It is a delightful September evening, and I feel the embrace of autumn in the air. I study the beautiful face before me. Soft rays of fading sunlight stream across her skin. Her dark hair shines and dances in the soft breeze. Her deep brown eyes are luminous, warm, and open. Her eyes and her very spirit are filled to overflowing. This is no simple woman before me; she is a strong and profoundly courageous soul. This beauty has been through an abundance of challenges—more than one alone should bear—yet she radiates a joyous energy. We chatter in the parking lot in the deep and unpretentious way that thoughtful women do. As she speaks, there is sweet compassion in the wind. Not willing to let life take her where it may, she offers, “I am learning to find myself—AGAIN!” I laugh out loud, for I know—I truly know—that this finding oneself is no easy task. I shake my head and smile softly as we walk toward the doorway. It seems that, for some of us, the learning truly never ends.
The gentle warmth of my office soon holds a wondrous collection of like-minded women. It is an incredible sight to behold, a stunning delight to witness. Here, in these elegant and welcoming confines, sharing of all shades and layers begins. There is no end; there are only beginnings that spiral and waft throughout the high-ceiling space. I listen. I notice. I guide. The other women—each so wise and wonderful—do the same. It is a weaving, a work of art in progress, as hearts open and quiet tears are wiped away. Now and again the sweetness of laughter dances into the room and smiles in the most entrancing way. We bask in the beauty and the golden light that filters through the arching windows. At every turn there is learning and there is love. I am a witness.
As I prepare to leave the quiet of my office, I linger a bit as I often do. I like to allow the words, the emotions—all that was said and unsaid—to fill me and settle in. I notice that my teacup is still full; it sits, the tea now cold, waiting to emptied and cleaned. I delight in these simple tasks that allow me to unwind and hold life’s moments close and dear. I think of how often it is that my clients—women and men alike—come to navigate the journey of self-discovery. They recount tales of sorrow, grief, exquisite pain, and deep love. These brave souls struggle to discover and unfurl a new self—a new person—that had withered and waited within an old shell. I applaud them, every one, for they are courageous spirits. Undaunted, they continue onward to find–and fall in love with–the better self they may have never known. It is no easy journey, but I am a patient, willing guide.
The night ended too late. I know I have missed my treasured yoga class; it started long ago. Yet, as I walk through the empty parking lot, I feel full and very much at peace. There will be more evenings for yoga, but never a night quite like this one, so full of precious voice and caring love. I stop to notice the deep blue sky and the glow of the crescent moon above. I never tire of hearing myself whisper into the breeze, “Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so lucky to be so very blessed. I couldn’t ask for more.” I smile as I approach my car. I think of my travels and adventures in the driver’s seat of my adorable, jaunty vehicle. Oh, the places we’ve been, both near and far. Ever exploring, ever discovering, and ever falling in love with life. From morning to night, it seems, there is always something to learn. Aren’t we the lucky ones, those of us who embrace the opportunity to discover ourselves over and over and over again?