I am sitting in my office having my Monday morning cup of coffee and two apple-carrot-bran muffins that I made over the weekend. The sun is filtering through colorful fall leaves and shining through the window. I glance at my calendar – October 14, 2017. Today is the official publication date for my collection of personal essays. Hooray! I am filled with gratitude and joy as I reflect back on the last few very rich and nourishing years of my life.
I finished my master’s degree in counseling at the end of 2016. At the start of this year, I started a therapy practice with my friend and colleague, Jo. I met Jo through NVC (non-violent communication) and we went through the master’s program together. We co-facilitate a grief group. We also co-facilitate a community group for those who long to deepen connection with others. We model this group after the NVC learning community led by our revered mentor and teacher, Karl. I also meet one on one with clients who are going through life transitions, who are healing from emotional trauma and childhood wounds, and families who are working through discord. I am so grateful to have a partner in this work and the support of many dear friends.
I received my yoga teacher certification at the end of 2014. I was invited by my friend and peer, Erin, to teach classes at Awakened Heart Yoga. I have taught weekly yoga classes for nearly three years now. My favorite class to teach is a youth yoga class. I also teach free youth yoga classes at community centers around Seattle. I LOVE teaching youth – I am so passionate about inspiring youth to discover their power and access their well of strength.
As I gaze out the window on the sun filled landscape, my mind travels to the sunny island paradise of Maui where, along with dear friends and fellow yoga teachers, I have co-hosted three New Year’s yoga retreats. Maui is such a magical place. Each New Year we dance under rainbows, we swim in the sacred waters of the re-birthing pools, we moonbathe on the beach, we practice yoga in an open air pavilion, we meditate under a wise looking banyan tree. I send yet another thank you note via cosmic messenger to my beautiful friend Jessica for co-hosting with me that first year. We were so blessed by the outpouring of support from our community of friends and many of our dearest friends retreated with us.
I remain grateful for the cosmic unfolding that led me to my first retreat in Maui where, for the 2014 New Year I reconnected with the beautiful Shayna, a dear soul I met in Costa Rica during my 2012 New Year’s retreat. For seven years now a New Year’s yoga retreat has been a yearly tradition that grew out of my new life. You see, I had been in a long term committed relationship for nearly 10 years that ended in a giant “ka-boom” in 2009. I was devastated, hurt to my very core. Creating new traditions was an important part of my healing.
At my first New Year’s retreat in 2011 (also in Costa Rica), I discovered a new family, my yoga family. At this retreat and so many others, I have made a network of friends and some of my most cherished friendships. I also discovered how meaningful it is to start the year with intention, to plant seeds for qualities I wish to cultivate in my life, to plant seeds for things I long for and desire to grow in my life. Each year I come away with momentum that moves me forward along my path. Each year I see flowers blossom and fruit bearing trees sprout up from the seeds I plant in my heart.
I remember New Year’s Day, 2014. I planted a seed under the new moon for the family I longed for in my life. At 37, I had a strong desire and calling to be a mom, to create life with someone I loved, and to share the joy of raising a little being together. At the time I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know when someone who wore sturdy shoes, who gazed at the new moon, and who had an open heart would skip into my life. But he did. He showed up in my life and he gave me the powerful gift of his presence. Remembering the moment he skipped into my life brings a smile to my face and my heart fills with warmth as I hold him in my awareness. I feel love permeate my being. We had small ceremony in the woods. My sweet friend Katy wrote and read a poem. I remember so very clearly these words: “such bravery to hold out your hand to another person, one Life Line traced by another.”
I feel a kick that brings me out of my reverie and back to the present moment. I put my hand on my belly and feel the movement inside. I am pregnant. In just a few short months, I will give birth to a little bundle of joy, a bundle that I have a feeling is going to crack my heart wide open and out will pour love. I wonder if this baby will be a New Year’s baby. What a lovely thought. I will have to wait and see how the stars in the sky line up. However the stars line up, I already know I am incredibly blessed.