Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

Sprained my low back the other day while leaping up to answer the phone. Ouch!! Not what you want with packing boxes stacked in the middle of the room ready for many trips up and down stairs. But the gift was in remembering a lesson I learned during another move…

Fifteen years ago I sprained my low back during the middle of a move to a new town, which might as well have been a whole new world. Everything was changing: neighborhood, friends, career, and lifestyle. After days of agony, painkillers and yoga stretches, I reached out to a friend who teaches Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. This modality features a privately facilitated session combined with introspection, body-mind psychology and intuitive movement aimed at healing the inner issue and bringing subsequent outer relief. Upon arrival at the session, my statement was “My back hurts. I just can’t move!” Then the realization “Ahh, I just can’t move.”  I quickly realized then (and again yesterday), that the packing boxes may be ready to go, and the vision for my new space may be bright and shiny. But I hadn’t yet given proper thanks for the journey, or grieved the dreams that were lost along the way.

So yesterday I gingerly got out of bed, lit a candle and smudge stick, then blessed my Self, the cabin, the experiences and the people who have deeply impacted my life. After a good cry, I took the candle outdoors to the burning barrel, and set fire to some old pictures, journal entries, checkbooks, and a poster with the message “Hope, Sweet, Hope.” What I have come to learn recently is that hope equates to my version of life according to how I think it should be. And when it doesn’t go according to plan, I give up hope and things seem, well, hopeless.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing, as this story unfolds. During the past few months/years/decades, romantic fantasies of harmoniously keeping house with a loved one have dwindled, rekindled, then faded again. When I finally gave up hope, reality smacked me upside the head and I came crashing back down to earth. That dark night found me sobbing, every childhood fear came to the surface, and hope for a “better” life was nowhere to be found. But thanks to my yoga training, I was able to breathe through the emotions, knowing that Grace is always present when I relax into what is.

Within a day, my life miraculously transformed!  Just by showing up, I gave and received many beautiful gifts. Friendship. Hugs. Herbs. Delicious foods. Songs and stories. A friend’s empowering belief that I am indeed able to create a beautiful, healthy home and garden of my own.  My own strength coming back into play. An offer of financing and pre-approved loan. A greatly reduced foreclosure.  A closing date in a few more days…

This morning, one day after my fire ceremony, I leapt out of bed, pain-free. Excited about life. Surrendered to what is. Open to opportunities. Sharing my gifts. Transformed with Grace.


Think: Are you feeling hopeless about some aspect of your life? Know that this is just a part of yourself that is waiting to be transformed. Relax. The only thing required at this moment is to take a breath. Just one. Just breathe.

Say: Say what is bothering you. If that aspect of your life could talk to you, what would it say? Journal the answer. Tell a trusted friend. Work with a professional therapist or counselor.

Do: Know that life can profoundly change in an instant. In a day. In a year. Give thanks for your journey. Say goodbye to whatever is no longer serving your highest purpose. Stay in the present. Welcome the new.

Comments on: "Transitioning with Grace" (8)

  1. Collin said:

    What a wonderful post. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Namaste.

  2. Beautifully written……well done….Oh Yogini.

  3. Mary Margaret said:

    Dear Lisa,

    Here’s something to make you think and smile. Your other readers may want to weigh in, too.
    What was the most memorable meal or meals you have ever had? I’m not just talking about the food. This includes surroundings and atmosphere, dining companions, possible ritual involved, and significance and meaning.
    Let me know.
    Mary Margaret

    • The time I invited all my yoga students & massage clients over for an Indian feast. I cooked for 3 days…naan, 3 types of chutneys, chicken vindaloo, spiced lentils, jasmine & saffron rice, hot chai…I forget what else. 45 people showed up. They sat at the table, on floor cushions, on the steps of my apartment building. Candles warmed every corner. Sitar music and incense filled the air. We wore bindis on our foreheads.

      It was a meal people still rave about, and a once in a lifetime memory!

      Thanks for asking. Do you have a blog yet, MM? If so, let us know.


  4. Mary Margaret said:

    I have many people who love me and many memorable meals. The first one that comes to mind was in a Greek restaurant in El Paso, TX. My mother’s family is half Greek, half Mexican. As soon as we sat down for the meal the waitress gave us menus. The owner, who obviously knew my Uncle Vito, rushed out and plucked all the menus out of our hands saying, “You do not need these! I make you everything!” And he did. A friend at the table who knew our relatives in Greece brought a bottle of champagne because it was the feast day of Saints Constantine and Helen. We toasted the saints. Then we toasted all our loved ones who died: aunts, uncles, parents, children, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives. We had an overwhelming feeling that they were with us. After all the heavy, wonderful food, the owner brought us a big bowl of sliced unadorned cantaloupe – perfect cantaloupe. I don’t even know who paid for the meal but it was worth it.

    Your meal sounds wonderful, Lisa. The Greek cooks with whom I grew up, believed cooking a meal was a prayer to God and a gift of love to others. It sounds like yours fit the bill.

    • That was truly a feast! Recently I celebrated a friend’s birthday at a Greek restaurant. After a sumptuous meal, the owner bellydanced with a bottle of champagne on his head for the birthday girl. We laughed & danced & feted her all night.

      Thanks for sharing!


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