“We have to change ourselves in order to change the world.”
~ Grace Lee Boggs
My dear friends,
How are you?
I have been home from Europe for a week now, and what a week it has been.
I hope each one of you is taking extra care of yourself. In moments of challenge, it's especially important we re-commit to staying attuned to what's happening within.
The news, and the emotions, this past week have reinforced for me the deep importance of having a committed, daily practice.
The places I was able to teach yoga classes in Italy were epic.
But, here's the thing. Our spiritual practice, our commitment to living as our highest, best self, is not about being on an epic retreat.
Our spiritual practice is the moment by moment act of being.
In order to make good decisions about where to give my time and energy, I know I have to be clear.
If I want to show up as my best self, and be present and open in the moment, I must gift myself pause and honor my need to rest.
This is how and why yoga is so powerful and transformative. The physical postures and practices help me tune into my body. When I am connected to my body, then I can hear what is truly happening within. I can use my breath, and my meditation, to enhance clarity, reduce stress, and raise resiliency.
A yoga practice moves well beyond the mat. Yoga is a breath by breath, moment by moment, endeavor.
When we resource ourselves, then we can continue to serve as a resource for others.
Please, stay committed to your practices.
Stay committed to yourself.
Stay committed to being a lighthouse in this world.
Beaming light to you from my mat and beyond,
P.S. If you are curious about developing a powerful daily practice, let's connect. I'd love to support you along the way!
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wow! So much has happened since I last wrote you from Italy.
Let me start by saying, Mike and I just arrived safely back at home; we had so many adventures all along the way.
Summer solstice is one of my favorite days of the year. Traveling home from Germany, via Iceland, certainly extended our longest day of light!
If you skipped the quotation up above, now would be an excellent moment to take it in. 😉
Our travels definitely had some "blunders and absurdities." For starters, I do really hope that my suitcase (which I haven't seen since leaving Florence, Italy nearly a week ago) finds its way back to me. Yep, there were many bumps along the way.
However, even in the fog of jet lag, I choose to focus on the gifts of the trip.
We met so many people who were kind, and helpful, and thoughtful, and delightful. Special gratitude to our hosts in Germany, Sigrid and Axel. And, extra love to Mike for being my rock all along the way.
I look forward to sharing more tales and connecting with you more deeply. I hope to see many of you, soon, on the mat; I have missed my Michigan Sangha.
For now, I will settle into home. It's wonderful being back in our cute neighborhood, and I am so grateful for those who helped during our absence!
I will also continue processing all that took place. Yoga has really helped me understand that it's okay to allow the full range of emotions to emerge. Yes, there are challenges. And, we can center ourselves. Find our strength. And move towards the light.
Thankful for the adventures in life,
"Who picks the grapes? I do.
Who does the work to create the wine? I do.
Who prepares this food? I do.
Who cleans the dishes? I do."
~ Maria Tili | *Owner of Tili Vini in Umbria
Greetings from Italy!
My heart is full. Having waited an extra two years for our return to Tuscany, it is with deep gratitude, and tremendous joy, that we are here.
I am so excited to share our adventures!
And, the wines? Wow. The wines here are so lovely, especially when you know exactly where the grapes have been grown, how they are processed, and all the love and care that goes into each bottle.
If you missed the quotation at the top, take another look.
I'm so thankful we have time here for many more adventures. I love taking in the history, the architecture, the culture, and the people! This country was devastated by the initial waves of Covid, and it's incredible to be here enjoying the warmth and the resiliency of the Italian people.
Beaming light to you all the way from Italy.
"We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known."
~ Brené Brown, Atlas Of The Heart
Last week in this space, I went for it. Sharing with you my beliefs, and my pain, was challenging. Thank you for the outpouring of love and supportyou offered in response.
I have to tell you. The juxtaposition of daily life these days can make a girl dizzy.
I feel so enriched by the people in my life. Family, friends, neighbors, colleagues . . . I experience the strength and beauty of community everywhere, and it's wonderful.
There is so much beauty all around, and I love opening myself up to the light. In fact, I aim to BE part of the light.
Honestly? Simply watching our peonies burst into bloom brings me deep delight.
After writing today, I'll be packing my bags for the Food, Wine, and Yoga tour in Italy. In fact, when this newsletter is released, I'll already be in Milan! Yes, I live a privileged life.
And, I am a realist. Alongside this beauty, this joy, and this light, there continues to be pain. And suffering. And violence. And injustice. And oppression. Tuning into the news of the day, any day, can put me into a tailspin.
When life is feeling good, and in flow, how do we stay connected to our highest, best self?
When life asks a lot, demands a lot, and keeps on coming . . . what can we do to help ourselves remain connected to Source self?
Regardless of what's happening around us, how do we resource ourselves so that we can continue being a resource for others?
To learn a mudra that helps us quickly come into a space of love, click here.
📷: Maria Fabrizio | Wordless News
It has been a rough week
"May we not just grieve, but give:
May we not just ache, but act;
May our signed right to bear arms
Never blind our sight from shared harm;
May we choose our children over chaos.
May another innocent never be lost."
~ Amanda Gorman
Have you seen the list of schools where shootings have taken place?
The length itself is tragic. In truth? That chalk drawn map of the U.S. featured above should be riddled with many more bullet holes.
Now, add to that list the other places where mass shootings have taken place in this country:
And, when we dry our tears long enough to look away from the most recent massacre, we see that mass shootings are a minority of the gun deaths happening every year in America.
The mental health issues in this country are prolific and very real. These issues need expertise, love, compassion, and resources.
America's mental health issues, though, are not unique. Sadly, our statistics of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, etc. are mirrored around the world. (Read more, here)
However, there is another area where we undisputedly lead the world: guns.
Gun ownership. Gun violence. Gun Deaths.
(See 7 charts showing our relationship to guns, compared to other countries around the world, here.)
I believe in the U.S. Constitution, and that includes its 2nd Amendment.
And, I believe in this nation's founding document that preceded the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence. This document declared our three unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Continue learning about our trauma, both individual and collective, by clicking here.