Angels, Friends and Yoga
My friend said hello to me. She rattled conventional technology to make sure I heard her. Really. A synergy of parallel universes overlapping for the briefest, yet timelessness, of moments.
You're thinking...seriously? And your point is...?
Did I mention my friend left Earth over a decade ago? This hello was auspicious. Perhaps an angelic tap on my shoulder for an authentic love awakening yoga class.
The story behind the story must be known. So, read as if you've just pulled the safety harness of a roller coaster over your shoulders. Feel the sudden jerk of departure, hear the clickety clack of the steel on steel and enjoy the read...
Had my hair cut on a Friday afternoon. Love my hairdresser/friend. Each visit, we share stories. We feel safe...find we have more in common than imagined. Childhood experiences of alcoholism, anger exerted physically, resentment...forgiveness. Observations of our multiple roles we assume in our respective professions very similiar. People come for a service; but, what they (all of us) really need is a sense of connection...belonging...self reinforcement of worth. Bottom line...we glean fulfillment by touching another's heart and letting them touch ours.
Her perspective of her position changed when she was told this story about a client that came to her company's salon.
A woman came to the hair salon one day and didn't ask for anyone in particular. The stylist who she was assigned to was a man she never met. He asked her what she wanted done. She told him she wanted the works. Haircut, color, style, facial, nails, pedicure...everything. A day of exterior beautification. Her stylist graciously accepted the day long task and got busy delivering his mastered craft. He also talked to her. He made her smile. He made her laugh. He not only massaged her scalp; he massaged her heart. Six hours later, transformation from head to toe...he spinned her around and told her how beautiful she was and how lucky he felt to have been the one to spend the day with her. He told her she made his day. She left.
Two days later, the hair stylist received a letter from her. The letter simply said...thank you for being my friend...for giving me hope that people do care...even about someone they don't know. I had planned on ending my life after my day of making myself as pretty as possible; but, you gave me a change of heart. You revealed a sense of beauty within me I didn't feel...much less see. You, a stranger, reminded me life is worth living. Thank you for your loving kindness.
I teared up hearing the story. It touched me. It hit close to home.
The next day I had a packed yoga class to teach. All these smiling faces looking at me...quietly waiting for the practice to begin. I didn't plan it. It just came to me...I started class with the story I heard...and asked we focus on generating, strengthening, expanding the energy of Love. Each face had a unique, yet similar expression upon hearing about the woman's pain transformed by the simple action of kindness. What a powerfully distinct and nearly palpable energy we collectively generated in our practice.
I witnessed and felt the heightened strength in poses. The music of collective breathing...rolling in and out like ocean's waves early in the morning. Smiles reflected through the sea of eyes glistened. Courage to try new poses was evident. A sense of humor with stumbles was felt. I walked among the throng of students, making an adjustment here and there, all the time feeling like I was literally walking just a smidgen off the floor. Truly uplifting.
Gratitude after class was individually expressed to me for sharing the story. Some had been on the same side of the woman's fence. Some had known loved ones who suffered the dark, invisible depths of sadness. Inspiration...the breath of life...filled them to focus on showing love to strangers...not just people they knew.
An hour later, I'm having lunch with a close friend. She knows how I miss the presence of my friend, Patti. I told her how I know she is present; but, I wish she could or would say hello to me. One nano second after I made that wish, the power in the entire restaurant shut off. No lights, no music...a space of stillness. And, I knew. I could feel the words in my heart. "Hello, my friend...hello." I smiled and made eye contact with my friend across the table.
"It's Patti...I know. Watch this."
I let the chill of her presence warm me for a moment.
Then, I said, "Patti...thank you for telling me hello. Thank you for reminding me you're with me. But, there are a lot of hungry people here and they kind of need the power back, so, do them a favor and turn the power back on. I love you."
The second I completed my sentence...with a zapping sound of a defibrillator , the lights and music came back to life. Another sliver of silence in the restaurant. Eyes looking around inquisitively. A shrug of shoulders gesturing..."that was weird." And, normalacy of routine resumed.
My friend got goosebumps. Her jaw dropped in amazement and she peered into the window of my soul. My eyes released a few big tears that felt like warm kisses on my cheeks. Tears of gratitude and love...not grief or sadness. Some would say it was coincidental. I beg to differ. Even the song that came on was distinctly different...it was a love song.
The Source of Love...God...the Higher Power...however you choose to call it...graciously opened the space and time door to let me have a cherished moment with Patti. Maybe I knocked on her door from the last story I wrote. Perhaps it was a way of saying thank you for my willingness to risk telling 60+ people a story before doing what they came to do...practice yoga. I had to share it. After all, yoga is to unite mind, body and spirit. And, we are One. Physicality is a tangible illusion. Be willing to step beyond fears, assumptions and alleged facts. It makes for a better ride. And, it is definitely worthwhile to share the ride with friends and angels...
"So, hello again, my friend(s), hello...I couldn't wait...I put my heart above my head...it's good to need you so...it's good to love you like I do, to feel this way when I hear you say hello..."