The word above evokes memories of being a child and having my parents teach me to share my things….which, if we were looking at this blog in an isoteric manner, they weren’t really my things, but for now let’s go with the thought that my toys were just that, mine. When we are children, it’s natural to want to hold onto something we are given, especially presents. At Christmas your parents told you to write down a list of the things that you want Santa to bring you. Then you get these gifts and when other kids come over or, even worse, you get a baby brother or sister when you have been expecting a pony, your parents ‘ask’ (tell is more like it) to share. What? But it’s mine!! As we get older we realize things are just exactly that, things and you understand sharing much better. Or do we? We are still good at sharing things, time and we are so very very good at sharing our thoughts! But what about sharing our spirit and our heart, from the point of feeling that is so deep that a sense of our self comes with it. How often do we get to do this and feel safe while doing so? We have so many hats and masks in our lives, Mother, sister, friend, coworker, yoga instructor, politician, that when the mask comes off we rarely recognize our true self. I am incredibly blessed in the AMAZING kula that I get to share(!) my practice with in the last 8 months. We have been through 3 immersions and have just started on our teacher training element. Though through it all, we have been teachers and students to each other. Today we started our day with a beautiful practice full of love, support, laughter and so much inner brightness that we didn’t need the lights over head in the studio. In the afternoon, the people that had not practiced theming an intention for a class sat in the seat of the teacher, told their story and what their intention for their class was. The answers were heartfelt and beautiful…one of the most beautiful (bad grammer!) moments came when Chris asked us to journal an event in the last 5 years of our life that had a big effect and how that event would inspire us as teachers(paraphrasing:)) I got to share with 3 other insightful and inspiring women that are in the teacher training. But what came after that is bringing me to tears as I write (happy tears..sniff sniff:)) Chris asked Jonathan about his event and Jonathan started with an anecdote that made us all laugh! Then he shared his story and it truly came from a place of sensitivity and depth. I saw some of the women in the room wiping away tears and others nodding and what also was there was support and love for Jonathan because he felt comfortable enough to share a personal story with us. Yesterday one of the intentions, from one of the other women we practice with was beauty. Chris immediately asked the women in the group if they felt that intention. There were also 2 men in the group, but we as a society tend to associate beauty with the female/Shakti. He even called himself on it….but Jonathan today told his story from a place of beauty which shows his ability to soften and become sensitive and still remain masculine while doing so. No one in that room doubted his level of testosterone for one minute. My 72 father was recently diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer and on top of that has a couple of other health concerns that are minute in the comparison to the cancer. When I ask him how he is, he will usually say he is fine, or tired or in a little bit of pain, but it is always about the physical. He won’t speak to the emotional and spiritual? Meh. But it’s who he is and the generation he was raised in. I couldn’t ever picture him sitting around with any of his navy or drinking buddies (who have still stuck by him even though he can’t drink liquor any more) and talk about anything involving feelings of any kind of depth. It’s usually about what is wrong with our politicians and the economy. Even with us, he usually finds it easier to talk about things in the news. My Dad is a very smart man, very knowledgable in what we would usually associate with the masculin…cars, ships things of that nature. My Dad is also a sensitive man but rarely lets it show. I have only ever seen him cry twice…once was when my Mom told him that his Mom had died and another time was when he was at a grocery store, and standing behind a young girl in line who had been panhandling outside. He had given her some change, but she didn’t have enough so my Dad paid for the rest of her groceries. It was at the same time that my sister, Trish, was living on the streets. He associated that young woman with my sister and I remember him saying that he hoped someone out there would help my sister the way he had helped that young woman. He had to leave the room because he started crying and didn’t want to do it in front of me. The day I left for Scotland, he came to see me off at the airport and while my Mom and I sobbed as if I was never going to see them again, he remained dry eyed, all though they were a shade of red that usually comes with crying. My Dad is learning to soften and the cancer has brought that on. We will always end our phone calls with ‘ I love you’ but they are a bit more heartfelt and from a deeper place than before. He started using a Neti Pot and that is part of the softening process and being open to new things. He has 72 years of life that have led him to where he is now, and while he won’t change over night, there are shifts, subtle, but they are there. And we are there for him. Just like the kula was there for Jonathan today. I am thankful that we have all learned how to share our beauty and wisdom and so very grateful to have people in my life like Jonathan and my Dad….they are all my teachers.
Sharing love and light:)