A Mother's Heart is Like a Garden

Author: Jackieb / Date: 17-09-2014 / Tag: Yoga, Yoga Longmont CO, Full Circle Yoga, Mindful Maya, Jackie Boeheim, Yoga and Cancer /

“A mother’s heart is a garden of love.”  I found these simple words painted on a glass stained magnet that was once on my Grandma’s refrigerator and has now made its way to my mom’s refrigerator. I’ve probably read it a million times in my life and at some point the words lost their meaning or maybe I didn’t acknowledge the meaning at all.  This weekend I felt drawn to the magnet as I was filling up a cup of water for my mom. There was something that resonated within me as I read the words out loud, “A mother’s heart is a garden of love.” I felt a warm feeling in the depth of my stomach.  Maybe it’s because my Grandma has left this world or because my mom, Linda, has shown me great courage in the past year. I quickly realized it was my mom’s love that I felt warming and nourishing my entire body.  Although I am not a mother myself, I am grateful for the mother figures in my life that have never failed to show me the power of unconditional love. This love invades our hearts only to fill us up with joy and gentleness.   It reaches all parts of our bodies; physically, mentally, and spiritually. It nurtures our bodies and souls. It feels so darn amazing, I couldn’t help but want to spread this love to every being and experience I came in contact with. Teaching yoga and having a living yoga practice allowed me to do just this!

However, my true ability to dig deep and tap into that inner love was put to the test when my mom told me she had breast cancer. My heart sank and my thoughts ran amok. I could only imagine what thoughts were swirling in her pretty little head.  Her strength shined through her blue eyes as they steadied my gaze and it brought me back to the present. This illness will change our lives, but mostly hers. I knew then and there that we will be on this journey together and we will have our love to guide us. The garden is sure to grow stronger than ever with a little TLC.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in America. Cancer in general is an extremely common illness as we all know. There’s been a profound amount of studies that have shown that the chemicals found in our food, water and air have all been linked with cancer. The very things we need to survive are also making us sick. Our society has somehow instilled in us that cheap, convenient, fake food is superior to healthy, homemade, nutrient rich food. Of course we aren’t all perfect in making the healthiest choices, but every moment is another chance for us to consciously change our decisions. We should be mindful, as caring beings of this Earth, to fill ourselves and loved ones up with the things that will nurture us inside and out. We should want to eat, talk, behave and live a life that is made with the secret ingredient, love.  I’ve found through practicing yoga and allowing “yoga philosophies” to enter my life that I am not only healthier physically, but I feel more connected to my true self where love flows freely with the world around me.

Any kind of yoga practice no matter how small it may be reveals a forgotten bridge between body and soul leading us to the present, the only place life exists. I believe with every part of my being that this exploration of the self would be an amazing experience for anyone going through an illness or even just common fears we all undergo. With intentional breathing and movement, yoga awakens our prana, Sanskrit for our life force energy. With our breath, prana nourishes and feeds our cells on a molecular level and permits a deeper understanding within. Through yoga our bodies become stronger and our minds clearer. We begin to see our experiences with a fresh set of eyes. Our souls shine bright and we become more grateful for this life. On the mat, we move deeper inside ourselves where illness and fears cannot reach us.  This allows us to find the courage to kick them in the butt! Perhaps not the easiest task at first, but to find that one moment when you’re free from struggle we begin to see the true beauty and resiliency we are all made of.

So like the heart of all mothers where an endless garden of love and nourishment resides, yoga helps us to become reacquainted with the unconditional love that is in each and every one of us. This love guides us through the shadows and the light of life; revealing strength, compassion, and peace. To see my mom’s positive outlook through this journey has truly been inspiring. It has transcended into how I teach and practice yoga on and off the mat. I hope everyone can find yoga to be a positive catalyst through whatever obstacle our minds, bodies, and spirit endure in this life. To be reminded with every breath that you are loved, makes it worth the journey.