Love and Being Present

I was reunited with the teachings of the most influential yoga teacher I have ever had; Rolf Gates.
Yup. Me. Yoga.

For those of you who know me, you know that yoga is a big part of my life. For those of you learning about me through these writings you might think, “yoga?”

Last night I received a mass mailing from Rolf about the comings and goings on his website, his blog, and where he’ll be teaching next. Unfortunately for me, Rolf does most of his teaching back on the Northeast, from where we moved two years ago. Fortunately for everyone, Rolf is still out there teaching.

After receiving this email I scrolled through the blog and was reminded of many of the things about Rolf that I hold so dear. One of the Rolf’s prinicipal ideals is how love is stronger than fear — a powerful yogic principal. And in reading Rolf’s blog I was reminded of another yogic prinicipal of being kind to yourself, and remembering to bring yourself back to the present without getting upset with yourself that you strayed from the present.

But what struck me most today was Rolf’s brief entry on “Love.” He goes on to write, ” I have looked into [my children's] eyes countless times. Their eyes are always filled with love for me[,] a love that I have not earned, they just shine their love on me because they know of no other way to be. Love is what we are born with.”

I took pause upon reading this, thinking about my own children and the guidance I want to give them, the forms of discipline that I use, and I thought “I’m doing a good job, but can I do better? What about leveraging that love?”

I hesitate, however, to use that word “leverage.” For me it has such negetive connotations, but seeing that it is so powerful, and children really are born with it, why not use it to everyone’s advantage?

I think about so many different ways of effectively socializing young children, and feel like we, as a society, do a really good job of squashing the effervescence, curiosity, and trust out of children. There are so many restrictions imposed on children today born out of fear of terrorism, fear of child predators, fear of fear. Pop culture, mainstream media, and some times our extended family, send messages that easily lead parents to over-protect children to a point that they are not allowed to be themselves, to be children, to shine brightly.

But reading Rolf brings me back to that notion that love can conquer all. Is this perspective naive? I guess that depends on your perspective. But if you follow yogic principals and remain connected with your Self, then you have no need to be paranoid about having naive notions of human potential.

It’s time for me to go give my kids a big hug.

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