I was startled to realize that almost a year has passed since I last posted a message on my own blog. Among other events, this year also marked the 50th anniversary of my graduation from high school, hence the picture of me fifty years ago.
The year has been more momentous, though, for my personal development, as I worked my way through the Steps of a 12-Step program, completed the training for my 200-RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), and began teaching Yoga at a wellness clinic that emphasizes the use of Dialectical Behavioral Theory as therapy for borderline personality disorders and recovery from addiction. For the year ahead, I am anticipating a further course of training that will enable me to identify not only as a Yoga Teacher, but also as a Yoga Therapist.
All of the practices that I've just listed -- 12-Step Recovery, Yoga, and DBT -- have led me into a spiritual transformation that grows deeper and stronger each day. That transformation has radically changed my sense of who I am into someone whose strength of self comes from an awareness of the divine grace available to me and the desire to accept it in my life. Each day, I pray that God will help me to maintain that awareness and to express my gratitude for it by making decisions to act as God's compassion and acceptance would guide me. And I pray that all who are suffering in their lives will be guided by the God of their understanding through their suffering to their own awareness and gratitude for divine compassion.
I understand my practices as a threefold system of healthy living: hygiene for my body, my mind, and my soul. I eat well and exercise to keep my body tuned up, and doing so keeps my nervous system -- the basis of my feelings and thinking -- tuned up, too. When my feelings and thinking are tuned up, I can more readily quiet the inner voices of my less healthy feelings and thoughts -- the voices of fear, shame, anger, guilt, envy, perfectionism, or inadequacy. With those voices of negativity acknowledged, but stilled, I can hear the softer voice of divine grace -- the voice of self-acceptance, humility, empathy for others' suffering, compassion, patience, and selfless love.
In that voice, I find the strength of heart to share these gifts of the spirit with all in need, for I know that the fountain that refreshes our spirit never runs dry. It is available for us whenever we choose to drink.