A Bountiful Harvest

This week I had the pleasure of attending a sound bath at one of my favorite “oms” away from home. The practice included an explanation by the teacher of what it means to shift from summer into fall from an Eastern perspective.  This change in seasons represents a time where you reap the benefits of your work from the summer with the impending harvest.  Fall is by far my favorite season.  I love the crisp air, the cooler nights, and especially the vibrant colors that the West Virginia foliage boasts in mid-October.  As I left my 90-minute respite from the outside world, I reflected on the last several months and the work that has brought me to where I am at this moment, writing these words. 

This August marks three years of my leading yoga teacher training.  In these trainings, over 60 individuals have spent 8 long weekends, countless hours in preparation and study, and who knows how many days and nights asking themselves, “is this the right path for me?”  The decision to become a yoga teacher for some is motivated by the desire to teach postures and stress-relieving practices to the masses.  More often, I find that most come to teacher training because something deeper has surfaced saying, “yes, it’s time.”

From January to August, 20 sweet souls experienced great loss through the relinquishment of old ways and through the actual deaths of loved ones and close friends.  Some participated in the creation of life with new babies or finally felt an appreciation of their own beauty and worth.  We found courage in the tears of men.  We found inspiration from those once imprisoned by bars and concrete walls.  We provided support to those imprisoned by relationships that kept them from growing. 

During the 8 months, bones were broken (yes, someone took a bad fall), relationships were broken, and hearts were broken.  In the continuum of breaking over and over, we discovered the path for coming together, again and again.

In our movement practices, we found grace in our breath and limbs. In the bearing of our souls we found forgiveness.  We walked barefoot upon the earth, and we planted flowers.  We gazed into water, and we gazed into fire.  And into the light and heat of fire, we released that which was no longer deserving of our divine light.

In meditative moments, we heard our collective voice saying, “I want to be heard, I want to be loved, I want to be healed.”   We exchanged stories and gifts, but at the end of our time together we learned that we are not the stories of our past.  We learned that the greatest gift is who we are to humanity when we hold sacred space with our presence. 

While I have the title of “teacher” during these 8-month journeys, I simply have the privilege of sowing the seeds.  Those committed to the weeding, watering and tilling become my greatest teachers. And they bless me with a harvest that guides me through many days, many moons, and many seasons.

 

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