What images come to mind when you see this word? On a scale of 1 to 10, how “fulfilled” would you say you are feeling today? No judgment, just the first thoughts that come to your mind …

Last week Jim, I & our boys took an opportunity to get away to a little cabin in the woods. Literally like 20 minutes from our house … yet we felt worlds away from our day-to-day. Our days were “filled” with morning meditation, reads, breakfast & hot beverages … snacks & late morning walks with the dogs … maybe a workout or yoga … late lunch, making a fire, naps & more reading … maybe another walk with the dogs … dinner, stoking the fire, & more reading (maybe a beer for Jim & a little HGTV for me 😉 ).

(BTW that is a HOMEMADE marshmallow in that homemade hot chocolate — made by Jim’s cousin, Amanda, who has become our official marshmallow provider from this day forward. Hands down.)

After 7 days of this packed schedule, we drove back the 20 minutes to our house feeling pretty fulfilled.

I realized over & over this week that fulfillment is so readily available & terribly elusive at the same time. At least for me. I can get pretty down about what I don’t have, who I’m not, where I’m lacking. & I can also find such fulfillment & completeness in the simple experience of nature (we watched 2 deer meander along the hillside across from our cabin one evening), a delicious meal (Jim always cooks delicious meals!), & the devotion of Baxter & Tortilla.

I also realize I’m privileged to have the ability, the resources & the support (thank you to my employer, 4-H … thank you to our friends, Sue & Bob, for the cabin … thank you to Jim’s employer, St. Peter’s, for granting vacation time …) to get away for a bit, to take a reprieve, to refill & rejuvenate. How much better, kinder, & simply more healthy our communities would be if we granted each other time away from it all.

What does “fulfillment” look like for you? It may be similar or quite different from what I described above — I know some folks would tear their hair out sitting in a cabin for a week of quiet, haha! & that’s perfectly legit! My point is to reflect on what fills you up … & find little or big ways to make it happen.

“We need what you got,” says artist Jesse Peterson of Let’s Make Art. The world needs your kindness, your full presence, your gifts, your light. So do what you need to do to replenish & rejuvenate … even if it’s one mindful breath in your closet away from the madness.

Back in October, I listened to senior teacher Judy Moulton of The Himalayan Institute speak on fulfillment & freedom. Take a listen & let me know what you think … how could Judy’s reflection on fulfillment inform your yoga practice?

I look forward to practicing with you again soon — for now we are cultivating our home practices by gathering virtually. Yet soon enough we will look forward to greeting each other in-person again. Thank you for practicing ahimsa, non-harming, in your thoughts, words & actions as we continue to care for our community in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE for yoga updates, inspiration … & ridiculous amounts of dog pictures.

Thank you to all of my teachers, past & present, for your wisdom, generosity & strength. May my own teaching honor & authentically transmit the teachings & practices of Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition.

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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