Hello dear friends from near and far,
I bring holiday greetings to you, though I’m not sure on what holiday these notes will arrive. I was shooting for a cheery end-of-the-world message, but it’s quite clear I’m not going to make that deadline. So now I’m going for a Merry Christmas greeting, but just in case I miss that goal too, let me say Happy New Year to you all. And. . . if the apocalypse really does arrive, as predicted, on December 21, 2012, I send you heavenly greetings!
All is well here. Dash, the white fluffy one, and I are happy girls living the good life in sunny Florida. She is going to be two in February and her personality really blossomed this second year of life. She’s an energetic and curious little creature, constantly checking out the world with all of her senses. As it turns out, Dash is the perfect name for my baby. On our walks, she stays nicely by my side as she has been trained to do, and then, out of the blue, she sprints ahead like a little white dart. Then she turns abruptly with a slight flip in the air and sprints back to me showing off her speed and agility. So although she’s named after my favorite punctuation mark (-), it appears she has grown into a new definition of her the name: she’s the Dasher.
And isn’t that a great thing to do? To grow into a new definition of your name? She’s made me wonder what “a Lezlie” might be like in 2013.
Well, for sure, this Lezlie is going to be a good yogi. This amazing practice of ashtanga yoga has really infused every part of my life. Between practicing and teaching yoga, I have very little free time outside of my work at Rollins. The past two years have been ridiculously busy because, in essence, I am doing two jobs. So this next May, I will cut way back on my Rollins work and begin to devote myself more and more to College Park Yoga here in Orlando. I’ll be teaching more classes and offering workshops in yoga, writing, and creativity for the Central Florida community. I am excited about this new direction in my career-I think this is about the sixth major shift in my forty-three year teaching career. I’m happy to be out from under a lot of the tedious parts of being a full-time academic (no more faculty meetings!), and eager to do deepen my yoga experience, both as a student and as a teacher of the ashtanga tradition. For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, it is a methodology that addresses issues of mind, body, and spirit with the goal of leading the practitioner to greater awareness (of self and society), deeper wisdom, and integrated health. As I head into my 66th year of life, I’ve never felt so richly rewarded by any of my previous endeavors as I do by this practice.
I’m making slight revisions on the website this month, but please check in with lezlielaws.com when you can to see the new workshops I’ll be offering in 2013. I’m looking forward to having more time to coach writers and creatives on how to recognize and hone their deepest creative instincts. Early in my teaching career, I saw that people feel happier and more purposeful when they are engaged in their unique creative work in the world, whether that means being a good gardener, a good grandmother, or a good writer, or you fill in the blank. I’m interested in showing people how to tap into their deepest creative spirits so they can express what they see, what they experience, and who they are.
I believe if each and every one of our children learn to do this, they will shape productive and rewarding lives for themselves, instead of lives of frustration and self-destruction. Learning to unleash our innate creativity–to do the very thing we were born into this world to do–is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for building the kind of world we yearn for. May God help us all lead our children to the best that is in them–and let’s shower them with love and admiration every single time we see their best selves emerge. Otherwise, they might just grow up not knowing what joy and beauty they are made of. They might do things that hurt themselves and others. They might not discover the good life they deserve.
And I wish for all of you a very good life, too, a life marked by kindness, compassion, and a reverence for all life. Breathe deeply; drink lots of water; and let the dog off leash as often as possible.