Blessings on Your Holidays,
This time of year brings with it so many mixed emotions for me. I love the meaning behind the Holidays of bringing in the light, hope, peace and joy to a world that desperately needs it. I sing my way through the season with carols and I love lighting candles & sitting in front of the tree with a fire burning in our huge fireplace. I am also aware that many folks have a difficult time during the holidays and suffer in their circumstances whether financially, or with illness or loneliness and grief to name a few. I know I tend to miss my mom a lot during this time as her birthday was 12/15 and she LOVED Christmas time. Lots of memories go along with this time of year and I want to be sensitive to those who need extra care and empathy.
There are a few recent events in my life that I am especially thankful for that I wanted to share because each event inspired forms of hope and joy . Over Thanksgiving we had a group of four young musicians stay at our house and that was such a special time for my whole family. These two couples; Gabrielle & Justin and Melanie & Brodie became family in five days. We had continuous live music in our lives for those days and all of us miss the joyful, soulful presence of these beings. The benefit concert that OSYB hosted to help send Melanie off with the beginning of her fundraising efforts to join www.upwithpeople.org
this January was wonderful and I thank each one of you who came and donated. If you weren’t able to attend and want to donate a little something for Melanie you can see her on video here: https://www.generosity.com/volunteer-fundraising/melanie-s-2016-up-with-people-tour--2
In October I became rather upset with the string of mass shootings I was witnessing in the media. So, I decided to do something about it and went to DC to lobby for sensible gun laws with Newtown Action Alliance http://newtownaction.org
and a couple friends from OSYB community as well. We attended the 3rd annual vigil for victims of gun violence and spoke with congressional representatives and senators delivering our letters of support and the message that enough is enough, #honorwithaction #endgunviolence. It was an incredible whirlwind of 2 days and I learned a lot about the inner workings of our political process and I met some truly remarkable people both from NAA, a completely volunteer organization and also families who had lost loved ones to gun violence and will not give up fighting for this cause. And here is a link to the press conference we all attended and helped support.
Gun Violence Press Conference at Capitol December 2015: https://goo.gl/H7daer
Please visit NAA website and find out ways you can honor with action all those who have lost their lives to gun violence.
It is simple only takes a few moments to call representatives and sign petitions. Every single representative we spoke to said it is the actions of common citizens like us taking a stand that will make a difference.
Our son Quinn got into his first choice school Colorado College on my mom’s birthday and we took that celebratory spirit with us down to Nashville TN to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday and that was such a wonderful time with my family including my 3 brothers. My dad was so grateful to have us all together and in his words “to make it to 80 well I am just thankful.” Nashville is a fun place to visit and I even got a little into the whole country music thing, something I never thought I would enjoy. I loved the Grand Ole Opry, Studio B (where Elvis recorded many of his songs) and the whole music scene walking up and down broadway. I even bought myself a nifty pair of flowery cowgirl boots. Here is a family selfie with my dad and brothers taken late night in the lobby of the beautiful Hermitage Hotel. So much fun.
So even though I somehow hurt my back over the last days and am more than a little bummed to still be in a bit of pain with Christmas approaching, I am practicing being a witness to my thoughts and returning to the breath and it is there with my breath that I can appreciate the present moment and the glorious gift of another day of opening my eyes upon waking.
Please take a look at all the upcoming offerings at OSYB! Laura and I are very excited about the Personal Practice Workshop coming up on Saturday, January 23rd. Today is the last day to get the Early Bird Discount so lmk if you are interested. A big welcome to Silvana who is not only a delightful being, but a great teacher of Qoya dance for women. Come check her out below and come try one of her dance classes ladies. January 1st, Cynthia, Joanne and I are offering another workshop to welcome in 2016 so sign up now as space will be limited. A big thank you to all of you; students, teachers, musicians and presenters who grace the space of OSYB over and over again making it the remarkable sacred journey that it continues to be for all of us!
Sending tons of blessings your way for all of your holiday celebrations and dreams for 2016! Looking forward to witnessing how it all unfolds next year because it is never exactly as I think it will be. Staying present to the mystery……...
All Love, Cathy