Summer Solstice Ruminations

On this day of the Summer Solstice, I say goodbye to the first part of this year, and to a concluding phase of my life...

On this day, I close the doors on what has been one ministry and open the windows to breathe in the air of something that is not yet...

As I taught my last yoga class of the session this morning, and just before I conclude teaching my last in a place that has been spiritual home to me for over six years, I reflect on how endings, even though they hold the seeds and key to something new, can be so bittersweet. While intellectually I know it is time to move on, and that I made the right choice right now given some health considerations - in my heart feels like an entirely different matter... I've never been great at letting go...

It has been a year of unexpected changes for me - so many endings, deaths, and a dire diagnosis here and there - for so many that I know... Surely this year thus far, has not in any way turned out to be what I had envisioned or expected. And despite all its difficulties and the subsequent endings engendered, I still am able to recognize the inherent blessings in everything that happens...

The only constant in life is change - so I was reminded once again - as friends I met for lunch today, brought this to my attention...

Reading Jai me Allison's yoga newsletter, today, I was also reminded that we are entering the summer season in earnest, which is a time which offers us, as she noted, "a slower pace of endless days, star studded nights, that invites us to play..."

I actually will be graced with at least five or six weeks off from teaching, and will have the gift and the opportunity to read, "germinate" some volunteer and possible work endeavors, visit with family and friends, and just be. I am looking forward to this time of opening my eyes, ears, and heart - and listening and ascertaining what the next step in my life should be...

In this morning's yoga class, we contemplated the interpretation of "brahmacharya," the fourth yama, according to Nischala Joy Devi, who translates sutra II.38 in the following manner:

"Devoted to living a balanced and moderate life,
Brahmacharya,
the scope of one's life becomes boundless."

Brahmacharya is often translated as celibacy or continence, but I love Devi's interpretation, because we can all use the reminder to bring our lives into more balance and moderation. She also speaks of respecting our vital energy - replenishing it when necessary, and not over extending it as well.

Later, I read these words from Pema Chödrön, who speaks of the importance of taking care of ourselves - and not just by practicing yoga, meditation, or indulging in a massage - but by practicing compassion for ourselves and accepting ourselves unconditionally, just as we are. No easy feat, indeed!

I welcome this summer, and the many blessings it brings to me, and that will continue to unfold in the weeks to come. I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect, replenish, and step bravely into the new frontier of my life...

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