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Extra Grace Required - Our Blog

Quick to Listen - The Ethical Practice of Nonattachment

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
James 1:13

The yoga ethic of aparigrapha—nonattachment or nonpossessiveness is an idea with which I have had to grapple. At first glance this ethic or yama seems to be about materialism, and I’m all about simplifying my life. But it gets harder for me to apply the ethic to my relationships. I love my family and my friends. Why on earth would I ever try to be unattached from them?

Watching my kids grow into independent adults, moving away from home, has helped me understand this yoga ethic. As many empty-nesters know, this can be a very painful, emotional experience for the parent. There is a profound feeling of loss and grief when the formerly dependent child, who you love so much, is no longer physically present in your home. But at the same time you know, deep down, that this was your job as a parent—to nurture and allow your child to grow into their own person, to follow their own path. As your adult child detaches from you, and you from them, you don’t stop loving the child, but rather, in letting go, you acknowledge that child’s inherent right to learn from life's lessons in their own time, trusting them to become the person they were created to be.  Read More 

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House Envy, Contentment Stealing, and Yoga

"Though you may not be aware of it, you are already a vessel containing hidden light...within you are all the powers that are in all the worlds, within you is the hidden light of the first day of creation."

Diane Bloomfield, Torah Yoga

Most of the time, I am a really lousy Christian. Do I love my neighbor as myself? No. Do I give all that I can to the poor? No. Do I welcome the stranger? No. Do I comfort the sick? No. For me, living my Christian faith as Jesus taught is hard work. Some days it seems like the only thing I’ve got going for me, is that I love God, and that I am hugely grateful that I am loved back, warts and all.

But I do try. My Judeo-Christian heritage and the ten commandments help ground me. I like to think I’ve got most of the ten commandments covered (admittedly I’m wobbly on keeping the Sabbath), and therein lies the issue. But there’s one commandment in particular that drives me to distraction: I’m a coveter. Specifically, I suffer from periodic episodes of extreme house-envy.  Read More 

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