footprint on heart Some stay for a long time. Others are there for only a few moments, days, or months. Regardless of the time, each person has something to share, to teach, to help us learn and grow. This even applies to those who have hurt us and who have broken our hearts. These people are often the best teachers, since during moments of pain we are pushed beyond our comfort zone. In this place we have the opportunity to learn hard lessons and to make a different choice that may forever change our path. Be sure to thank the ‘heartbreakers’ for the free lesson to grow into a better person.

More often than not, most people who enter into our lives bring joy and happiness. Some even bring the opportunity to experience life in a way that helps us open up our heart. Two friends I met while in India taught me to get caught up in being, in living, and in loving. By meeting them, I experienced what it means to get out of my head and into my heart. Bruce and Kathy, a wonderful married couple, lived next door to me during yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. When I first arrived, I was not open, I was intense, coming from NYC, and wound up. I did not have time to interact with others, since I was there on a mission – to learn yoga and to get answers to questions about my career and my next steps in life. Seems that I packed my Type A personality in my suitcase.

Bruce and Kathy on the other hand, were recently retired, had been traveling together for some time, and totally in love with not only each other, but also everyone and everything around them. They were not only parents to their own children, but also to others. Bruce saw my intensity and one day out of the blue started to give me daily hugs. They were those feel good, real hugs that connected at the heart. Kathy had this laugh that made me laugh even more. Whatever it was that they were ‘drinking’, I wanted some of it.

Over time, I opened up more and more and by the end of the program, I experienced so much love for everyone and everything. Even the hot, dirty, chaotic India became beautiful to me. As soon as my attitude changed to be one of love and not anger or frustration then my entire world changed. India and all my friends that I met along the way became absolutely beautiful and peaceful. Living in this space felt so much better than being closed as when I first arrived. I experienced this because I took time to connect with Bruce and Kathy and to welcome the lessons I had to learn. I stopped and took time to see the simplicity and true happiness that my two neighbors lived each day.

Bruce and Kathy were only in my life for a couple of months in May and June 2014, yet impacted it so much. When I left them in Delhi before flying back to the States, I had no idea that would be the last time I would see them. They left this world together on April 25 while hiking near the epicenter of the earthquake that devastated Nepal. Words cannot explain my feelings of loss for two people who left a mark on everyone they met. My spiritual journey through India was rich and two people who were part of that journey are no longer here. All they taught is still with me and will never leave. I will always honor their spirits by bringing this essence to my teachings.

My life changed after meeting Bruce and Kathy. They helped me see that life is much more enjoyable when we allow the walls to be broken down around us. If I did not let them in, then I would never have experienced the love of two amazing people. I would have missed out on a huge life lesson that I could only learn from experience and not reading a book. The love they gave helped me feel the love within myself. This helped me give it back to others.

We have to experience life and all the people who surround us. Be 100% involved in everything that you do and I promise you, your world and the people in it will open up in ways you could not imagine. Learn to let people in and take time to connect with them at a deeper level. Open up to others, be present with them, listen to what they have to say, feel what they are going through. For a few minutes, let go of your own dramas. We are all connected and want the same things in life. Why would your dramas be more important than someone else’s dramas? When we meet people, we often judge them from the outside; look at what they are wearing, or what their hair looks like. These things do not matter. What matters is that we never take anyone for granted. Each conversation, each interaction might be the last. Make it worthwhile.

Is there someone in your life that you want to connect with at a deeper level? Have you recently had a not so positive interaction with someone? Don’t waste anymore time, you know what you need to do.

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In memory of Bruce and Kathy Macmillan…you will always be a part of my heart. I will never forget our time in Rishikesh, on the Ganga, and in the Himalayas. As we left Dharamsala, packed tight in the van, I played over and over a song someone gave me in a shop – Dust in the Wind. Little did I know how true these lyrics really are….”now don’t hang on, nothin’ lasts forever but the earth and sky, it slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy, dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.” You can listen below to the song Dust in the Wind by Sarah Brightman.

No one knows how long we will be on this earth. Make every second count.

kathy and bruce

kathy warrior

hiking group

pam and kathy

bruce headstand

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