It's been a sad week... I got word that a friend of mine died very suddenly while in Florida last week. Rolf had just driven himself down there to spend 5 months relaxing (not working, as in previous years) and taking some time to be kind to himself. As I understand it, he felt ill upon returning to his hotel room after dinner and called 911. He arrested in the ambulance en route to the hospital and could not be revived. He left this world so suddenly and none of us had a chance to say 'Goodbye'.
I wonder what his last thoughts were. I wonder if he knew that he was loved. I hope so.
I know that his path was not always smooth. I know that he had many experiences in his past that helped shape him and the directions that he chose were not always those that others - not in his shoes - would have chosen for themselves or for him.
As I think of him, I remember a man who smiled from his heart and it touched his eyes. He brought me flowers when he came to dinner. He made me feel 'special' whenever he was around just by letting his inner charm shine outwards. It was impossible not to like him.
He leaves behind many people who knew him and loved him - for all his quirks and successes and failures - for better or for worse - he was Rolf... and now he's no longer with us.
How many times have we known inside of ourselves that we love another person - be it a friend, lover, family member... or go a little farther outwards - to your co-workers, students, teachers, acquaintances... but never said or done anything about it?
In my yoga practice and teachings, I encourage and try to foster connection within the heart and mind. Connection with Self. Connection with Source. Many of us do this in our own ways.
Feeling the love inside of us - connecting with that inner beauty and spirit that live within each one of us - is powerful - but it can't stop there - you have to express it outwards and share it with those around you. Maybe you say 'I love you'. Perhaps you share of yourself selflessly with another, or practice random acts of kindness with no expectation of reciprocity... give a hug to a person who needs one... go for a walk and chat with someone who is having a low day... in other words, share yourself. Share your light with another's light and one by one, illuminate the world around you.
I don't believe that death is the end. I do believe that when I am ready to leave this world, I wish to be free of regrets for things not said or done when I had the opportunity. I wish to be at peace.
Be kind to yourselves, my friends. Tell those around you that you love them and cherish the time you have together.