Gentle Soul

“Kindness expresses the gentleness of the soul.”

This quote is from a meditation series by Deepak Chopra & Oprah Winfrey, titled “Expanding Your Happiness.” Deepak Chopra uses it as the centering thought on Day 11 of this series.

When I heard him say this, I was flooded with memories of a little girl living on Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico. She went to a little Catholic school in town from kindergarten halfway through third grade. She was lithe and shy and had dark curly hair and soulful eyes. This little girl felt and understood things she had no words for and she loved easily and openly. Others had a deep and natural inclination to protect her. One of the nuns took her mother aside when she was in first grade and told her that she had been given a very special child to raise. The little girl’s mother agreed. The nun went on to say that God had his hand on this child. Years later the mother would tell her teenage daughter how that had frightened her. The teenager would silently be puzzled and wonder why the words hadn’t come as a blessing to her mother.

The little girl had a big brother who took his job as her protector very seriously and he was the center of her world. Her love for him knew no bounds. She would see a soft light around him and she thought everyone could see it. There were many little things she felt and knew but could not put into words.

When she looked at the sky, she felt the presence of other beings who loved her and took joy in her being. Laying on her back in the grass and searching the clouds for pictures, she giggled to herself and whispered “I know you are there! I know you see me!” It didn’t take long for this gentle child, this wise soul, to realize that saying too much frightened people and it was best to hold her truths within. Many years later, as an adult looking back, she wondered why she had chosen to be born to a family that did not know how to recognize and nurture what she came into this world to share.

In the scope of things it didn’t matter. She came into a bloodline of strong, vibrant women who survived and flourished in the face of great odds. She needed their strength and resiliency and came to embrace a life journey with teachers at more of a distance than she would have preferred until one affirmed her life path in one brief moment. This kind, gentle soul now housed in the body of a middle-aged woman sought yoga certification from another kind, gentle soul housed in the body named Joseph LePage, founder of Integrative Yoga Therapy. She found him just before dawn one morning during her advanced training. He was on the floor of the yoga space watching the sky as it began to gently go from black to dark rose, awaiting the sunrise of that new day. He heard her approach and patted the floor next to him. She stretched out and put her head on his chest and they watched together. While waiting she asked him what to say when other students asked who her guru was. She was uncomfortable because she had found her teachers in books and on tape (There were no yoga videos at that time and the internet did not exist.) He drew her closer to himself and whispered in her ear, “Your Teacher in this lifetime has always been within. The human teachers have only affirmed and taught you how to express what you already knew. With the gentle kindness that you are, remind them that all gurus exist to take us to the Teacher Within.”

This was one of a few times in her life when a spiritual teacher spoke openly to her and affirmed her Soul, her True Self. She was, in that moment, flooded with awareness of the Love of All That Is. She understood more fully and deeply that this human journey is about remembering (re-member-ing) the True Self, the Soul giving life to the body. It is about letting the gentleness of that Soul express Itself with Love and Compassion, with the Divine Kindness that It is.

Her life journey was to acknowledge the Guru Within, embrace her Truth and let True Kindness express the gentleness of her Soul. Her gift was to create a loving, compassionate environment in which others could do the same. Joseph taught her to teach from her Truth and to trust that it encompassed what she had brought in from other lifetimes, what she had learned from a distance in this lifetime, and what was now being affirmed by the Teacher Within. As the years unfolded, she watched these things unfold as she lived her Truth. In yoga classes, she watches students from every belief system possible incorporate yoga and meditation into their lives. They grow and flourish and their Souls sparkle as she gazes into their eyes and acknowledges their presence. Many of her students have become teachers who also express the gentleness of their Souls in kindness.

The Gentle Soul continues to learn and grow, finding clearer and deeper expression of the Divine Within. Still finding affirmation from teachers primarily at a distance, smiling at the experience of meeting a number of them and being blessed to look into the eyes of their Souls, of seeing and being seen, knowing and being known, loving and being loved. There is no true distance in Spirit. She was never far from them. They were always with her, watching as she discovered her Inner Guru. Now she quietly giggles and whispers “I feel you inside me. I know you are with me! I know I have never been alone (a lone soul) and that I never will be because we are All One!”

Gentle Souls, please feel this, know this, because You Are This:  In the Oneness of All That Is I Am/You Are Whole. In the Wholeness of All That Is I Am/You Are One.

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