Today, I met with the mother of one of the families we adopted for this holiday season. It is our tradition to adopt local families, but in the past, the families were anonymous, removed. The Jefferson County Community Ministries, in years past, has handled everything from start to finish. This year, they are vastly understaffed and over-needed. They’ve been referring the surplus of families calling for donations to individual donors and having the donors do the work of contacting to discuss individual needs and a drop off plan. Initially, I felt conflicted, anxious, when the woman from JCCM told me this. It had been so easy in the past. Pushed out of my comfort zone, I was. Pushed to open my heart wider to help lift another human’s suffering just a bit, and to actually see this human and not just get to visualize them as a name, a number, on a sheet of paper handed to me with a list of possible items to purchase.

Today I met this mother. She began to cry when I told her who I was and asked how we could help. She is a mother of two children now. Last year, close to Christmas, her 9 year old son died suddenly, she said, and she was having an especially tough time this year. She said that her family just needed some winter items and sweat pants, but that her children would be so grateful to have anything at all, that they are “good kids who are always happy with anything.” Then she wept again and thanked me and thanked me and thanked me.

Today this woman held a mirror up to my own life for examination and I allowed myself to gaze deeply in. It is so important to allow ourselves to slow down, especially at this time of year when nature begs of us to do so, and allow gratitude to flood our lives. I believe that our yoga practice should be an act of service. That we should always offer the fruits of this practice out to the good of all human kind. Often these are words, an intention that is set at the end of my yoga teaching; however, this year I got to witness the person who will be bettered by our yoga community.

I am grateful to each of you, for making a difference in my life, in our studio, and in this community. I hope to see you all at the Solstice celebration with sun salutations and potluck this Friday at 6 PM at the Shepherdstown War Memorial building. Each and every donation will go toward this mother and another family in need in the local community.

Love to all,