Ciao can mean hello or good-bye in Italian, so when Rose said, Ciao amici to us the other day, she meant: Goodbye, girlfriends, I’m off to Italy.
But when we said ciao amica to her, we meant: while the cat is away, the mice will play, so goodbye girlfriend, we’ve hijacked the October email blast!
Sure, we both have a part in doing the email blasts, but usually it’s setting up the graphics and editing Rose’s copy. But this blast? It’s all us! So while it may look and feel like Rose’s email blasts, she is going to read it for the first time when it goes out to all of you!
So … ciao amici!
If you’ve been to Rose’s class you’ve heard her say, “your yoga mat is your sacred space… the place where you come to heal… to figure shit out.”
But the yoga mat is just a symbol; we carry our sacred spaces within us, and unroll them wherever we find a place of calm and peace and restoration. Wherever it is that we “figure shit out.” Rose rolled up her sacred space and took it with her to Italy. We, too, each have a special sacred space that informs our healing and brings us comfort.
For me, and I know it sounds funny, but my sacred space is the bowling alley - Spevock’s Nautical Lanes in Avon Lake, to be exact. My husband and I joined a couples league there last fall for “something fun” to do. Besides the gutter and a few strikes and spares, my husband and I found a respite from the trials of parenting two teenage girls, and more importantly, we each found ourselves again. As individuals. As a couple. I didn’t realize how I had forgotten to have my OWN fun while I was busy engineering a "happy childhood" for my kids. I didn’t realize that I had forgotten to be my husband’s cheerleader (and he mine). And I forgot how good bowling alley snack bar food can taste when it’s washed down with a $2 beer. We both fell hook, line and sinker into this new space and new community, buying our own balls custom-fit to our hands, along with shoes that don’t look like clown-boats and a rolling bag to pull it all. Aren’t we the cool bowlers now? We met a community of bowlers (far better athletes than us) who celebrate each strike we throw as if it’s their own. It’s where we go to wash away the week, reconnect as a couple and give our family the space we need AWAY FROM each other. I like to go to the lanes and practice myself when Mark travels just to recharge the batteries and, let’s be honest, practice hitting the pocket and maximizing my pin carry. Not that I'm competitive and want to be a better bowler than my husband… (wink).
It’s books. For me, my go-to sacred space has always been books. No matter what was happening in my life, a book could soothe my soul and bring in divine light. I wouldn’t have known how to explain that when I was a child, but even then, books were my sacred place, where I could put aside mean friends and strict parents and hiding from atomic bombs under my desk at school. Summer vacation meant one thing to me when I was a kid: 10 or 12 books a week from the library. I coveted those books more than most kids my age coveted a new bike, and I couldn’t wait to flop on my bed and read. Before long my mother would holler, get outside and get some fresh air. Okay, I could do that (we had a great tree in our yard with the perfect spot for leafy reading). Nothing could keep me from reading; for years I read under the covers with a flashlight (I’ve graduated to a lighted Kindle). Books carried me through my divorce, help me parent my daughter, lifted me up through breast cancer, taught me to cook and grow herbs, and now are showing me how to be 70 with gusto and grace (I’m much better at the gusto part). I’ve laughed with Nora Ephron, cried with Anne Tyler, been enthralled by James Michener, scared to death by Stephen King, and prayed with Anne Lamott. I’ve read science fiction and thrillers and bodice-rippers and self-help and non-fiction and women’s literature. In fact, I can’t think of a single day, ever, when I haven’t read at least a few pages of a book. And I’ve always come away from that sacred space without a little healing, a little joy, a little faith. It is my place in this world where I figure shit out. Next to my yoga mat, books are it for me. My sacred space.
So, amici, find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Let yourself drift, maybe listen to quiet music. Envision the place where you go to honor and restore yourself. Your sacred space. Are you there? Good. Now, know that you can roll that space up, and carry it with you wherever you go. It is yours, inside you, lovelies. Ciao!
Tina and Kathleen