On California and Community

Almost unbelievably, I have lived in San Francisco for a year this week.

I remember around this time last year, feeling like my heart was tearing open - packing up our Boston condo and my office, saying goodbyes, watching the just greening landscape as the plane took off. And then landing in California, a sea of hills and stark white buildings, and wondering if it would ever really feel like home. For months there were planned Boston trips, each time feeling again - that I would always be torn.

And in the beginning, it was the same with yoga. All of the faces were new - students, teachers, studios- everyone. I wondered if it would ever be comfortable, like it had been in Boston. When would it feel like home?

This weekend I was practicing at Innerstellar in a master class led by Colleen Millen, one of the Forrest Yoga guardians who lives in the Bay area. She is truly amazing. It was a packed house - one of those classes where it took a few minutes just to get everybody to stop talking and hugging long enough to start. As we were getting settled, I looked around the room and saw just how many faces I knew. How much I cared for so many of these individuals. How I truly felt the care and concern that they had for me.

And it wasn't just a feeling of belonging, or of being home. Because it was - finally - all of those things.

It was a feeling of being blessed. Blessed because I didn't lose anything coming here to California. I only gained. I can't imagine my life without my yoga community here in San Francisco - probably anymore than I could imagine my life outside of Boston just a year ago.

At times, we worry so much about holding on that we forget to look in front of us for the next hand reaching out. 

We are capable of loving and growing so much more than we ever think is possible. Blooming where we are planted no matter what the soil is like.

And in that room on Saturday, after settling, and setting intent, Colleen said very simply: "Breathe big. Breathe for you. Breathe for everyone here. Breathe for your community."

It makes a difference.

Later that evening, I was going through my ever-exploding gmail inbox, and came across Colleen's March newsletter, in which she had written specifically about community:

This is what being in community offers us, isn't it? A place to belong. A place to rest. A place to be whoever we are. A place to be unconditionally held, loved and celebrated.

Like I said...blessed.