Happy Birthday to me. Yesterday.
It's nice to have birthdays. I like them because they are a moment in time when I look back and take a heartfelt look at my life to this point, and create a vision for what I want to express through this life in my upcoming moments. I say "moments" because the truth is that we never know if we will have a day, a year, or a handful of breaths before we are called back to the Ethers.
Yesterday, after a beautiful morning with my husband doing nothing followed by a short and sweet yoga practice, we headed out for brunch on the streets of Victoria. It was starting out to be a great day to mark my 44th (8th Chakra if you know Yantra Yoga)... -- the sky was bright, sunny, and the winds were gentle.
And then we met Micheal. With the "A".
He was sitting on the street, smiling, and holding a sign that said, "You are Blessed". Our eyes met and I couldn't help but smile, and he commented on it.
We kept walking and my mind started buzzing, "oh, I should have stopped. No. What would you say? What would HE say?" We kept walking. About 100 paces into my internal monologue, I stopped & reached for my camera. I had left it back in our room. Six blocks back. I ran back to fetch it, and scurried to find Micheal again. He hadn't budged.
I felt my heart beating. And I knew what I wanted to do, and I also took notice of my white-bred nervousness (and the recollection of the time I attempted such a connection some 15 years ago and was met by an "outburst", let's just say.)
I took a deep breath and reminded myself that THIS is part of my practice. MY practice. MY presence. MY YOGA.
I knelt beside him and said, "I came back". He said, "Yes!! Oh! You and me have an old connection... you feel that?" He leaned in close. I looked into his bright blue eyes, and offered grace to the man with a faint smell of suffering in the form of alcohol coming from his breath.
I reached out my hand and held his in both of mine. I said, "I am Britt. What's your name?" He told me it was Micheal. M-I-C-H-E-A-L with the "A first. He said that he had started out "different" and had never been anything but. I asked him how it was that he came to "be here" (on the streets). He said, "I am here by my own volition. I am here to bring smiles and love to people in the hopes that they feel good and bring their own smiles and love to others. I don't have to be here."
We talked for a while. Took a couple photos together. He told me about this log cabin and his 20 years living in an 8x10 hotel room. The last thing he said before we continued on were the same words I could have been saying to him as we departed. He said to me, "You made my day. Thank you."
He did what he had set out to do. Mission accomplished. Smiles and Love felt and paid forward. His simple presence opened my heart by reminding me on the late morn of my 44th that I am, indeed, blessed and I only feel this when I connect.
Micheal reminded me of this: The best way to experience the depth of my blessings is to connect my heart to another... in and through our nationality, our material wealth, our addictions, limitations, aging bodies, gender, and lack or bounty.
It's in moments like this when I know Yoga. It's in moments like this when I know God.
Love to you all. ♥
p.s. check out the New Year Retreat on the sidebar... It's a great way to blow open the heart... and Join me for a New Year's Day yoga class -- by donation.