Thoroughly enjoying my snow days in the first winter in my home. This place truly is a little magical retreat made especially for me. I have a gorgeous backyard, a cute side deck and amazing neighbors. This morning after I taught my 9:30am class I headed out for round 3 of shoveling. This week’s theme is Aparigraha- non-greed, non-grasping. This Yama also invites yogis to live in a state of generosity and kindness. Giving without expecting anything in return as we only take what we need and no more. As part of my life practice I have been shoveling the steps, sidewalk and driveway which is my landlord’s. You see just at the right moments I am guided to put into action that which I am teaching to my students. I knew that the couple who own the property where I live are not currently in physical shape to shovel due to injury. Yesterday as I shoveled for them and myself I felt empowered, strong and overflowing in being of service to other humans in a way that I felt I was more than capable of doing. I did it because it felt good. This morning, however, after teaching my intermediate class, the challenging class the night before and the 2 rounds of shoveling the day before- my body was sending me some signals- oooof! I knew I had better watch it with how much I pushed myself as I set out to be of service. The snow was heavy today and took a toll very quickly. A neighbor with a snow blower saw me shoveling the steps and sidewalk and came to offer his assistance. At first I didn’t realize it was the person with the snow blower and I said no, because I had a brief “independent woman ego trip.” Then I quickly realized he was the guy with the snow blower and I was like- “Yea!” I graciously thanked him and worked on my car. Then I got to the plowed in part and ooof! My back was warning me I should take a break. My spirit invited me to play. Ego wanted me to keep going, work now play later. Then I saw that kind neighbor finishing up the driveway, I went over to exchange names, tell him a story of a time in Philly 10 years ago where my neighbor with a snow blower just didn’t make eye contact with me as I shoveled 2 feet of snow alone. I told him that I teach yoga in my apartment and that my theme this morning was living with generosity and kindness and here he was being generous and kind to a total stranger. I voiced my appreciation for his help. He then said “no problem” and offered to finish clearing my plowed in car with the snow blower- to which I explained “Yes! Thank you so much!” I then with a huge smile on my face flitted off to make this snow angel in my yard.
Moral of the story- kindness goes a long way, we all need it at different times. Some moments we give, others we receive. It’s a constant flow. Be present in the moment with your heart open and you will see clearly what you are being asked to practice at any given time. Everything happens for a reason. There are no mistakes nor chance occurrences. When the Ego gets in the way, become aware as soon as possible and adjust accordingly.