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“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Albert Schweitzer

In beginning to write my book and, in doing so, trudging through the worlds, aches, and muck of my life within my traumatic experience and posttrauma self I am finding myself exhausted daily by the memories of eight of my nine lives.  I am also finding myself mourning for the prior selves of “me” in a way that has been truly unexpected.  I didn’t realize how sad it would be to remember myself in my past and to watch and recreate the worlds in which I survived but never quite thrived inside of. 

In fighting my way, literarily, through all that has past–in a hopes of illuminating the past, present, and futures of others on similar journeys I am finding a persistent need for finding moments of gratitude and light in my present-day existence.  I find myself needing to really enjoy the moments of beauty and laughter, revel in every minute spent outside the pages of my old prisons and keep my insight into the past just that–the sight of an observer recording experience anthropoligically.  And save my living and reliving for those things of pleasure. 

I am rediscovering the importance of present-centered living, and consciously affording myself moments of appreciation and gratitude.  And for that I am very grateful for this exercise in rising old ghosts from the grave to the page.  It has given me perspective and reverence for the present.  I love the life I am, the family I am in,the state of place and state of mind I sit snugly inside of as I type out on my spastic laptop with 50 degree Florida chill whipping around my tiny cottage on the end of a discreet dirt road. 

I am grateful for life, and even more so for MY life right now.  I urge tomorrow to come but not too quickly and I hope to distill this appreciation through the next 10 chapters of this book and into my future.  In visiting old ghosts I am meeting ghosts of Christmas present and learning to treasure today as if it were the first, last, and only moment.

Happy Holidays to everyone and I hope for everyone this joy of today and gratitude for what IS in your life.

Blessings!

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Victor Frankl



 

I grew up in a Catholic household where following every waistline testing, engorged bellied Thanksgiving came the ritual setting up of Christmas trees, decorating, and beginning the countdown of the Advent season.  As a young girl all that really meant was getting out the calendar covered in glitter and surprises waiting behind every door.  You open a door every day of the Advent season (the month leading up to Christmas) and either candies or pictures would lay in wait behind every door opened, or cardboard cutout removed.  It was magical, scintillating joy that comes only from the simplest of places and requires so little tangibles, only a wealth of imagination and anticipation–of which I had in overabundance as a child. 

 

Today I find so many rich metaphors and symbolism in this past time of Advent.  Advent meaning in any terms, “The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.”  As we creep towards the new year and holidays for a variety of faiths and creeds that symbolize new beginnings, rebirths, births, renewal, and change we are all free to celebrate this season of advent, the advent of change in one way or another. 

 

I find myself at a precipice of so many things and at this precipice I find myself assessing so much that is and that which has been in my life the last year or so.  In the advent of change in my own life I find myself pondering the present and looking expectantly towards the future–something like the adult version of my childhood self, wondering what magic awaits me behind the next door I open. 

 

There is a freedom and beauty in this time of year to shed old skins, start fresh with new journeys and to return back, with childhood wonderment, to a place of memory and nostalgia of what holiday seasons and preparations can be. 

 

I hope everyone has filled their bellies and laughed with the ones they loved this Thanksgiving season and that everyone has something they are shedding and something new they are on the precipice of beginning.  Take time to sit in your own advent of change right now.  What is the arrival of something important you are waiting for, the new project, new adventure, new journey you might be about to begin?

 

I began this blog to catalog my journey through yoga school, a tangible and solid goal.  What I have realized is as I have written, as life has meandered on a course part created by me and part formed by that which has happened in my life, things have shifted.  I have realized that, like Advent, this story has taken a more symbolic and metaphoric route.  “Yoga School”, as it were, has become everything–it is my life, my journey, and the yogic path and insights that have imbued my every step. 

 

I owe many a personal revelation to this blog and the ideas that have sprung in the writing of it.  As I creep closer to the time that I will begin my literal yoga school I realize that, that journey is only a small pieces of this larger adventure and misadventure I am on–my yogic education is this whole process, this year of change, this advent season on the precipice of beginning new and wonderful adventures, everything that has come and everything that will come, in and out of a classroom.

 

Happy holidays to everyone and I hope we all can explore together as the year comes to a close the advent of the new that we may all be on the brink of. 

 

 

“Life is a constant Advent season:  we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill.  Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.”

Life Is An Advent Season, Connections, 11-28-1993

 

 

1  …My husband’s move to Florida. 

Dog care and maintainance issues aside, I miss him.  I miss shared dinners after a long day of work, I miss taking the dogs out or exploring something new.  I miss watching a movie side-by-side either inside in the warmth and on a couch or shivering amid chilly theatre air.  I am excited to explore Florida together and create new memories under palms and sun.  I am hoping to find time to take a short trip to Marco Island which sounds like a lovely place and I have been hearing great things about it as a place to take a quick reprieve–from what I’m not sure, we do live in Florida, but I would love to explore.

 

 

 Horse and Fog by Claudio Ar

2  …The NARHA 2009 Conference! 

I am beginning an amazing new adventure involving complimentary therapies and horses and I am so excited.  One of the fantastic new avenues that has opened up due to postponing the yoga teacher training by two months is giving me the time to go to a three-day conference for specialized training in the area of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.  I will be beginning my first pilot program in late November and am so excited for where this new path will lead and how I can cross and blend multiple holistic approaches.  I may be incorporating some seated yoga on horseback during programming!  I am very excited about all these prospects.  If only I had a charitable financier to help afford all this here learnin’.  For now I will try to make it work any way I can because I know, somehow and in some deep place, that this new equine arena of study and practice is meant to be part of  a more cohesive therapeutic whole. 

 A Young Teresa Psychotically Happy On Her Horsey

 

 

 

3  …My upcoming speaking engagement at the “Let’s Talk” Adoption Conference at Rutgers University in New Jersey on November 7th. 

I will be speaking on Trauma and Yoga for adoptees, their caregivers, and for social service agencies working with adoptees and foster children.  I am so honored and happy to bring this information on mind/body healing to a large audience of people involved in the care of children who may find such great benefit from yoga.  I have purchased, via my good ol’ pal Amazon both of the following books to put out for attendees to flip through:  Babar’s Yoga For Elephants and My Daddy Is A Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids.

 

 

 Merry Christmas to All my Flickr Friends by duane schoon on flickr

4  …Christmas in Florida. 

My lovely sister will be coming to visit and so I cannot wait to show her my new home state and enjoy the Holiday Season sans dirty soot colored snow.  New memories, new visual delights, and a reason to decorate my home thematically and “hang stockings with care”–just for a moment though because I have a feeling in a three dog household they will be dismantled and removed with very little care and much expediency. 

 

5  …My first wedding anniversary this New Year’s Eve. 

 

6  …Beginning my yoga teacher training program.

Hopefully, I will have cultivated some added manner and method of contemplative practice, meditative mind, and calmed spirit before I even walk through the door on the ever-nerve-wracking First Day of School.  I have, in the spirit of that effort, gone my first week without any television whatsoever.  Now this used to be, once upon a twenty-year-old, a very easy endeavor but I fear I have gotten into the “plopper” practices I discussed earlier this week and have to work my way back to enjoying the silence with nothing surrounding me but the tapping rhythm of puppy nails on wood and crisp pages turning in a good book. 

 

7  …Learning how to let go. 

Let go of the illusion of controls.  Let go of the illusion of “knowing”.  And letting go the self that expects so much but explores so little of the internal space of my own inner spaces–a funny irony for a person who, as a therapist, spends my days delving into the psyches of others and encouraging their self exploration.  No more holding on and holding in–I am giving over to letting go.  Tiny step by tiny step. 

 

8  …I am looking forward to seeing where this writing exploration will lead. 

I feel that all my internal archeology both starts and ends with this writing I am doing.  I have always felt like I explored myself most honestly when I wrote.  This is first time I share that journey in an outward way.  This is the first time I take this inner archeological dig into a public forum.  I am hoping it brings a new ripened and raw dimension to the journey that both enriches my own path of discovery and helps another on their internal and external quests.

 

 

Stairway to Heaven by Lyrical Time Wastrs on flickr

 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things   that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

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