This quote comes from the book I just finished called The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural and the Healing Power of Hope, by Allan Hamilton, a neurosurgeon. I read this book because my dear friend’s daughter, who is also a friend, has been diagnosed with brain cancer and has lost much of her ability to function.
Accompanying her on this journey has given her beloved family and friends the joy of her presence, for she is a being who radiates divine compassion. The poet and essayist Ross Gay says it best: “Sorrow and delight walk hand in hand, always.” This young woman’s beloveds are sorrowful about what is happening to her, but, as she expresses to them, when she is able, she carries their sorrow, as well as their prayers and their hope. When I heard Ross Gay at the Tucson Festival of Books define joy as “the light that radiates from us when we carry each other’s sorrow,” I felt he was talking about my friend’s daughter. She is that light. She is that joy. She is that sorrow.
The year that has passed, the winter that is passing, has been hard for so many of us. We have suffered personal losses; one friend was snowbound without power for eight days, another has survived a terrible fall while hiking, another has survived cancer. A dear family member is living with cancer. Globally, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, snow disasters have affected many of us. And yet, in the midst, there is the laughter of children, there is the birth of a baby, there is a marriage of two people who love each other, there is birdsong, and the blooming of wildflowers.
Spring is approaching and we are ready! Let spring into your heart in any way that you can, be it planting seeds in the earth, walking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation, chanting, singing, making art, dancing to live music, or around your living space to music you love.
We cannot stop the pain of loss. But we can lean into it, allow ourselves to feel the grief, and let it open our heart to the beauty that remains in our world. Let grief open your heart to song and to the patient turning of day into night that paints the sky outside your window.
There are so many ways to embrace it all, to be the joy that can “carry each other’s sorrow.” Join me as we explore some of those ways through the ancient practices of yoga and meditation. Join me to open your heart and lift your mood. Join me to learn and practice yoga tools for your own self-care and to help others manage their heartache and bring their moods into balance.
Here are some online and onsite events coming up:
Yoga For Your Mood Afternoon
LIVE ONLINE April 8, 2023 1.30-4.30pm ET
Yoga For Your Mood Workshop
LIVE ONLINE May 3, 2023 4-6pm MT
Practices to Shift Depression and Anxiety
Yoga For Your Mood Spring Reset
On campus at Kripalu Center May 26-29, 2023
Internal Family Systems Therapy™ Meets LifeForce Yoga
A Week Of Healing And Learning at Cape Cod Institute
On Campus and LIVE ONLINE July 31 – August 4, 2023
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