"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” ~ August Wilson
The month of April has been illuminating in so many ways. We celebrated our one year anniversary as a yoga community. We began our first teacher training and we are thrilled to welcome our grads to the teaching mat this May! This group of women has brought their truth, their voices, and their open minds to discover their own path. I can not wait for you to practice with them and experience their wonderfulness.
For me personally, April brought a radical shift in my life. I found myself confronted with the loss of my father. As many of you knew, my father passed away of cirrhosis of the liver. I had an on/off relationship with him for almost 30 years. He was a complicated man who I have struggled to know throughout my life. I loved him. I was estranged from him because we constantly went at it. And it seemed like the only way to stop us from going at it was to simply not talk. This was the way that I created a boundary in my life. It seemed to work. Life went on. Except the truth was, the anger between us was still there. No one had reached out to the other. There were no apologies. I would recognize this flash of anger or even deep sadness on Father’s Day, on his birthday, on my birthday, on anyone’s birthday… on the holidays, when I saw an airplane in the sky (he was a pilot) , when I saw an airplane crash (what did he think?) when I held myself on my forearms the first time after becoming a yoga teacher (he would do Pincha Mayurasana /Forearm stand in the den while we watched TV as kids. I had no idea that was yoga.) The anger still was there. I felt it when someone else had to meet their Dad for lunch. I would shrug that feeling away because there was nothing I could do about it anyway. But yes, in fact, there was. As I found out a week ago, love and spirit are forever and anger is not. When I got the phone call about my dad, I wrestled with myself. A true wrestling match in my head. I had this resistance to letting go of my anger. I was so used to it. I had filed this piece of me away. I had never been able to deal with it. I ended up going to the hospice. My senses were heightened and I was deeply nervous as I entered his deathbed space. He was alone. His eyes were closed. HIs face was jaundiced. He was propped up on a pillow, his mouth slightly apart. I felt so overwhelmed with emotion. A hot sensation over my body, my cheeks. I felt the tears rolling down my face as years of anger starting washing away. Fresh breath was coming into my lungs and I gave in to the whole aspect of forgiveness. I felt of surge of awareness I hadn’t felt very much in my life. A levity. A peacefulness. Anger was replaced with a quiet sadness and love. That sensation I was feeling was light and illumination. The lesson was learned and I was ready to move on and repair the places in my life that needed some repairing.
I truly believe that my yoga practice is what has brought about the ability to grow with grace and forgive. I had a tough couple weeks. I felt so much support and even though I was tired and scared and stressed, I showed up to class, to practice, to teach, and it helped move the energy through me, helped me to find peace. Our teachers offered to teach for me, and yet I knew that to teach class and feel some normalcy would keep me grounded. I knew that because that is what yoga does.
I wrestled with some demons this month, and I feel myself now as fresh and airy as this Pittsburgh spring has been.