and just cried all the way through the sad stories. But when it came time to work on the remedies, my tears dried. I always found my strength, my core. And in the end, what my groupies loved was that I did cry. Imagine if I had managed to change that for fear of what others might think? Authenticity? Sound familiar to what we are learning?
I spent over ten years in this amazing experience, but sadly my beloved friend and mentor passed from cancer. His death felt somewhat like a hurricane in our group community. This incredible spirit was gone. His body was tired, and he’d given it his all. It wasn’t only a loss because my dear friend had passed, but the void left behind from the end of our group hit me hard. I can so clearly remember having to take deep breaths at the thought that I would no longer have this phenomenal community around me, this ability to connect with souls, truly connect with souls. I told myself I would find a replacement.
But, where do you go to find a group of people willing to bare their souls to you, to share their HEART with you? I saw no path, and luckily for me, my children were young, and I could pour myself into their sweet young hearts.
I continued to tell myself that I would one day find something that would replace this experience. I didn’t. My heart took years to heal, truly. But little by little I began to forget, and the ache lifted. My kids filled the void, as only children can.
And here we are, all these years later, at yoga teacher training. I pursued this training with different ideas, but once I read the website about last year’s TTI, I knew in my heart, I had found my way back. I knew exactly where we would be going, and I couldn’t’ wait.
And this class has not disappointed in any way, shape or form. It feels good to be back with that grit, for lack of a better word, true, raw, wonderful emotion. It’s in these waters that we learn how to really trust human nature. And I know my friend, Ron, is cheering me on.
It’s been a long hiatus, but this time, Ron has sent a few replacements … I can’t outlive all of you, although my mom did live to 99.
This experience with you has for the first time in twenty some odd years measured up. It has filled a very old void and I thank each and every one of you for that. A lesson to never give up …
What I want to say to each of you about OUR experience is … thank you. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me, such a blessing, every single one of you … amazing souls. I love you all. Never ever forget how precious you are. ”
Lynn, dear friend, I know you are reading.  We were … beyond blessed.  It’s nice to be able to send a nod off in Ron’s direction.
Continuing down the path, next post.