For a number of years, I've written a blog called The Preppy Yogini. Bits and pieces of this blog have made their way into various yoga and book circles. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had The Preppy Yogini be so well received. It's been a lifeline for me in many ways. I've met some incredible people through The Preppy Yogini and it has opened doors for me in ways I never could have imagined.
And yet, as I wrote in a piece called The Bohemian Sloth, I've felt myself stepping away from my Preppy Yogini persona. I've spent the past 15 months battling cancer, and its physical aftermath, for the second time. No longer am I a yoga instructor. No longer am I particularly preppy. It's been a time of great changes in my life...in what I can do, in what I want to do and to what I will aspire. Blessed Julian of Norwich was an anchoress in the 14th century. She was quite literally walled into Norwich Cathedral. She had two windows: one opened into the cathedral, so that she could be a part of the worship in the church. The other window was outside. It allowed her to receive food (and I'm assuming, to get rid any waste). More importantly, it allowed her to speak with people, to pray for them and to be a part of their lives. She was a mystic and a little "out there" in her theology. And yet, she was also ahead of her in many other ways. She felt God's presence as a Loving, Kind Mother. Imagine that concept in the medieval world!
While the idea of being walled up anywhere is terrifying from a claustrophobia standpoint, I have to admit that I felt some affinity for Blessed Julian for the past year. While I've done some traveling and I have gotten out of the house, I have also been home more than ever have. I've always been a doer, a mover, a goer and a 'be right in the thick of things' kind of woman. I've worked, I've volunteered, I've gone out to lunch with friends and noodled around art museums. I have spent more time in quiet contemplation, over the past year, than ever before. It's a heady thing. I've had to learn how to simply be in peace without anyone else to entertain me. I've learned so much in the past year...most of it having to do with meditation, harmonious quiet and silent images. I'm done a great deal of praying. I've read a tremendous amount, even for a bibliophile like me. I've come to appreciate the beauty in stillness in a way I never had before. I've always been an admirer of Blessed Julian, but I've come to understand her better...even in the smallest way...to know what it's like to simply be alone.
My new blog, And All Shall Be Well, will not be a collection of my own life experiences and lessons from, as I had in The Preppy Yogini. It's my goal to write short essays that may be used in meditation, for inspirational reading, for prayer and for uplifting imagery. This won't be a running diary. Rather, it will simply be a tool for others to use in their quests. I like to describe myself an Episcopalian with dashes of Jewish roots and twists of Zen. I feel honored and blessed by Native American, Celtic and Norse traditions. And All Shall Be Well is most definitely written with God in mind and in heart. But, I'm hopeful that, whatever one's faith tradition, there will be illuminating pieces that will speak to many. I plan on drawing from many sources for my own inspiration.
St. Paul wrote in Philippians, "Finally, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." It's my hope that the pictures I'll paint with my words will uplift and will be worthy to 'think on'.
(Note: I will not take down The Preppy Yogini, I've accomplished what I had hoped to..and will continue to update. But, I hope you join me as I work on And All Shall Be Well. Namaste, Peace and Thank you.)