We were heading to Maryland to teach our October S.O.A.R. (tm) training. I was chatting with a woman in the waiting area near our flight, striking up conversation with a stranger as one can do in these situations of mutual “pause”. She was also on her way to Maryland to the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend. She does this annually to be of support to the spouses of other firefighters who have died doing their calling, their job. She was lovely. As a widow herself she could empathize, as a survivor she could offer guidance and hope.
I gave it not another thought as we plunged into the preparations for the classes, straightened rooms, found nearby lunch places, ensured that we had sufficient handouts and that we knew how to use the video equipment. Involved in the administrative aspects of putting on a training, then doing a little sight seeing in Annapolis and back to our host home for community and conversation all thoughts of firefighters left my mind.
Teachers and trainers, healers and helpers, we all met at the S.O.A.R.(tm) training to improve our ability to serve our communities and in order to take skills back to our homes in order to be of greater service to ourselves, our students and our families. Yoga on the mat and yoga in the MATTERS of our lives can strengthen us in many ways. Combined with the tools of recovery yoga can heal, and, pose by pose, lead us to be comfortable in who we already are. We can find out WHO we are. (We may not know where to find ourselves, but actually our SELFs are already lovingly cradled in our hearts waiting to be found.) Every person there was there in the spirit of generosity – to give cleanly, clearly and openly to others their experience, strength and hope from both recovery and yogic perspectives. The gift of giving is the reward and reinforces all the good that we (already) are.
Ten amazing women attended the training returning home after having left behind a wealth of input, serenity, strength and opportunities for growth. They participated, contributed and played with us and one another; attributes of strong stones in building the foundation of a community. Sharing some difficult events from their pasts, tolls and successes of transition and transformation and enthusiasm for the work we are all better for meeting and learning with one another.
As we flew home we met some young men on their way to the airport. Open, friendly, and vibrant these three men had been to the National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial as well. They were also part of their fallen firefighter community; their participation giving it strength and healing.
My mind draws lines and relationships between events. These are the markers or signs that inform me on my journey. No accident that I met the woman (widowed since 1999) on my way out to Maryland and then these three firefighters from Utah on my way back home. These are people who have found strength in being of service and have found gratitude in their lives even after the loss of ones they love. There was a parallel between their lives and mine.
All those who attended the training had been through some annealing flames in life. There are fires of the spirit, fires of relationships, of challenge, disease, and death. While our challenges and losses are not the same as the firefighters’, I thought that we, too, can emerge from loss and pain with gratitude and in service.
Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200, RTY500 is the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”, a leader of Y12SR classes, and the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training that she holds with her good friend Kent Bond E-RYT500. Find out more about her, her classes and the training at yogarecovery.com