This month we are supporting the Rescue Mission of Trenton, an organization that does wonderful work to aid the truly needy. It is a privilege to practice yoga together in a way that fosters compassion and supports positive change within and around us. This is what unites us as a community. We are so fortunate to have the support of one another. Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says, “When we practice with a community, a Sangha, we should take advantage of the group energy. We can see this Sangha as a boat…” We all have stones of suffering within us, whether they are the stones of having to be successful, the pressure of achieving, the heaviness of feeling like we are never enough, or the sadness of a loss. Each of us carries stones like that inside, and without a boat, we can feel like we are sinking. If you throw a stone in the river, it will sink. But a boat can carry tons of rocks and stones. We can rest in that.
On New Year’s Day, we celebrate a few birthdays: The birthday of our yoga community – Gratitude Yoga was born 4 years ago today. The sixteenth birthday of this millennium – a Sweet Sixteen. And the birthday of each of us – Henry Ward Beecher wrote,”Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page.” It is exhilarating to feel like we are born again, to make a fresh start. We can all practice beginning anew by showing up more fully for the present moment, where the past meets the future. January was named after the Roman God, Janus, who has two faces, one facing back and the other looking forward. Janus represents the gateway between the past and the future. We meet that gateway in each and every moment. May we enter it with curiosity, with awareness, and with humility. Above all, may we enter the doorway of this present moment with our hearts full of gratitude. We are here. And that is something to celebrate.