EVEN SO by Alice Walker
Love, if it is love, never goes away. It is embedded in us, like seams of gold in the Earth, waiting for light, waiting to be struck.
We are so blessed. Every day I have more and more reasons to acknowledge the blessings of life. An unconventional but enormous blessing in our lives is the internet and its web of true interconnectedness, which has provided all of us with the opportunity to be heard and the vehicle through which to speak. What a blessing! This week, as well as many more, I have been elated and delighted to read blog posts written by heartfelt and deeply pondering friends as well as strangers. I read friend posts more than strangers as I am sure most people do, and as others do, I sometimes stumble upon an unknown treasure of beauty by a stranger and in delight I acknowledge how blessed I am to have had the opportunity know something about someone I do not know. However it is the continued relationship with those in my life that makes the known writers material more personal, and more powerful for me as I read, and this too overwhelms me with deep gratitude for the blessing of long term relationship and the gift of the teachings these people I love continue to bring me.
My dear friend Anicca Cox writes her blog weekly "Beginners Mind". Her skill with word craft takes the reader on a journey into their heart every time, and always leaves me in tears, tears of joy and gratitude. She teaches English at a university out east, I should know which one, however the name never sticks and I think its because I would rather think of her at home here in Taos with her fruit trees and wild dog. This week she wrote of the letters of introduction that she receives from her students at the beginning of every semester. She learned it from a professor and uses it as a way to get to know the person she is teaching. To understand their motivation as a student, as to make their relationship more real and personal. It is no wonder this resonates for her, as she is from what I always refer to as a real community, where you can't go anywhere without seeing someone you know. But its more than that, it isn't just knowing people it is knowing that they know you, and that you cannot hide who you are from them. Small towns have a way of keeping people honest, accountable and under the eyes of their neighbors. I also grew up here, it is what I love about home, knowing I have community, people who will be there for me with enchiladas when someone I love dies, as well as give me that sideways look when I have strayed from integrity in my relationships. I was touched by the use of the letter to make the class room less like the stale environment you gather and record information in, and more like the space of community where the lessons integrate into the life experience.
It is one of my favorite past times to write the stories of strangers as I watch them in places that are "good for people watching". I ask what are they grateful for, what motivates them, what are the hurts of their hearts, is there love in their life? I love to know about people, when I meet new people I ask them about their lives and I often ask personal and sometimes what would be considered inappropriate questions, because I truly believe that everyone has a story worth hearing. I make it a point to know my grocers and the postal workers and anyone that I see often in any setting. I have made coffee at the same coffee shop off and on for ten years, and I want to know every face that I see more than once, I want to know the person behind the face. I want to really be a part of the community I live in by truly caring about the other people in the community. It has always been clear to me that to care about a person you have to know about them.
The last seven years of my life has been a surprising and beautiful journey into the unknown of myself. Ten years ago I knew about yoga, and I had no intention to do it. Now I own a yoga studio, teach so many times a week sometimes its hard to count, manage to get to the mat almost every day, and cannot exit a conversation without saying yoga, more than likely more than once. Another of the blogs I enjoy reading is the "Living Yoga" blog written by my beloved teacher in Albuquerque Bea Doyle. I had the good fortune to just read her most recent post on the topic of motivation. "What motivates your practice?" wrote Bea, and I was compelled to delve into my unknown and be clear that I was still in the seat of my original motivation. I had read this week that the best teachers were not the ones who gave the best answers, but rather, the ones who asked the best questions.
From the blessing of the two blogs I am gifted the question "who are you and what motivates you?" In the expanse of my unknown this is my favorite food for thought.
I am motivated by the value of relationship and the value of love.
When our motivations are from our heart and we share our stories truly it liberates us from feeling separate and connects us to that which we all have in common. We all breathe, we all eat, we all sleep, we all poop, we all cry tears of great loss, we all fly high on true joy, we all have the capacity to be dishonest, insincere, cruel, and selfish, just as much as we have the capacity to be honorable with integrity and dignity. We all have the freedom to continue to choose, we all have the capacity to love and receive love.
I am grateful for the internet and the freedom it gives each of us to share our stories, to commune with one anther, and walk away more aware, more inspired, more active and more blessed.
I am gratful for my beautiful teachers, to continue to be their students and be propelled through the fantastic freedom of the internet to think larger, question the basis of my actions, and express in return. And here I sit, writing, and the words just want to tell the world, just want to make my letter of introduction so my motivation may be known.
My name is Genevieve,
I believe in love.