You might not think of yoga and Christmas as concepts that have anything in common. However, both yoga and Christmas present opportunities to look inward and reflect.
For a grieving dad named Shawn Dennstedt, yoga has proved to be a valuable source of comfort. It’s from this father that many parents are being given some sound advice: Please appreciate those in your life while you still can.
In his post to the Little Yoga Room Facebook page, Shawn provides a bit of backstory.
“I’m Shawn. I’m new. I’ve only done three classes. I don’t say hi to anyone because I’m pretty introverted. Nobody says hi to me because I’m kinda big and people say I can be a little scary. I like to get to class early so I can acclimate myself to that d*mn heat!”
Even though Shawn is introverted and keeps to himself, he does listen to “chit-chat.” A lot of it involves parents venting about their children and others. It’s at this point that Shawn shares some heartbreaking news.
“What you probably don’t know, is that my 19-year-old daughter, Lianne, died 13 weeks ago while she was away at college. You may have read about her. She got her 15 minutes of fame posthumously.”
Shawn then shared something profound:
“It occurred to me on my drive home today, that while most people seem to be trying to escape their kids while they practice [yoga], I’m trying desperately to find mine. And I’m finding her.”
Parents around him are finding peace by escaping from the noise and chaos they might associate with their families and children. But Shawn has turned those quiet moments on the mat into an opportunity to lovingly reflect on the memories of Lianne.
“I remember Lianne as a baby and how she used to sleep on my chest while I lay on the couch watching T.V. I was glad the lights were turned down low the other night, so no one could see me crying.”
It isn’t just the healing reflections that Shawn wished to share, but a reminder. “Take a moment,” said Shawn, “to appreciate what, and who, we have in our lives.” He continued, “I would give anything in this world to hear my two girls screaming at each other again, just one more time. Merry Christmas everyone. Namaste.”
And so this Christmas, whether you take some time out for meditation or not, do reserve a quiet moment to be grateful for what you have… and to remember those who we’ve lost.
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