My Yoga Life

An introduction

I am so grateful to launch this new platform for sharing yoga philosophy, yoga therapy practices and “Our Yoga Nature” videos. In addition to strengthening our existing community, which has sprouted into thousands since the founding of YogaLife Institute of NH in 2006, we gratefully welcome new people into contemplation and conversation. One of the most consistent and heart-warming comments from members is that we have created a place in which we feel “at home”. What we share is a common interest in cultivating union or “yoga”, with our own Self, with Others, and with the Divine mystery.

This past year of recorded yoga philosophy courses, virtual yoga classes and Zoom calls has been challenging but also highlighted the value and benefit of yoga wisdom to guide us through stressful times. The polarization of our greater world provided fertile ground for our practice of compassion, focus and faith, as well as a recognition that our greatest wisdom often comes through suffering. Our ongoing conversations reminded us of the yearning we have to be listened to, as well as learn from others, of the importance of healing our own hearts first, of the reality that we only have control over our own free will (not that of others), that non-attachment and trust are important guiding stars, and that enlightenment is a group event.

My writing is inspired by an experience of union with Divine consciousness, which I discover through prayer and meditation, in healing conversations with clients and students, in communion with nature on my daily walk in the woods, and in my work with spiritual teachers both seen and unseen. My background of study spans philosophy, psychology, spirituality, and natural health, but my greatest influence, and that which I hope my writings impart and inspire, is the example of unconditional love from my parents.

My father, in addition to being a Teacher, Coach, Builder, and Nutrition Counselor, was also a Christian pastor, as well as a lover of all faiths. In his final years he loved most being a “celebrant” as he officiated weddings and blessing ceremonies. My mother was a lifelong nurse, first helping babies come into the world, and later assisting the elderly to leave this world. She calls herself a mystic in her preference for that which is “beyond words” and, even in her current state of early dementia, embodies a profound generosity, presence, and selflessness that inspires me daily.

I first began to notice that my writing inspired others during my three year service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, where I wrote about the beautiful souls of the Malawian people living in the face of hunger, poverty and AIDS. I was surprised how happy the Malawian people were, and saw firsthand how the material wealth of my country not only failed to bring happiness, but might even create an obstacle to peace and contentment.

My friends and family would photocopy the letters and send them to everyone they knew. They looked forward to receiving my letter and curling up in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea. Twenty years later, my writing continues to celebrate the wisdom that comes through suffering as well as joy, and centers around messages of hope, peace and the profound experience available to all of us when we connect to the Divine within ourselves, others, and the natural world.

For the past 15 years, every time I’ve sent a weekly newsletter, I’ve received responses like “that was just what I needed to hear today”, “thank you so much for nurturing us” or “I so appreciate your reminders of the yoga way of life”. This brings me the greatest happiness, because the messages I share are also just what I need to hear. I have learned to trust that life gives me just enough suffering, as well as joy, to be a good Teacher. I have come to see myself as a Messenger or a Translator, whether it be to help someone personally see the wisdom they already have, or to help our collective see that we have more in common than not, and that the very challenges around us and within us are pointing the way to love, wisdom and reunion with the Divine.

I am now enjoying a period of my career in which, with yoga philosophy and practice as my foundation, I can integrate and explore new topics, such as the mystic roots of Christianity, esoteric studies of astrology and consciousness, psychological explorations of the subconscious, and how to create sacred space for collective conversation. As the wife of a Chiropractor, a homeschooling mom of two, a caretaker for my mother, and a sister to brothers with mental health challenges, my writing often reflects the suffering, joy, failures, successes and, ultimately, wisdom learned in that area of my dharma.

Last but not least is what helps me make sense of my world, and that is communion with nature. It is here that I most easily tap into the unconditional love and Divine intelligence that motivates all of my writing. The book I am meant to write will be shared incrementally through these newsletters, and with your feedback, will become what it most needs to be.

In nature, whether the woods, fields, mountains, oceans or lakes, there exists a storehouse of guidance for us to tap into. Once we learn to listen intentionally and symbolically, the whole world opens up to share what we most need in each moment, for everything from our relationships to work to the greater world events are a reflection of the vibration we emit from our very own Soul.

I have faith you will receive what you most need.

With Great Love,

Julie


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