This year a dream has come true for me.
It might seem little. But to me, it is really big on the INSIDE.
About this time last year, I decided to offer a donation based class on Sunday mornings. I wanted it to be long and luscious with time for teachings, connection and a good long asana practice. I have been lovingly overwhelmed by the growth and connections of our Sunday yoga community. We have more than 200 people who come and go in these classes -- driving in sometimes from Seattle, Hood River and the Dalles. We have a committed group who care for one another and are so very tender with one another's hearts -- and the heart of the practice. This community and this way of offering practice has organically given us guidance to live our lives in alignment with the highest expression of ourselves from the moment we arrive, well into our week following practice. Students are given a "back door" to a super special web page with recordings of the teachings and I am so touched by how deeply this has moved me and those who have shared their experiences with me.
And then there was Thanksgiving, which in its own way, continues to reveal as extra special. It seemed to me that "giving" was the greatest way to express gratitude, and so all donations taken in that day were dedicated to giving what is needed to whomever needs....
For years I have driven my car past dear hearts holding handwritten cardboard signs asking for my support (yes, MY support). Sometimes I had something to give, and honestly, more often than not, I would say to myself, "I wish I had something to give you", and just continue to drive on -- completely forgetting about them within a few moments.
:: BUT HERE'S THE DEAL ::
When I pay attention, I mean close attention (we call it svadhyaya in yoga), what I REALLY want is to give each and every one of them something useful, something that they want and will sustain them in the difficult times.
However, much more often than I'd like, in these "unplanned moments" I have had nothing and I have given nothing.
TODAY THAT CHANGED
Remember how I said that Thanksgiving continues to reveal to be extra special? ALL donations collected that day have been used to fill bags full of Love for those who need them when they need them. In those bags, there are nuts, granola bars, fruit snacks, tuna salad, crackers, toothbrushes, bandaids, hats, gloves, apple sauce, dental floss, breakfast bars, and more....
We chose said items for the sake of providing protein, fat and a little bit of salt plus things that we thought might be useful if living outside, and in the cold. We chose to be frugal and realistic with what we were offering -- realizing that although we may have personal leanings toward organic and vegetarian, nourishment, our priorities were raising core body temperature, and staying warm and dry.
We wanted to GIVE without agenda to serve them how they would want to be served.
Here is where you come in.
It's pretty simple: You, too, can do it. When you are out shopping for those you love, buy just a little extra. Seriously... the little stuff really matters: a pair of gloves, fuzzy socks, a bag of nuts. It doesn't have to be complicated, expensive, or the end-all-be-all. A little goes a long way. (I shopped almost exclusively at the Dollar Tree!) Then, place a bag of these items on your floorboard within your reach for when you are driving, and the next time you come upon someone in need.... you'll have something to share. Let what you hand them be infused with LOVE and support and all that is good... Let what you share be given as if you are giving a gift to God (because you are--and don't get all hung up on the fact that you just read that or you'll miss the point). Then, as you give it, realize that you have been GIFTED with an opportunity to serve another human being -- and this is a HUGE gift.
So, circle back around to Sunday Yoga and to ALL of you who read my blog, share what I do forward with you friends and family, attend my trainings, Daycations, are Pilgrims with me or have bought my book --- thank you thank you thank you for showing me your divine nature by giving me a chance to serve YOU.
On my knees, at your feet, Peeps. On. My. Knees.
p.s. I promise to post an update as we distribute bags of Love -- in a future blog.