Take Heart

My father was a career military man — US Air Force. So my sister and I were up-rooted approximately every four years. To help us cope with our feelings of loss and to arrest our anxiety about heading toward something new and strange, my Dad used to say, “Home is where you hang your hat.” I’ve since added that, “home is where your heart is at.”

I am reminded of this sing-song childhood mantra as I venture into new studios to teach and practice the Yoga that I love so dearly. I’ve been away from teaching full-time for a long minute. Though I may appear quite confident and self-assured, I’m still as nervous as a school girl on her first day at a new school.

We’ve all experienced this — moments that are unsettling. Unsettling is neither good or bad. It’s when these moments turn into days and the days turn into months that we might lose our footing. Lose sight of our goals, hopes and dreams. It’s in these extended moments of circling and swirling about in a whirlpool that you realize that your life may not be as you pictured it. But, I also believe that it’s while you’re in a ‘whirlpool moment’ that you’re finally ready to build the life you truly wish to live.

It’s at these moments that you have the opportunity to go inward. To listen to your heart. No matter how childish or kooky it may sound. Listen and follow your heart’s directions. What can it hurt? You’ve been listening to your brain and other outside influences for a while now and look where it’s gotten you: soaking wet in a cold, swirling whirlpool.

Well, that’s how it was for me anyway. I sat up one evening and thought, I can be a better yoga teacher. I read on a friend’s Facebook post that he’d traveled great distances, on great adventures to a number of different towns and countries. But none of those trips compared to his journey from his head to his heart.

For me to get back to my True Self — back to my heart — I needed to start by teaching and learning and sharing more Yoga. If you subscribe to the notion that we are what we think, then you’ll understand how that one thought brought me to where I am today — standing at the door of a new class at a new studio.

My wish for you is that, if and when, you find yourself in one of those whirlpools, that you’ll take the plunge — journey from your head to your heart. Home is where you hang your hat; home is where your heart is at.

Love and Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

4 tsp milk

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half to make two dough balls. Chill 1 hour. Take one of the halves out; leave the other in the refrigerator until ready to roll out. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 in thickness. Cut in desired shapes with cutters. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool slightly, remove from pan. Makes 2 dozen. Decorate to your heart’s desire.

(This is the recipe my mother used when I was a young girl. It’s from the Better Homes and Gardens 1968 cookbook.)