As 2016 draws to an end and it is time to say goodbye to 2016. I have spent the past few days reflecting on the past year. I don’t much like labelling a year as good or bad. Life is what it is and all we can do is be here and learn and live the best we can, with what we are dealt.
A new journey with yin yoga
This year started with the decision to commit myself, to healing the stress and anxiety, that was dominating my life. I found Yin yoga teacher Kristine Marie Rost and started following her classes several times, every week. We somehow connected to each other and we started a friendship, as well as a student/teacher relationship.
Kristine taught me both in her classes but also helped me outside of class with advice and ideas of how to conquer my anxiety through yin yoga, Chinese medicine and other teachings she shared, so generously with me.
I had tried so many different ways to not feel my anxiety and nothing helped. Until I discovered moments of peace when Kristine guided me in her yin yoga classes – I found hope.
Who would have ever guessed at the beginning of this year, that I would end up as a yin yoga teacher myself – I am grateful and amazed, that this is where life took me.
In the middle of my yin yoga teacher training, I had to go to the hospital, to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends – Lotte who was dying of brain cancer. This is a situation, I have feared since she was diagnosed 5 years ago. A situation that caused me huge anxiety and dread. How do you say goodbye to someone you love, who is dying at the age of 40? Yin yoga and the teachings, I had started learning this year was what got me through.
I was able to say goodbye and sit with Lotte, for a couple of hours along with my husband. We talked, we laughed, we cried and we reminisced, about all the wonderful moments we have shared in the past. We spoke of how we were always good at being grateful in the moment – we always used to look at each other and smile and say ”aren’t we fortunate to share this experience together”…how wonderful to have that.
When I kissed her goodbye that final time. I told her I loved her and she said she loved me and was so proud of my yin yoga journey. Walking out of that hospital room, knowing I would never see her again, was the hardest thing I have ever done.
3 days later when I got my yin yoga teacher training certificate, I sent a picture of it to her and she replied how proud she was and wrote… “Keep doing what you are doing my little yogi”. When she died two weeks later ( on her oldest sons 11th birthday) our hearts broke. But I am grateful beyond words, that I got to say goodbye.
I am grateful for that moment, which I had feared so much. That for me was a life lesson.
Another highlight of my year was reconnecting with my friends Thomas and Kathryn. They were friends of my mother and me when I was young and they were part of making me who I am. Have you ever met someone, that changed your life forever. It doesn’t happen often I am sure you will agree.
Thomas and Kathryn changed my life. I met them when I was 12 and I was completely smitten. Kathryn was the most beautiful, funny, successful and cool person, I had ever met and Thomas was an artist who painted the most beautiful paintings, I had ever seen. When I was growing up, I dreamed of becoming an art historian or owning my own art gallery in New York. Knowing Thomas and being allowed into his art studio, to see his works in progress and listen to him talk about art and life was pure magic to me.
They moved from Denmark and back to the United States after a few years living in Denmark and I haven’t seen them for 23 years. Until this summer where they came to my house for lunch for a few hours. Seeing them again was indescribable, because it was like we had never been apart. So much had happened in all our lives of course, in the 23 years we were apart and yet it felt like I had seen them a few weeks ago.
It is not often, that you find people you connect with and love on such a deep level and I am beyond grateful for having them back in my life. As I sit here and write this, I am looking at a painting by Thomas that they sent me a few months ago – it has become one of my most treasured possessions and I think of them every day when I look at it. I dream of visiting them in their home in Bend Oregon – maybe somehow that will happen in 2017. See Thomas’s beautiful art here.
This year also meant a reconciliation with my father not that we weren’t in touch because we always were but there was a distance between us. For many years we have had a turbulent and often difficult relationship, despite the fact or perhaps due to the fact, that we love each other so much. There have been many misunderstandings and miscommunications, in the past and they have lingered between us and things that should have been said have been left unsaid for too long.
Due to some talks with my therapist, I ended up opening up to my father and exposing the most vulnerable side of myself and it was scary. What happened, was that he also opened up and showed his most vulnerable side and we have had conversations in the past year, that have brought us closer then we have ever been.
I am so incredibly grateful that the past can be healed and love can bring us together moving forward. I know now that my father and I will never again be apart in mind and heart. We are connected now, through our past and with our love and understanding for each other. For both of us I think it goes ” when you know better you do better. Love conquers all.
Another year of making memories
I have many wonderful memories of the past year too many to share here. New lessons learned. New friendships, Visits from old friends, who live far away but are so close to my heart every day. Moments with my kids – where I experience the purest of joy and love. This summer in Portugal with Jan, the kids and my mom, was making memories, I will treasure always. Moments with myself – finding myself on my yoga mat and in meditation. Discovering and learning everyday how to best live this life I have been given.
My wish for you
I wish you and yours a 2017 filled with joy, laughter, love and just enough challenges to keep you growing and learning.