navigating, resurfacing


Today I was scrolling through my spam box to see if an email I had been expecting ended up in the wrong place. My eyes fell on a message "sent" from my beloved friend, Zoe, with one of those links you would never click and nothing else written in the message. I stopped thinking and moving for a moment. Zoe has been dead for almost four years now. Even writing that last sentence, I feel the weight of such a concept. I still cannot equate the word "dead" with anything about her.   

Today I placed my first order for props, "hilfsmittel" in Deutsch, for my new home studio, MI-YA yoga (named after my daughter, Miya, and also for the Japanese meaning that both she and the space express: "temple" and "beautiful!"). I sent my email off to a friendly woman in Antwerp and smiled inwardly at the thought of a beautiful little space that I am slowly building as an outward expression of all that is dear to me in the work that I do. And in my life. 

Today I dropped my daughter off at Krippe (daycare) and shared with them our SUPER proud news of Miya's first pee in the potty yesterday. Miya Zoe (named after my deceased beloved friend and also her aunt Miyako) has exuded pure joy since that first moment where we cheered at the sight of her accomplishment. Today, for the first time, she walked independently away from me into daycare, stopped and turned, ran to give me her signature strong hug and kiss, and turned back without any protest of my leaving. In just 24 hours, she has grown up that much more. 

Today I contemplate all that I have navigated in the last four years of my life. Losing my oldest, dearest friend, marrying my unthinkably amazing husband, leaving behind my career/friend circle/accomplishments/identity in New York City to come to Zurich... and then a restart of my career, new marriage, pregnancy, birth and motherhood all in a new culture. 

Last night my husband and I lay down to sleep after a long and good day. At the same moment, in unison, as we lay there, we turned to one another and said "I'm happy". We laughed and said "jinx", but beneath the laughter the weight of the truth of our statements was not lost on me. 

Today I write these words and recognize how far I have come. I have begun to resurface from a deep and dark journey under the waters of time and loss and incredible amounts of love. I have begun to rediscover my light and I feel so incredibly lucky. 


Yoga is not a practice of navigating the light. It is a practice of life, which means that it cocoons us in as much presence as we can handle, whether we are soaring in the skies or are so wrought with sorrow that we cannot move off of the floor. It gives us tools, should we choose to use them, to look directly at our joy and suffering, and to attempt to make choices that give us the opportunity to let go and let in whatever it is we are experiencing. Yoga and movement and breath and meditation have, throughout these last years, given me the space to see myself clearly, even when that vision was painful to witness. And in the depths of the dark waters in which I often found myself, that space and insight ultimately gave me permission to keep moving forward and to do what was necessary to take care of my self, my spirit, and therefore my family and all that I love. 

Today I reflect upon where I have come from and where I find myself today. I do not take my position lightly, this resurfacing. I am grateful to be here, so grateful.