I have learned a lot from a group of elders i teach mindfulness to each week. They taught me about the peace and tranquility that can be experienced as we age along with the challenges of loss and change that comes with aging.
These women have lived amazing and rich lives, experiencing great achievements and great hardships as well. For most of these women transitioning to living in a retirement community has been very challenging.
The stories they share come from the heart, come from love and carry deep authenticity and wisdom. The stories speak to the challenges of aging, to the simple joy of a conversation, the love of friends and family, or the simple joy of watching snow drift to the ground.
Over the past 8 months our group has reported subtle changes in their lives as a result of mindfulness practice, they have learned to: deepen and appreciate the simple moments in life, take time to relax, let go of anxiety, appreciate what they can do, and let go of what we can no longer do. In a nutshell they have learned to be more curios, open, accepting and compassionate with themselves and each other.
Each week we find ourselves celebrating our time together breath by breath, word by word, smile by smile.
And for me this time each week, with this amazing group of women is a circle of friendship I will always cherish.
I awoke this morning to a landscape of sparkling snow jewels. The world was transformed overnight into a luminous, refreshing field of white. As I drove my two precious children Amanda and Matthew to school, we decide to take the back streets to school to admire the beauty of the new fallen snow. My daughter asked me to open the sunroof to view the snow laden limbs bowing to the street and we were overwhelmed by the majesty around us.
We arrived at school and my son and I were excited to be reading a poetry duet to his classmates. The reading was wonderful and afterward I reflected back on my 5th grade year and how anxious I would have been and fortunate it was that my son was calm and enjoyed the reading.
I left school with a smile and headed to the market. As I walked the isles I was dumb struck by the abundance all around and was taken by the artistry of the produce manager as he arranged a tapestry of fruits and vegetables at the D&W Market on Parkview. I watched as he placed each vegetable and was take by the rainbow of color. I imagined the breaking of each seed from the soil and the plants basking in warm sun, ripening, being harvested and finally sharing their beauty with me in this moment on a cold February day in Michigan.
What a wonder filled day it has been and its only 9 am. As I leave the store I take a few moments in my car to open heart/mind to the peace and joy within and around me. I take a few slow breaths relax into the silence of my heart and enjoy the moment of luminous being.