Friday, November 22, 2013

Bubbles and Butterflies

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.”

“Sometimes,' said Pooh, 'the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

 - A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

It has been over two years since my mom’s death, and I’ve been missing her more than usual lately. Maybe it was my grandson, Austin’s, first birthday at the end of August triggering these feelings of unresolved issues, and surely it is just part of the grieving process. Whatever the reason, I am learning to allow myself the time to absorb my feelings and work through them, which led me to my mom’s grave to sit and meditate recently. My Mom loved butterflies. We released butterflies at her memorial service, there is a butterfly carved into her grave marker and my sister and brother-in-law hung a butterfly chime on a tree branch above her grave. As I was leaving her gravesite a light breeze struck it, sending me on my way with a sweet tinkling sound.

Austin has been my mindfulness teacher lately. I have been rediscovering the world through his eyes. Every acorn fascinates him; we followed a single worm crawling across our porch, down the stairs and into the yard one morning; he delights in the sound of the leaves crunching under our feet when we “march” home from the park; and folks, if you have never gotten on your back to look up at the sky and autumn leaves, may I encourage you to do so! However the biggest lesson he taught me this summer was how to blow bubbles the “right” way.

Austin loves bubbles! I started blowing bubbles for him in the early springtime. We would sit outside and I would blow as many bubbles as I could, because we all know that more is better, (right?) until I stopped and observed him. He was not interested in the amount of bubbles; the flight of each bubble captivated him. So I slowed down.  I would blow one wand-worth and then we would watch each bubble do its thing until the last one popped, and then the whole process would start all over again, one…bubble…at…a…time.

It was towards the end of summer, during one of our bubble blowing sessions that I noticed the yellow butterfly. Austin noticed it, too, because when the last bubble popped, we were no longer interested in bubbles we were now watching the butterfly. This went on for the next couple of weeks, the yellow butterfly getting closer to us each week. On the fourth week, a blue butterfly visited us and sat on the porch railing, so close I could have reached out and touched it. Both Austin and I instinctively knew that stillness was the name of the game now as we watched the butterfly sitting there with its delicate wings gently fluttering, looking at us, too. It was in that moment that I felt a strong connection to my mom, and then it hit me; the butterflies were a sign, a poignant reminder that even though we are apart, my mom is always with me; she will always be my mom, a bond that cannot be broken. 

The butterfly sat on the railing for a few minutes, and then just like the bubbles, she glided away out of sight, continuing on her way. But I have the faith to know that her journey did not end on the porch railing, that she would move onward even though I could no longer see her; just like my mom. Less is more sometimes.
It took a bottle of bubbles and my grandson to help teach me that, and two beautiful butterflies to remind me of the metamorphosis we all go through. Our life journey from infant to adult is full of transformations, and maybe our journey never really dies, it simply changes into a new existence.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Haiku for you and the August schedule

Cheers to Another Three Years!
Sitting on the beach,
Thoughts of Body Grace and you,
Writing a haiku.
Three years behind us,
Thanks to you, three more to come,
Flowing and growing.
Our logo, a tree,
Rooted in community,
Branching out with love.
Your feedback welcomed;
Your inner light respected;
Your support cherished.
With love and gratitude,
We are heading into the home stretch of summer and
there are some class cancellations this month.
Enjoy these final weeks of summertime!
Monday, August 12, 9:45 am Flow Yoga 1 is cancelled.
No Thursday, 11:00 am Slow Flow class August 15 and 22.
This class will resume September 5.
Body Grace will be closed Monday, August 26 – Monday, September 2.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mister Rogers to the Rescue

This is being reprinted from the Body Grace December newsletter

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." Calvin Coolidge

I stumbled upon this quote a few weeks ago and loved the sentiment behind it
that the real spirit of Christmas should be practiced all year long. This will be the last email I send you in 2012 so I want to wish everyone peace, joy and goodwill, not just during the holiday season, but everyday. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support during 2012. It has been an amazing year at Body Grace and we have a lot to look forward to in 2013!

But I am also writing this with a heavy heart; sorry if I’m not feeling too Christmas-y right now.  At a time when I should be enjoying the lights and the festivities of the season, I feel saddened that we are once again grieving the loss of innocent lives in another mass shooting during a time that should be filled
 with joy.  Oh sure, I could vent my anger, putting blame here and there, but I think there is enough of that going around, don’t you?  What I needed was to find some light, and I found it in a quote by Mister Rogers, a man who loved and respected children with all his heart while he was here on earth, and who epitomizes the Christmas spirit:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster”, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
Fred Rogers

I’m sure that during the next several days I will continue to shed more tears and pray my little heart out during my meditation time, but in the spirit of Christmas, I will keep my eyes open for all those many caring people in the world who are practicing peace, goodwill and mercy. There is a reason why there is a tree of ‘Love’ painted in the stairwell, because I believe in the end, love will outshine evil and darkness.

Wishing you a season of light and love,