Sunday, February 26, 2023

May You Walk in Peace

 Every Sunday morning, I receive Maria Shriver's Sunday Papers newsletter in my inbox.  She is a profound writer,  who writes with an open heart and open mind.  Her words always make me think.

This morning she wrote about beginning a healing process, her search for it and Lent.  She also included an amazing quote from Pope Francis about fasting for Lent.

I do not observe Lent but am very much aware of its meaning and significance.  As I read her words, and the Pope's they reminded  me of how a dear friend of mine use to close all her correspondence with me, " May you walk in peace."  

I love that phrase,  May you walk in peace...but I realize almost daily it is a most difficult thing to do, this walking in peace.   I think the whole world struggles with that phrase, or maybe many have  no thoughts of it whatsoever.  

Peace for me, has been a most important concept for my whole life.  I want peace, want it for myself, for my family and friends and for the world.  But peace is expensive, peace is hard to achieve, peace takes work.  Webster's definition of peace, ( yes, I still own a dictionary)  a state of tranquility, of security, freedom from disturbance.   I think about what steals our peace, how we give away peace and how for  many it has become a word like intelligence, spoken with sarcasm and disregard.

Jesus and all great teachers of humanity spoke of peace, they saw the need and value of peace.

Many of us blame our lack of peace, whether it be personal or worldwide on other people, places and circumstances, but peace has to start within our own hearts, not someplace else.  As a yoga teacher I teach about peace and healing starting with the breath and I believe it does.  I know that concept is so simple that most think it is absurd but for me, the days that I practice what I teach, it works.

I am closing this blog today with the quote that Maria shared from the Pope,  through the years I have fasted for many reasons, but it was always a fast that involved the lack of food.  Today I start a fast for peace, starting with a few words from the Pope's quote, I hope you join me.

" Fast from angry words so you can be kind.   Fast from grudges so you can be reconciled. Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy.  Fast from selfishness so you can be compassionate to others. Fast from complaints to as to contemplate simplicity.  Fast from sadness so you can be filled with gratitude. "- Pope Francis

and from my dear departed friend, " May you walk in peace."


Saturday, February 18, 2023

February Changes

February 18

February has been a month of loss, change, hope and gratitude and of course, love.

Loss, at this point in my life it seems there is always loss.  Friends have passed this month, they will be missed.  One, I had not seen in awhile, one the beloved partner of a dear friend and one, an icon in the community.  Tears flowed, I understand loss and the pain of trying to move forward and the incredible hole that will never be filled, when someone you love passes.

Change,  in January I realized that I had to change, to step outside my comfort zone or just wither up and die.  So with a great deal of hope, I started teaching my Monday night community yoga class again.  I say this with a heart full of gratitude, it has been life changing for me.  It is at a new venue, the Aldersgate Methodist Church in Dora and all I can say is, it has been a class filled with love.  Most of my previous students returned and new ones came from the church.  And sadly, a few have passed on.

More change, I started an online class from NYU.  I must be crazy, it is challenging and scary but I am learning so much.  The class is, Engineering Health through Yoga and Physiology. can teach an old dog a few new tricks.

My next quest for 2023, to perform and write music again.  Believe it or not, that is the scariest of all.

I missed Rick so much on Valentine's Day.  I missed him not because it was ever such a big deal for us, but because that day is so symbolic of love.  I am eternally grateful for the love we shared all those many years.  I always painted Rick a Valentine, I guess I always will.  

Monday, January 2, 2023

New Year Wishes


January 2, 2023

I woke up thinking about the song California Dreaming.  All the leaves are brown today and the sky is that shade of grey of rain and storms that occur often in Alabama.

I have survived the holidays another year without Rick.  It's so different and how I miss all those things we did together.  In many ways, 2022 has been the hardest year so far.  I no longer expect anything to get easier, now I just try to gird my loins and deal with the hard stuff.  I don't think of myself as strong or weak, just that I have the willingness to do whatever the day asks of me.

Rick Watson loved New Years.  He saw it as a clean slate and loved making resolutions and setting goals more than any human I have ever known.

For  me, I never was very fond of resolutions, but for about twenty years I created vision boards.  I haven't done that since Rick died in 2020.  Those visions for that year died with Rick and it has been difficult for me to envision a future.  I am thinking I might create a new one for my birthday in March.

The rain is pounding on my tin roof, and I take comfort in that sound.  It inspires me, that and the grey skies.  The day Rick died, it was a blistering hot day in July with bright blue skies.  I still find it strange to attempt joy on sunny days with blue skies.

I have made a New Year's wish...I wish for my eyes to be open to possibilities and my heart to be open to hope.  If I have goals for 2023 it is to rediscover who I am, to regain as much of my creative energy as possible, to see friends in distant lands, live each day with grace and kindness and however much time there is left in my hourglass, to spend it wisely.

I wish all of you a year of kindness, good health and hope.

Happy New Year