At some point, most spiritual traditions touch upon the importance of finding moments (both brief and prolonged) of rest and protection, both as a balancing factor in lives that are often so filled with exhaustion, overwhelm, fear, despair or other discomforting states; AND as a ground for future growth, insight, and creation. I think I’m finally beginning to take this seriously.
As most of you know, this has been a busy season at Grassroots Yoga. We’ve opened a second Albuquerque location, and in the process have nearly doubled our teaching staff (please do take a class with every single one of them—they are phenomenal!) We have a new and excellent manager, Chelsea Hirdman, at our Nob Hill location (stop in and say hello!) and Jackie Evans is now using her considerable skills and talents as a regional manager for the studios. As owners, Stephanie Kroack and I are looking forward to further growth and development, and the opportunity to develop new and creative programming in 2018. All really wonderful, exciting stuff.
It’s become clear to me that to sustain this new growth and development, I’m going to have to get serious about the things that offer refuge and nourishment this winter—a practice I look forward to refining!
Can I say it again? Setting yourself up to experience refuge and nourishment is a practice. Like practicing handstands or piano or public speaking, it’s best to take an approach of generosity and encouragement toward yourself when building up to real refuge—because lord knows there’s very little in the world that’s going to make this easy for you. That’s okay. As Samuel Beckett wrote: try again, fail again, fail better…But get yourself some refuge. Now. Today. Tomorrow. Always.
I don’t actually know what this will look like for you. I’m beginning to know what it looks like for me. It is silence and sage smoke. It is embracing people I love, eyes closed, heart wide open. It is bringing the herb plants inside for the winter, kneeling beside them and thanking them for the nourishment they hold in their leafy structures before harvesting for dinner. It is unapologetically singing all the songs I ever loved. It is giving myself three whole minutes to figure out triangle pose in my body as it has shown up to my yoga mat on a particular day. It is remembering to look at the moon. I don’t know. Refuge-building isn’t rendered well in words. But you’ll know it when it comes.
As we near the shortest days of the season, and end-of-year to-do lists grow beyond all reasonable limits, we hope to offer some encouragement to put it all down for a few minutes, determine what will nourish and support you, and to step without apology in that direction. All the coming growth of your life requires it.
Much love and thanks for reading,