Tag: Augusta Kantra

In the End…It’s Love

In the End…It’s Love

IMG_4233It was chilly–50 degrees. The sun was not yet peeking over the horizon; however, the pink hues glowing softly in the eastern sky proclaimed sunrise was very near.

The sound of cleats snapping into pedals….metal-on-metal…sounded harsh as the bird song welcoming the day was interrupted.

IMG_4241Freedom! That’s what cycling in perfect conditions feels like to me. Gliding past shades of green coming alive in the ever-brightening day.

IMG_4248Music from my iPod took me deeper inside as I pedaled toward dawn. Almost immediately tears came…for the beauty…for the wounds….for the healing. On and on I pedaled, tears streaming down my cheeks as I greeted rabbits enjoying breakfast along the trail.

_TSL1859Giving my mind and thoughts a break and simply allowing the emotions to surface, clarity emerged. The same openness I felt while practicing yoga with humpback whales a couple months ago was back. Oh, bliss! Those starlit, full-moon pre-dawn encounters with the cosmos, with humpback whales exhaling so close I could see their clouds of breath glowing silver in the moonlight….that week of cosmic consciousness, of open-hearted connection with the Universe vibrated through me again. Sweet life….finally.

_TSL1975It’s been difficult adjusting to life after that week and it seemed the experience was fading more with each day. But I think I found the secret….and I’m willing to share it.

IMG_4230Several days ago someone I treasure popped into my consciousness. I haven’t seen him in over four years but there he was, strong in my mind and heart. This happens from time-to-time and I am never very graceful with it. My mind likes to take over and point out everything wrong with me and him and talk me out of opening my heart so I don’t feel the loss as much, so the grief isn’t so biting. It likes to keep score and list the many ways we both screwed up the very special love we had, how we allowed our unhealed wounds to drive a wedge between us. And so, my mind generally talks me out of opening my heart and that’s that. And I return to the numbness.

IMG_4219But this time was different. Yoga classes are really helping me open my heart and be unafraid to keep it open. So Monday morning I awakened early and took the question of what do I do about these feelings of love toward this man? into meditation. The answer I got was to allow love to move through my heart and let go of ego and see the unconditional, perfect love that is at the core of each of us…and keep my heart open. Not easy because the mind wants to figure everything out and understand it so I don’t have to feel the loss.

Then I went to yoga and Augusta led a heart-opening class that had me begging for child’s pose so I could just pause and weep. But I didn’t collapse into it…I simply allowed the love to flow…along with tears…and kept moving…kept going….kept feeling.

IMG_4246So this week has been challenging. My mind has battled to get out its pen and paper and list the ways we failed each other, the ways fear stopped us from going deeper. But my heart has stepped forward in courage and remained open. Not in a grasping, clinging, demanding way….just open. Which led me to a deep place of cosmic unity. Ahhhh……it’s a sweet place.

This is not just about ‘him.’ As I keep my heart open the unconditional love I feel blossoms into every aspect of my life. I’m not sure its possible to be open-hearted about everything but one person or one issue. I think the language of the heart is quite simple….love or not? Open or closed? If I can courageously keep my heart open about this great loss, imagine how the opening will affect everything.

IMG_4249Today nature reached out and surrounded me with a safe place to simply ride the emotions which led me to the place of cosmic oneness that the whales showed me. This is the place I want to be…not for one relationship but for all relationships…with humans, animals, plants, waters, lands and with my self. This is the secret to maintaining cosmic unity or oneness….keep the heart open to love with courage and without the mind trying to understand. This is a leap of faith into the Unknown…the Spiritual Warrior’s Empty-Handed Leap into the Void. By willing to have an open heart and love others unconditionally, the connection to the Universe is also kept open.

IMG_4216We can view opening, healing within the context of relationship with others but it always comes back to the relationship we have with our self, with the Universe. Love is love is love. In the end…it’s always love that brings healing, that leads us home.


Breathe for the World

Breathe for the World

SimoneLipscomb (3)Tears rolled down my face as we sat sounding Om* for the World but especially for Paris. That simple word united our focus, our minds and hearts, as we began our yoga practice. Still feeling raw from news of the attacks, I surrendered to the breath and the opening of the heart that comes with breathing…in……..out……….in……….out.

SimoneLipscombThe week had already been difficult for various reasons. Thursday my thoughts focused on an elder in my extended family, a family to which I once belonged. His birthday was coming around Thanksgiving….how old this year? 95? 96? I wondered how he was and sent him a heart hug. Friday morning an email arrived with the news that he had transitioned to the next stage of his journey and had left this earthly realm.

SimoneLipscomb (4)My heart opened to his family, my former family, and all day I thought of them. It’s difficult to know how to express love and grief in situations such as this. Love doesn’t go away because relationships change.

Then late last night social media began distributing the news of the attacks on Paris. More terrorism, more fear. More opportunities to hate. And more opportunities to love.

800_1569Gathering with my yoga community to practice this morning, we joined together and opened our hearts to help generate love and compassion. With each breath, each posture we were guided by our teacher to open more, create more space within ourselves and to give it away to the world. We dedicated our practice to love, the love generated from open hearts, open minds.

As the tears flowed I dedicated my practice to Paris and to Charles Cooke and to his family…breathing love and compassion to all. And even to those whose fear turned to hatred strong enough to commit such violence. Every posture a prayer for peace, a prayer of love.

DSC_8569I no longer felt helpless but rather empowered to help change the fabric we each and all create. We exist in an on-going collective creative dance. The key is to be mindful of exactly what we are creating….monitoring our thoughts, behaviors…our speech.

_TSL7712When my grandfather passed from this world during Hurricane Katrina I envisioned him helping those dying cross over. When Daddy-O passed this week and the Paris attacks happened, I envisioned him helping those whose lives ended so suddenly and violently. Both men were in their 90’s and both had faith based in love. They leave behind a legacy of love.

800_1368May each of us cultivate love and compassion with every inhalation and with every exhalation send it out to the world. With our mindfulness, let us breathe for the world.


*While there are many possible origins and explanations for what Om means, I think of it as the sound of the Universe. When we hold this word in song, we allow the sound of the Universe to breathe through us.

Thank you Augusta Kantra for providing the container for a practice of love and compassion.