Softening into Summer

This morning, after emerging from a delicious meditation and practice that spanned a couple of hours, I checked my email, and found Jamie Allison's newsletter in my inbox. I have referred to her newsletters before on this blog.

Jamie is a certified Anusara Yoga teacher in Colorado, and one of the first Anusara teachers I had the privilege of studying with back in the late '90's, when this wonderful system of yoga was just in its infancy.

I will excerpt part of her newsletter:

"Dear Friends on the Path,

Here at Ananda Tandava Retreat Center, spring's loud frenzy has softened into summer's promise of sweet, ripe, contentment.

The pace is slower, the days are longer, and there is time to play and engage in one's heart's desires. Our outer protective sheath, no longer needed, falls away. We expose ourselves to the gentle caress of an afternoon breeze. The sun kisses our skin as a reminder of the luminosity at our core.

Summer soothes us with the lazy hum of insects and evening's gentle lullaby. We linger a bit longer in the sweetness of each departing day and if we are very blessed, we have good company with which to share these fleeting moments..."

Jamie's words reminded me of what I most loved about summer all those many years I taught in academic institutions - about 25 of them infact...I loved the last day of school when the summer lay before me like a huge expanse of time.

I was reminded today, that this was the last day of school for the children of many of my friends. My life no longer revolves around an academic schedule, but I can still savor the unique gifts that summer brings to the heart.

In many ways, my life has become a year long summer. I am blessed with the ability to meditate as often and as long as I want - to practice in the same manner, to write, and to lead a semi-contemplative life. In the years that I was most busy - and sometimes drowning in an endless flurry of activity - I could not see past all of that to envision this kind of life. It is a good reminder to me today, that even the challenges and difficulties I may face and imagine to be real - will some day pass as well.

Paramahansa Yogananda in his writings somewhere, reminded his followers to say to themselves in those moments that were most difficult: "This too shall pass." There is something about the summer months that makes that believable.

As I ease into summer and drove back from yoga class in the pouring rain this afternoon, I thought of how differently we might see all this rain that we have been having. For some it is a nuisance. For others, a blessing. I choose to see it as both an invitation to experience cleansing and healing on whatever level is necessary...

Let us remember that this is a special time of the year. May we not only soften into summer and enjoy its gifts and fruits - but may we soften in all other ways needed, in the depths of our being and hearts. Let us remember to make time for what is important and what nourishes us in body, mind and spirit. For me, my spiritual practice is a given - I never miss or skip my meditation practice - which I do at least twice a day. It is what principally nourishes me.

This afternoon, as I ended my second meditation period, I read these beautiful words, which truly softened my heart, and reminded me of what is truly fuel for my soul...

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God
that a man has to seek Him just to find her."
- Max Lucado

Soften into summer. Soften into life. Soften and open to whatever experiences come your way. Open to the Divine - and be filled with God's Light. Shine that light - and have yourself the best summer ever!

For Jamie's newsletter, visit:
http://www.jamieallisonyoga.com

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