On My Forty-Eighth Birthday

Dear Barb,

So, that feeling you have right now?  That all-encompassing feel of gratitude so strong that it's making you cry?  That's your birthday present from the Universe this year.

Enjoy every little bit of it.

In a way, you've earned it.  You've taken the steps necessary to free your mental state from being dependent on the people and events of your life. Not that they don't bring you joy --especially those people you had a hand in making --but your happiness is no longer dependent on how people treat you. Your happiness is no longer dependent on having a clean house or money in the bank or feeling seen and heard by the people who surround you. Your happiness comes from deep inside of you.

Good job.  I know that it takes work to stay in that place.  Keep at it.

But understand, too, that it's a gift. Not everyone gets to find that place inside that is a well of serenity, immutable no matter the political climate or the amount of barking by one insane cow dog.  Not everyone is free of pain. Not everyone feels at home in their skin.  You may have done a lot of work to get to that place of self-acceptance and gratitude, but understand that not everyone has the luxury of doing that work. It's a gift.  It's a miracle.

And I don't know, Barb.  I'm pretty sure that when you are on the receiving end of a miracle, you're supposed to share it.  I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

So, when you leave on Thursday to begin your ten day yoga teacher training immersion experience in New York City with Sri Dharma Mittra, remember to take them with you.  Remember to take those people suffering from chronic pain, remember to take those people who are in abusive relationships, remember to take those people who don't have enough to eat, or warm shelter or orange tabbies to cuddle. Take them with you, all of them, in your heart.  And with every breath, every sacred offering of the physical practice of yoga, every moment of quiet reflection and meditation and learning --offer them up for healing and comfort and kindness and compassion. Try to be a conduit for these things for them.

Don't let me catch you comparing yourself to the twenty-something bendy people who will also be at this training.  Just as people can't look at you and know your story, you can't look at them and know theirs.  Keep your eyes on your own mat, dear. Focus on the infinite gift you've been given.  Try to channel it to those who aren't as lucky. Breathe.

This past year has been a revelation in growth and change.  Now, you are on the cusp of an experience that will change you forever in ways you can't foresee. Go with your grateful quiet heart.  Be receptive.  Find your truth and come back and share it with the world.

You need that. The world needs that.



Mrs. G. said…

I hope NY is all that and more.

Happy Birthday...all year long.
Pearl said…
Delurking to wish you a wonderful birthday--may your upcoming training be all you expect and more.

And thank you for sharing this with your readers.

Best wishes,
Molly said…
Wow. Love your beautiful soul, Barb. Happy Birthday!
smalltownme said…
So beautiful, both your words and you. Happy Birthday!
What a great birthday present for yourself!
Unknown said…
So glad the work has gotten you to this point! (us gotten a real word?) anyway, happy birthday, enjoy NY and tell us allabout it!
This is beautiful. So are you.
Happy birthday!
tanita✿davis said…
Many bendy, happy returns of the day. ☺
Judy said…
Truly inspiring, but then you always are. I'm remembering this ... "keep your eyes on your own mat." Happy Birthday and so much more.
Ann in NJ said…
Happy Birthday! Is "keep your eyes on your own mat" kind of like "stick to your knitting"? Thank you for remembering those of us who are still journeying.
cookingwithgas said…
Sweet rewards come to those that can open their hearts. Happy birthday.
Kimos said…
Love you, Dear. Have a wonderful birthday. And, please, send some of that peace this way.
Shaatzie said…
Beautifully said.

Keep it up, the world needs more love.
Susan said…
Love this - Happy bday and please consider moving to the SF Bay Area to teach yoga.
Kathy Ireland said…
OK. Since nobody else said it.

"You're 48!!!???" You look amazing. ;-)
Lomagirl said…
Happy Birthday. Happiness in abundance. What a wonderful place to be at 48- and I'm so, so pleased that you are doing yoga teacher training! Blessings!