So…full disclosure – I got an email from Source Yoga the other day saying, “we haven’t seen you for a while.” HA! I guess it’s been a while since I have made it in for class.
Things have been busy for me for sure – with kids and business and my dad visiting, who is needing extra care these days since recovering from a stroke a couple of months ago. An older friend said to me the other day that I am in the “sandwich phase” of life – sandwiched between taking care of young children and thinking about the care of an aging parent.
Recently, when I needed it the most, I noticed my practice was one of the last things on my to-do list. It felt like the roles I play in life – daughter, mother, wife, business owner – had taken over. This last week, I was feeling stressed about this – that I wasn’t making time for my practice, especially when I know that caring for myself is so important. “I teach this stuff! I should have it handled,” I observed myself thinking.
I can only handle so many days without my yoga or meditation practice before I start to want to crawl out of my skin, and so this morning I made my way to my meditation cushion. I sat for 20 minutes or so, then read a bit from one of my favorite books by Jack Kornfield. The first words I came upon felt remarkably relevant.
“In each of our lives we will have periods when it seems we are the author, with great freedom to choose a direction. And then there will be times when more limited roles must be fulfilled: parent, breadwinner, citizen, community member, contemplative. A mature life requires an ability to enter each of the roles given to us. Freedom arises when we hold them lightly, when we see them for what they are.” – Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart
This reminded me that though the roles I am playing in life right now are demanding, my time on my yoga mat or my meditation cushion is time where I am able hold those roles lightly, and find some time and space for myself to experience myself. Experiencing myself not just as the roles I play, but as the self that is beyond these roles. You could call this “big S” Self, or spirit, or soul, or basic goodness, or even no-self.
That is what I come to my practice for. If not to let go of the identities constructed by the roles I play, to at least hold them lightly. There are times when our roles feel like a burden to carry. Our practice gives us some dedicated time to put these weights down and breathe in some spaciousness.
It is what keeps me coming back to my mat, and it is what keeps me coming back week after week to teaching, and keeps my passion for Source Yoga alive. I truly want to provide a space where you are reminded to lighten your grip on the roles and burdens you carry and come back to yourself as your true home.
In this spirit, I create the offerings that I think will make the biggest difference for you. Please join me for one of the upcoming offerings to practice holding your roles lightly and coming home to your true self.
Awakening Kindness – Finding Home Wherever You Are – this is a 3 hour Saturday afternoon Mindfulness workshop I am co-leading with visiting mindfulness teacher Ashley Dahl this Saturday, April 15th.
We will be exploring what it really means to care for self and how to mindfully work with our inner critic from a place of mindfulness and compassion. The workshop will include gentle, mindful yoga, meditation, various mindfulness and self-compassion practices, and discussion. Find out more here.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – the next MBSR series begins May 4th – Thursdays 6-8:30pm, one day retreat on June 10th.
Discover your inner resources for health, healing, stress resiliency, and self-care through this thoroughly researched and well-respected Stress Reduction Program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
This program is designed for those experiencing a variety of issues, ranging from those with an interest in prevention and wellness, to those experiencing chronic pain, illness, and other stress related issues. More info here.
Spring Weekend Mindfulness and Yoga Retreat to Harmony Hill Retreat Center – I am looking forward to returning to Harmony Hill Retreat Center for my 11th year leading this weekend retreat, May 20th and 21st.
- Be guided through both energizing and restoring yoga classes, mindfulness meditation, and group inquiry.
- Nourish yourself in community.
- Feel expanded by resting in the natural beauty of our exquisite Hood Canal and Olympic view.
- Take time for silence and contemplation.
- Deepen awareness of each moment, breath by breath.
Find out more about this retreat here.
I hope to see you in the studio and in one of these upcoming events, and that we might feel supported on our journey in community.