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Life can be complicated at times. The increase in construction, traffic, noise, and dust of progress takes its toll on our souls. We know we need to go inside and tap into the peace within, but the path to serenity is slippery some days. I tend to ruminate – over-think unpleasant experiences - until I’m worn out physically and mentally. I gain nothing with this habit. It causes me to lose sleep, sending me into a disorienting spiral. I become inflexible, wanting life to be predictable and tranquil. Of course, life is nothing if not unpredictable. I’ve lost family members to automobile accidents, plane crashes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, even murder. My beautiful niece in the prime of her life was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. How do I unite my need for certainty with reality? I’ve learned from seeing a grief counselor that grief is a process; we don’t get over the losses we suffer just because time passes. I’m still learning how to navigate life without people who were taken too soon; some without warning, others who suffered greatly. My faith sustains me; I do believe everything happens for a reason. The reasons for those things I don’t understand will be revealed to me at exactly the right time. In the meantime, my journey toward acceptance continues. I smother loved ones still with me with as much love and attention as they can stand. I take good care of myself and spend time with people who are on that same road to acceptance that I’m traveling. What I’ve learned since I started practicing yoga on a regular basis has been a priceless gift. Even in difficult times, we still have to breathe. All of us breathe naturally, but when tough times come, we can help ourselves get through by taking a deep breath while we deal with our newest challenge. I like to start my Yoga classes in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) so the body is aligned and open, allowing the breath to fill every cell, calming the mind, body, and soul. For me, everything else falls away during that time, especially when I close my eyes, inhale through my nose, and exhale through a slight opening in the lips. Those moments nourish my spirit and prepare me for the pleasure of flowing through the practice, freeing me for a time to change the things I can and accept those I cannot. I’m a work in process.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. ~ Dalai Lama

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