Before the seminar on Saturday, I gave a talk on the Thursday before. After the lecture, my host Helga, brought this woman up to meet me and to ask a question. She speaks no English, is close to 70, thin, very withdrawn and has been noticeably struggling in the world. In words, I know nothing, but I see and feel.
She asks if it would be good for her to come to the seminar. I tuned in and with many people standing around, say directly to her (I mean directly in) “If you are ready to finally let go of the past, then the seminar can be very helpful. If you are not ready then it can be very difficult and even painful.” It is translated and I move on to another person, leaving her with this to consider and decide within herself.
Then on the drive home, I ask what the old woman decided? Helga says she immediately decided to come after I spoke with her and to seal her intention she wrote down her commitment on a piece of paper.
Helga then tells me a bit of this woman’s background and why she is wanting to come, and that she truly has NOTHING to lose. Her husband, now dead, was an SS officer and apparently did all those atrocious things we often read about. It seems the reality of this has haunted her to the point of despair. She has had bouts with alcohol, drugs, and all sorts of other numbing devices. Now as she is nearing the end of her rope/life, and she is slowly dying inside from all this past memory, she feels unless she does something, she will die miserably.
Can you imagine, how I felt when having learned of her past, and reflecting on the words I spoke to her about finally letting go of the past. Wow! You understand I am not feeling myself important, but the beauty of the work that must be done at this time and is being asked of all of us.
She comes to the seminar for a full day of kundalini yoga, half have never taken a yoga class before. We worked, laughed, sweated, cried, trusted, and existed. This old woman was so strong you would not believe it. When we did ego eradicator (holding the arm straight up and out at 60°) she was only one of 4 people who kept their arms up for the full 3 minutes. More than 12 people, could not hold the posture the full time. All the postures that required strength, she excelled. The postures that required flexibility, she struggled with, but she did not quit. She would adjust, rest, breath, and let go, until she could continue, always giving her best effort. It was so inspiring that I used her as an example for the others, all younger. The other students were inspired by her humble, determined and honest effort.
Helga spoke to this woman sometime after the course and reported that she has not stopped practicing the yoga she learned and feels elated, as if the course never ended. I have no idea what will happen, except to say that she has learned, with the help of the other students, along with her own effort, and a guiding light that I beamed, that life contains many possibilities, and she now knows that there are other choices for her life.
Note: This story was inspired by a friend’s question about the grace I have noticed since moving to Europe. There are dozens of stories of people expressing grace and opening to healing. I am clear that I am not to record all these like some historian but to reveal the truth as it unfolds in each moment and in response to a question.