My Extended Family

Norfolk Sunset
Norfolk Sunset

I have many things to be grateful for in this life. My health is good, my body allows me to pursue my dreams (however physical they may be), I have someone in my life who I love and who loves me. I am blessed to have a wonderful family surrounding me including two parents who haven’t stopped loving each other after more than 40 years of marriage, and that family has slowly grown with the addition of my brothers’ wives and my younger brother’s daughter. What makes me feel like the luckiest guy in the world, the one ingredient that without which I would feel less whole than I currently do, is the circle of friends I have in my life. I literally feel surrounded by friends who support, amuse, inspire, and love me, much in the same way I do them.

I understand the concept of seeing what one emanates be reflected back at them, I understand the universal law of cause and effect..nonetheless, I often find myself in awe of how much I appreciate and admire my friends. One of my oldest and closest friends, Sonia P., relayed something to me this week that she had discussed with the man in her life. They were pondering the need to stop living in a place of “I can’t” and “I don’t have.” When she casually mentioned this to me, I was floored. Sometimes I hear an idea or a philosophy verbalized in an almost inconceivably concise and efficient manner, and this was one of those times. If we (I’m referring to the collective “we”) tweaked our conditioning to bring our awareness to what we’re capable of and to what we have surrounding us in our lives, I’m sure a massive amount of suffering and chaos would be eliminated. Our confidence levels would skyrocket (which alone would bring about a major shift in consciousness), and we would be able to consider ourselves more “awake”…more plugged into the meaning of life, into loving ourselves the way we all should, and consequently, each other. The yoga classes I’m teaching over the next week or two will have Sonia’s pearls of wisdom incorporated throughout the practice, so any benefits that arise from those classes can be credited to her.

On a more physical plane of existence, I have been suffering from pretty intense back pain since my last Teacher Training weekend over 10 days ago. Luckily I am surrounded by a slew of resources (and resourceful friends who can point me towards said resources), and earlier this week my friend Adriana referred me to an Osteopathic clinic near where I live. I have literally just come back from my appointment (my first ever  after 10 years of asana), and I’m amazed at what I learned about what Osteopaths do, about how my body moves. I’m also incredibly grateful to Adriana for directing me to someone who could put my mind at ease about the pain I was feeling and allow me to stop fearing that I had done something irreparable to my body. Referring me to a place that she trusted with her own body allowed me to walk into a new situation and environment with ease and no worry, and am I ever happy I did. After an extensive examination of my posture, my spine, and the tensegrity structure that is my body (that’s for you fellow trainees!!!), I was manipulated gently, but firmly, and walked out of the clinic lighter  in spirit and feeling somewhat better physically. We’ll see what the next couple of days have in store for my back pain, but regardless, I feel better 🙂

On an international note, I have to express my gratitude and love for another of my oldest and closest friends, Helene and her entire family who live in Norfolk, England. Helene is mother to two beautiful boys (one of whom is my Godson) and is married to Kerry, a real British bloke who can make me laugh like almost no one else can. I have seen Helene and her clan of boys at least once a year for the past 13 years as I made occasional bi-annual trips over to the UK, and going back before her sons were born, with trips Hel & Kerry made to come visit me here in Canada. This year would have marked the first year that we would not have seen each other, as a family trip for them to come over would prove too costly, and my change of careers this year has seen me start over from scratch from a financial standpoint. Imagine my surprise, if you will, when I got a phone call from Helene & Kerry over a month ago telling me that because they understood my situation and couldn’t spend thousands of pounds coming here, they wanted to pay for my trip to come and spend time with them all. And spend time with them I shall! I’ll be going over again in a couple of weeks, for a couple of weeks, and I’m literally humbled by the generosity and kindness I’m being showered with.

I suppose I’m letting Sonia’s words sink into my being with all this gratitude…essentially, her words created a shift in my thinking and in the way I see and interpret the people and events that surround  me…and where I find myself is pretty remarkable. I’d like to believe that none of this is new to me, that I’ve been awake and alert to it all throughout my years on the yogic path, but I apparently lost sight of it all somewhere…thankfully my extended family is there to redirect me back to center, and to remind me that there’s always ground to be covered and humility to be had. And so I’m grateful 🙂

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One thought on “My Extended Family”

  1. Even if I had not the privilege of being mentioned in this post, I still would have left a comment because you’ve touched on something that’s close to my heart as well.

    Doubt. Always the doubt with me. If not for my extended family, I would never turn that ever important corner from *can’t* to “can*.

    So thanks to you Bram, for inspiring me and for being my friend and for helping me turn that rough corner of doubt.

    Mucho xx

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