Last week, Martin Kirk was here in Calgary to teach yoga anatomy and therapy course. Thank you to everyone who filled in questionnaires, volunteered and attended. It was five fantastic days of learning and sharing!

I had the great privilege of assisting and hosting Martin and being able to learn from him. At the beginning of the morning asana practice on Saturday, Martin talked about taking care of home. I needed to hear this. It resonated with me on many levels.

On Tuesday last week, I attended an Iyengar yoga workshop with Father Joe Peirera of India. It had been about 20 years since I last took a workshop from him. And in that synchronistic way that the universe unfolds, he also talked about home.

So I have been thinking a lot about what home means to me.

On one level, it is that physical structure that provides you and me with shelter. It is our family, friends and community. It is our body, mind and heart. It is, as Fr. Joe pointed out, the dwelling place of our innermost Self.

What I understood from the teachings of both Martin and Fr. Joe is that taking care of home is perhaps our most important task in this life. We accomplish this in many ways, depending on which aspect of home needs our attention.

On Friday, I took care of home by having the day off. A day off for me, is a day in which I am not required to be anywhere at any scheduled time. It is a day that gives me the time and space I need to rest and reflect. That rest and reflection is a way of coming home to myself.

My most recent reflections have led me to thoughts of gratitude. Next weekend is Thanksgiving, but that isn’t necessarily what prompted me to contemplate that for which I am grateful.

This last little while has been challenging for me. I have been busy; life is full and I have been reminded that life is fleeting. We, meaning my community of the heart, lost a friend last week. My father is gravely ill and is ready to see what is waiting for him on the other side. This is hard stuff in a year that has already been very eventful for me.

So what am I grateful for?

I am grateful for the the security of body that I have in the form of food, shelter, health and more.

I am grateful for the teachings I receive from all sources – my teachers, students, family, friends and life in general.

I am grateful for all the love I have in my life. It is this love that brings me both great joy and great sorrow and makes my life richer.

I am grateful for the ways in which my heart can expand to embrace all that life has to offer – both painful and sweet, good and bad, positive and negative.

I am grateful for the tools of my yoga practice that time and time again bring me home to the dwelling place of my innermost Self. For it is this innermost Self that is served by looking after my body, mind, heart … my home.

Happy Thanksgiving.

With Gratitude,