Dears Ones, do you know how hard it is to release your first published novel (Temple Dancer, September 8th!), especially in a pandemic? These days, I’m immersed in the hard part—promotion. What keeps my head above water is that I feel I’m fulfilling a promise I made 26 years ago. After a second sojourn in India, I received a gift from an eight-year-old girl, born in India in 1930—Saraswati’s voice. Saraswati became a temple dancer (devadasi), auspicious and then later disgraced. When I learned about the decimation of the devadasi culture, I knew I was given her story for a reason—it was meant to be shared.
Birthing a Book
It has taken me twenty-five years. Those years included writing books about yoga, and creating LifeForce Yoga protocols for optimum mental health. In 2016, I finally arrived with the gift of time and bandwidth to begin writing the right Western frame for Saraswati’s story, and now it’s her time. What this means is that my passion to share Saraswati’s story allows me to ask reviewers to read it, to post about it, and to talk about it. I think if this were a different sort of book, my “not good enough” part and my “I don’t deserve the attention” part would need a lot of Self-soothing right now. Saraswati is protecting me from that, and I am grateful.
My guess is that Saraswati and gratitude are keeping my head above water. Yes, there have been losses since the pandemic began. Friends have become ill, and closed borders prevent me from seeing my family. The cancellation of live programs decreases my connection to you. Yes, there have been moments of overwhelm in response to the blatant exposure of racism, and the polarization of our communities. The breakdown of civility and what seems to me to be the betrayal of my/our moral values in these turbulent political times is disheartening. But gratitude and my practice bring me home to what truly matters: my connection to all that is precious in the world. I can make a list, and I know you can too, of what I most appreciate. Let’s give thanks for the small and big things that make our lives worth living.
Surprising Intimacy of Zoom Connections
I’ve had some lovely talks about these issues, and about Temple Dancer, and about yoga philosophy and practice (my medicine), and about love.
A New Friend
On the OneConsciousness Deep Conversations Podcast, Jeff Krisman and I talked openly about our personal relationship with our depressed parts. We talked about what has seen us through, and we even did a brief practice together – watch it here on YouTube. We also talked about creativity and Temple Dancer, of course, and the themes of Oneness. By the end of our time, we felt deeply connected, and I’m happy to say that I think of Jeff as a friend. That deep connection is what “OneConsciousness” is about.
An Old Friend
On Jivamaya Yoga Wisdom Talks with Yoga Therapist and Ayurveda Health Educator Abhaya Abby Geyer, we talked about the healing aspects of yoga and yoga philosophy. I revealed my yoga voyage out of depression. In turn, my passion to share what saved my life with fellow sufferers was ignited. That journey took me through collaborations with researchers and more yoga teachers to my life path of teaching and writing about yoga. We spoke about the result of my explorations in the writing of the novel Temple Dancer.
My friend Abhaya and I share a history in the evolution of yoga therapy through our mutual association with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), so the conversation felt like a river of healing energy flowing through us both.