I hope you are doing well and taking good care of yourself. I thought I would share a little bit about what is going on in my life…
I recently started teaching at the North Hollywood Senior Artists Colony (NOHOSAC)down the street from my studio. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity to be in this environment.
NOHOSAC is an apartment building that opened in January of this year for seniors over 62. EngAGE is a nonprofit that takes a whole-person approach to creative and healthy aging by providing arts, wellness, lifelong learning, community building and intergenerational programs to thousands of seniors.
I am teaching my very gentle and meditative yoga experience on Thursdays and I am guiding them through a Vipassana based mindfulness meditation class on Tuesday evenings. I actually discovered NOHOSAC from a friend's Facebook post. She mentioned how cool it was that this was going on in her neighborhood. I was energetically drawn to it for some reason. I called and left a few messages with different people to discuss offering some classes to the residents. I didn't even want to teach more classes right now but for some reason I was being led there. I didn't hear anything for over a month and had forgotten about it.
Then one day after my morning class I thought I would drive by and see what it looked like because I was curious and loved the concept of what they were providing for active seniors in the Arts. As I was leaving my studio to drive by I checked my messages and Amanda, the head of EngAGE, had just left me a message asking me to come by for a visit. I called back and told her I just happen to be on my way; Divine intervention. So we met and she showed me around the property. I met a few of the residents, we chatted and Amanda and I decided to put some classes on the schedule of activities. It was as simple as that. I felt the need to give back to my community, the need to share my teachings, and the need to give to others what I am now not able to give to my Mother as she would have entered into her 'senior' years. I feel as though I am receiving as much, if not more, from the experience as they are. I see teachers in all of them; I receive so much love and a sense of fullness and stillness washes over me when I witness their personal committment to their bodies, their minds and their inner wellness. What I am realizing is that by touching the lives of these individuals I am in essence touching my Mother. Because my Mother chose to take her own life in 2011 I have been left with a lot of healing to do and grieving to become friends with. I find many opportunities arise in my life to deepen in my healing. I believe this new relationship that is forming with these lovely people is a healing space for me as well.
As they say, 'When the student is ready the teacher will appear'. I thought I was the teacher, but I am reminded once again that I am thrilled to forever be a Student. I now live with the mantra, 'When the teacher is ready, the students will appear.'. I see that I am ready, ready to learn more from a beautiful group of students, ready to learn more about my purpose. Some of you may not understand what I mean by this since you have witnessed me being very deeply rooted in my teachings for many years. This subtle difference that I am noting and sharing is that now I am more in touch with my journey and have a deeper understanding of my True purpose. Witnessing the sangha, the association, develop within this space touches my heart because I know the importance of connectedness and human interaction. This was something my Mother could not cultivate in her life except with me and I could not provide her with all that her well being required. I wish my Mother could have hung in there and experienced something like this. She was looking for a place to belong, to be seen and to be part of. I know she would have thrived there and she would have loved the commune feel of it all; it would have reminded her of the '60s. 🙂 It is interesting that the minimum age you need to be to live there is 62 and my Mother would have turned 62 five weeks after her suicide. For her to 'hang in there' any longer would have meant she would have had to suffer longer and that I did not wish for her. What brings me peace now is the knowingness that she ended her physical experience of suffering when she needed to. I often find myself day dreaming about what it would be like if she were part of this community, if she cultivated a sangha of her own there. The one thing I do know for sure is she is with me in every breath, in every moment, in every whisper of the wind and in every bit of stillness in the night. She is watching me be a student of life, she is watching me teach and help others, and is watching me heal as I help others heal.
A few weeks before she passed she left me a message telling me how proud she was of me and all I have become. She told me that I have really stepped into my greatness and blossomed into a true teacher. Those were her exact words. I still have that message and play it often to hear her voice and remember. I am so grateful for the reminder of who I am and who she helped me become. I am so blessed and so grateful to be on this path I am on now; to be able to touch a single person and create a shift in awareness brings me peace and feeds my soul. For this I deeply bow in gratitude to you for your support in what I do every day, in who I am as a human and for trusting me to share your path with you.
Much love to you and yours.