You have everything you could possibly need.
Before I share my story it's helpful to reflect on some interesting life-truths:
- People who go on yoga retreats are really cool people. They are accomplished, they are adventurers, they live a full, rich, imperfect life. They have loved and lost and picked themselves up and carried on.
- As humans, even when we have it all, we look longingly at that one thing that that other person has, that we feel we don’t have, and we want that!
- Yoga teachers learn more from their students than you could ever imagine.
I had the good fortune to teach on a yoga retreat recently, where I met one of the wisest, youngest, most beautiful, teacher-of-life-lessons I have ever met. Her silky voice was matched only by her silky skin and hair, the iridescent sparkle in her eyes matched only by the sparkle of her frequent, spontaneous outbursts of laughter.
This wonderful group, we bonded early. As often happens on retreats we had couples amongst us; a gorgeous, happy husband and wife, a new couple in love, best friends, a mother and daughter. We can’t help ourselves, us humans, we can’t help but compare ourselves to others and judge. I wanted a gorgeous, happy husband. I wanted my best friend. I wanted my daughter. I disclosed to my guests early on that I was missing my little family, my little tribe.
My beautiful teacher came to me later that day and pressed into my hand a small gift bag. Inside was a silver love-heart chime.
'This is for you', she explained in her dulcet tones, 'to carry with you wherever you go. Every time you hear the chime I want you to remember you have everything you need right inside of you. Your heart is full, it is full of everything you could ever possibly need. You are enough. You are full, you are full of love just as you are. You have everything you could possibly need right inside your own heart.'
It took a little while for this to properly soak in.
My little chime came everywhere with me, buried deep in my bag so it’s subtle, sweet sound was barely audible. Out of the silence of being alone, out of the emptiness of quiet moments, it rang sweet and true. I am enough. I have everything I could possibly need.
On our last night as we twirled on the dance floor nobody needed any reminders. We expressed joy without needing anything or anyone. Thirteen shining stars danced in messy synchronicity, expressing the limitlessness of human love and it’s beautiful expression.
My chime comes with me everywhere I go. It reminds me; when my daughter doesn’t want to join me, when my best friend doesn’t text me right back, when my boyfriend doesn’t call when he said he would. It chimes sweet and true. I am enough. It’s ok. I have all the love I need right inside me, I have everything I could possibly need. I am full-to-bursting with love and joy.
This blog is for Polina. Polina, you touched us all deeply and we will remember you, and each other, forever. Thank you, you beautiful shining star!