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nancy alder

Forgiveness, Guest Posts

The Orchid of Forgiveness.

November 7, 2012

The Orchid of Forgiveness by Nancy Alder

This morning I walked into one of my bathrooms ready to throw out an orchid that I thought was done.  I had forgotten to water it for weeks.  I had forgotten to open the window and give it more light.  I had forgotten this orchid.

But there it was in the window with not one but two new bloom stalks that had show up virtually overnight.  This fighter, this beautiful and simple warrior had decided to bloom again despite my lack of care.

I realized that the orchid had forgiven me.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

 –Gandhi

We need to learn to be more like orchids and allow ourselves to forgive and grow.  That does not mean to not be angry, do not fight and do not express your displeasure with a situation or a person.  Just simply, do not hold on to those things and let them cause you to wither.  Acknowledge your feelings, create a space for them and then let them go.

My yoga practice is a place where I am able to practice forgiveness.  Life gets in the way of every asana, vinyasa and Bakasana I would love to do on more occasions than I care to admit.  Yet when I return to the mat I find my practice is waiting to fit with where I am at that moment.  Is there resistance?  You bet!  But there is also space for growth and exploration.   I am able to forgive myself for not making time, for putting others first and for letting things get in my way.  I explore new places to find forgiveness towards others, to experience my feelings and to then let them go.

I find a way to stretch, release, and grow just like the orchid had done in my neglect.

“To err is human.  To forgive is divine.” –Alexander Pope

As I write this I think of my friend who forgave me when I did not acknowledge the importance of a special milestone in her life.  I think of the way my elves still love me even when my mean mommy side comes out too frequently.  I think of the how my husband moves heaven and Earth to allow me to do trainings when it causes stress on his schedule.  I think of how much forgiveness I have been given and how it is time to give back.

To those who have hurt me and from whom I have received silence, anger and vitriol, I forgive you.  To the ones who forget to email, call or visit, I know it was not personal.  To those I have unfriended, to those I have cut out and to those whom I have never let in, my door is open for you.

It is time for us all to move on to a place of blooming and growth.  It is time for us to be like my orchid.

I am not perfect but I am strong.  I know neglect is not a sign of hatred or dislike, but rather that love is still there waiting to show itself again.  I know my yoga practice will give me space to forgive myself and my heart has space to forgive others.

I am thankful to my little purple orchid for reminding me how important it is to forgive.  I gave it water this morning and opened the window.  I will remember more often to take care of it and take care of myself.  I will remember to let go and forgive.

How can you allow yourself to bloom and grow?  What or whom can you forgive?

Nancy Alder is a 200H EYRT  in Connecticut. She teaches her students to connect with space and breath from a place of safety and humor. She writes for many yoga blogs and chronicles her daily practice to find yoga in all places on her own blog, Flying Yogini. She is co-founder of Teachasana, a site by yoga teachers for yoga teachers. When not writing or doing yoga she is in awe of her elves, busting asanas in crazy places and counting the days until the next snowfall.
Delight, Guest Posts, Inspiration

Lessons From Elves. Guest Post By The Flying Yogini.

November 2, 2011

The following is a guest post by the amazing Flying Yogini.

I am seeing life from the brighter side today.  I am seeing the sweet, the small and the simple as magic in a way I have not in a while.

You see I live in Connecticut which is in the midst of its third major weather-related disaster of the year.  We started in January with epic amounts of snow, while wonderful to me, were positively paralyzing for the state.  No one went to school, no one could go anywhere and the damage was wide-spread.  Then came Hurricane Irene which sent 500 thousand of us into the dark.  Many of us were out for days (almost four at Chez Nancy) and many also did not have water or plumbing because of our wells and septic systems.  Then on Sunday we got hit with the giant Winter Storm Albert which dumped 12″ on my yard and more on other parts of the state.  This storm broke October snowfall records going back to the Civil War.  Not surprisingly, over 24 hours later close to 700 thousand people still do not have power!

This weekend was full of Halloween events which got cancelled.  School got cancelled.  Halloween parties at school got cancelled and in many towns, Halloween got cancelled period.  There was no trick or treating, there was no power, no costumes and frankly no sweetness.  There was a darkness hovering over our area that was more massive than the power outage that appears to be staying for a while.  Mother Nature apparently had other ideas for how we should all be spending October 31.

My amazing elves, a.k.a. my kids, had resigned themselves to not having Halloween.

We were among the immensely fortunate ones this time who did not lose power so we invited friends who were in the dark over to stay warm.  The elves got to play in the snow with their pals, they had special play dates with best friends and used our Halloween pumpkins for snowmen heads.  Most towns around us banned trick or treating because it was too dangerous and so the elves knew that the chances we would get to go were slim to none.  When  I said “looks like trick or treating is off the table this year,” they just shrugged and accepted this as the reality.  Life had gotten in the way of candy and surprisingly they were okay with it.

Then at the last-minute some streets got cleared, some friends got power and we got a plan.  The elves costumed-up and we raced over to hit a few houses.  It was cold, dark and there were utility workers checking wires around us,  but it was fun! We got home from our short jaunt and my eldest elf counted his candy. He told me:  “Mom, I only got 25 pieces this year which is less than half what I normally get.  But the truth is I do not care.  I really just had a great time dressing up in my costume and going with my friends.”

This elf with the sweetest of teeth saw the little bright sparkle that came from the opportunity that had opened for him.  It no longer was about his candy but rather about those who were with him and the fun of doing it in the first place.  He looked on the shiny side of the Halloween coin and saw that his richness came from bliss of the moment rather than the numbers of wrappers in his bag.

I share this story because it so beautifully demonstrates how magical life can be if you allow the little things to outshine the big ones.  The adventure becomes the reward and the end a bonus on top of it all.  My elves did not care if their bags of candy were full or if they were empty.  They got to go with their friends to a few doors, dress up like Smurfette and a Patriots football player and feel like kids.  They got to see the little bright side of life and felt its shimmer even in the very dark October night.

So my elves and I remind you to reach deep into your inner bag of goodies and pick the smallest thing you can find and give it a little polishing rub.  Notice how it sparkles and allows the otherwise dull items near it to shine.

And next time you feel you cannot find even  a fleck of light inside, step into the shoes of my elves on Halloween.  Remember that the true sweetness lies not in the biggest candy stash but in the journey to get them in your collecting pumpkin.  Find the joy in the little and suddenly everything around you will be big with brightness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can find Nancy Alder aka The Flying Yogini anywhere her magic mat takes her but I suggest Facebook and Twitter first. Her website is www.flyingyogini.org. But of course. All yoginis fly, don’t we?

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