Two weeks ago today I celebrated on Castle Island Beach because I had decided to take a sabbatical from teaching for the first time in 16 years of full time teaching. I taught a Radiant Style Vinyasa class on the beach at 9:00am with friends, family and regular students. We celebrated with local fresh squeezed juice from the #Juicebox and I wrapped up my work day by 2:00pm. I had been burning the candle for about a month leading up to this ( since we returned from the Radiant Adventure Retreat at Machu Picchu in Peru) to get everything ready for my “teaching sabbatical,” which is really just a fancy way of saying running a yoga studio is so much work I have to put the thing I love the most -teaching - on hold so I can work on the business aspect of Radiant. I slipped onto the couch in my new home in Dorchester and before drifting off to sleep I had the strangest feeling that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Basically, my wiser self asked my current self the question: “why have I created all this space from teaching?” I mean, I knew it was necessary, but it feels uncannily odd.
Moments upon awakening, that question was answered. When I woke up from that Sunday snooze, I had a text on my phone that you never want to read from a friend. My sister, tragic, we don’t know, we can’t stay, opening day of our 200 hour teaching training, we need you, can you help?
It was in that moment, that I understood in my heart, in a way that words cannot explain, that everything I have suffered, triumphed, been brought to my knees for, recovered from, integrated, cried and risen up from, had been preparing me for that moment. To stand on the edge of everything you think you know and say, without hesitation, yes, I can do that. The path of the warrior, the sacred servant. This isn’t my life. It is the universe’s life and when I can see myself as a channel, an expression of love and a container of suffering, there is no limit to how much my heart can expand.
And expand it did. I left about 15 hours later, borrowed a car, found administrative coverage, dog sitters, and all the things you do before leaving for an unexpected two week trip. I buckled Lakshmi in the back seat and we drove to Vermont. No sooner had I stepped out of the car and within 10 minutes I was leading this fractured, grief stricken, confused group in a circle. Half of them had already packed their bags, not exactly sure where they were going or what they were doing, but they weren’t staying there. When I walked into the circle, filled with the power the goddess has given me, I was able to calm them, soothe them, tell them I am here and we can do this together. I am here for a reason. I have no idea what that reason is, but I can’t think of anyone else right now who is more equipped to “handle,” this than me. And that I say, with great humility. Because I would never wish what my heart has been through on anyone, even if it meant preparing them for this moment.
I was given a huge challenge and gift from the universe. I was entrusted with stepping into Aida’s teaching spot, and sharing my light, her light, the light of all the teachers that came before us. And then in our restorative practice one week after Aida left her body, we looked outside and we were encircled by an actual spectrum of light. The ROYGIBIV light display in the form of the most beautiful double rainbow I’d ever seen. I stood in awe and wonder at the sky. I believe in rainbows, do you?