What a poetic number, the first of the first of the first. May we choose to see the “One” that is all of us. One of the images I remember well from my yoga teacher Per Erez, is how we are all of the ocean, the wave reaches out of the ocean, each individual droplet of the wave is each of us, flying through the air, and returning to the ocean. A celebration of our individuality and our oneness.
Yes, what DID happen this year. I asked my students, what needs of theirs surfaced more powerfully this year. Which ones of those were they able to meet with more intention and which ones do they look forward to nurturing more in the coming years. I assume most of us felt the need for human face-to-face interaction and touch as a need that we look forward to nurturing more in this new year. As for those needs requiring nurturing in order to make it through, I found the biggest one for me was the need for purpose. When my work as a massage therapist became ‘non-essential’, and the realization that all my work is touch based, or in-person based, I felt a great loss. But with the help of the talented and patient Trey Donovan, an online yoga school was born. As early as April I had reconnected with students and friends from Chicago and Santa Cruz and began to nurture new friendships in Taos by way of livestream classes. The miles in-between us didn’t stand in our way. This has been a gift that no words can express, but every sweet note and every smiling face has!
Although my physical body danced a little less this year, the creative exploration blossomed. I logged over 60 movement classes which I look forward to sharing in person through classes, performances and mindful movement retreats. I get so excited over the prospect of welcoming others to the Mesa to hear the silence, soak in the hot springs, and embrace the intentional off-grid living that puts the planet first and our impact of gently treading to the forefront.
For New Years Eve I received the first of the two vaccine pokes, which changed the perspective of my work from non-essential to essential. The relief that glinted in people’s eyes when they were able to receive massage this year was so palpable I didn’t need to see the whole face to know it was ESSENTIAL! Of course for many reasons, many massage therapists did not return to work this year. I trusted in the precautions, I spent more money than I made this year to create as safe an environment for all as I could, and I so gratefully accepted a new massage position with the mother/daughter team at Colonias Chiropractic this past year. My need to feel “purpose” was greatly nourished by sharing these healing practices with Veterans, chronic pain patients and those who have experienced various life hardships.
After leaving the hospital where they gently poked my arm with the first vaccine shot, I walked past the line of those waiting for their vaccination, health care providers, police officers, all with a gentle smile in their eyes, believing in a brighter future, accepting that this New Years they would not be allowed the usual alcoholic beverage to toast the new year, post-vaccination. Why did it make me teary eyed? Because of the weight we all carried for this intense year, no matter what sense of loss we experienced has been monumentally heavy. The tears of exhaustion for the losses, the work to “hold it together”, the intense fears of ‘how will we survive this’, the global compassion we feel more than ever before, the hate that spilled out from every dark corner reminding us of the greater need for compassion. And tears for the compassion given, for us showing up for each other, and for the “need” for us to continue on that path so that, a future, we may indeed have.
That everyone came to class, donated to the yoga school, the little messages, texts, snail mail, phone calls and smiles that we shared; it’s these things that helped nurture my need for a sense of purpose. I so look forward to nurturing the future togetherness. I am so grateful for every single person, each droplet of the ocean that we are. Not just a catchy phrase… we ARE truly in this together. May we keep this awareness as a very bright light through all the days, and continue to learn to tread ever so gently on our sweet planet Earth