Friday, May 01, 2015

may 1.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. - Melody Beattie

I love the idea of practicing gratitude in our lives. It sounds so easy, doesn't it? Say thank you. Appreciate. Be grateful. But the reality is that gratitude is not easy at all without conscious effort. Especially when we are in the midst of crisis.

A few years back, during a dark period in my life, a sweet friend suggested a thirty day gratitude project. She challenged me to find one thing each day to be grateful for and to voice that gratitude publicly, on my blog, facebook, instagram, wherever I felt comfortable. I accepted her challenge and there are no other words other than it was life changing for me.

Bad things happen around us and it is our perception of those things that either keeps us afloat or drowns us with its weight. For many years, I felt that sinking sensation quite regularly. Yes, I practiced gratitude periodically and for the momentous occasions, but never enough to truly make a difference in my life.

The gratitude project changed that. It required me to open my eyes to not only the big, but to the small acts of kindness I was shown each day - the door being opened, a cool breeze on a hot run, a smile from a stranger on a day when it was most needed. And I now believe it is these things Melody Beattie speaks of when she says the fullness of life because it was those little things that showed me that there really are many, many things to be grateful for each day. At the very least, I am still here, living and breathing, on this earth.

Today I'm grateful for something super silly, and yet something which fascinates me to no end. Which I need to preface by explaining two things about myself.

1. I am a creature of habit and I love things that I can count on. I believe this is because my father was in the military and I grew up around the military - we were regimented. I am regimented. I love to know what is happening, when it is happening and I need a plan.

2. I love garage sales. I don't believe I have actually ever purchased anything at a garage sale, but I am fascinated by them. I love to walk around and look at people's stuff and wonder where they got it, why they bought it, which room it lived in inside their homes. I'm pretty sure this is some sort of voyeurism, but I like to imagine what people's lives are like and there is absolutely no more amazing place than to view the pieces they're willing to part with.

So here we go.

I am fascinated by this guy.
Let me try to explain why.

Our new yoga place is about two miles from the house. I've tried a number of different class times but 4 pm seems to work best for me. One day on the way home as I drove down Missouri, I noticed this guy sitting on his front porch. Now this doesn't seem like a huge deal, people sit on their front porches all the time I imagine - they rock in rocking chairs, maybe enjoy a five o'clock cocktail, take in the view. In fact, it seems fairly ordinary.

But then you throw in the fact that he's always, always alone and that his home sits just above the 51 freeway and even more - fronts Missouri Avenue where the only view he could possibly be taking in at that house is a haze of exhaust smoke and rush hour traffic.

So, I find it fascinating. And I wonder so many things - why he's alone. Why he sits outside in the heat rather than inside where it is cool. Or in the backyard even. Who he is, what he does. Does he have littles? Whether he's waiting for something or someone. Is that his dog? What his life is like.

And as the days pass and we see him there, on his front porch each evening, something inside me also finds it somewhat... comforting.

This new space is so new for me. My life so different than it was even just a year ago now. And while words could never do justice to how thankful I am to be here, how happy I am to be here, to be right here right now, there's a teeny bit inside me that does feel a bit disoriented now and again.

And then I see this guy, on his porch, every afternoon, come rain, come shine, and a pattern develops. A pattern that the creature of habit within me begins to anticipate, to rely upon. I look for him as I head back home and his presence brings a smile to my face as I think - there he is, right where he belongs. Right where he's supposed to be.

And I realize that he's kinda just like me - right where I am supposed to be - and I feel grateful to him for reminding me, and reinforcing that fact, and maybe even more - for allowing my garage sale loving imagination to run roughshod all over his life.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

april 28. courage.

October 1, 2013

I feel as if I am falling apart.

A month, maybe more, before I attended my first coda meeting, before I had even heard of coda - I wrote the words above. I felt lost, scared, out of control and unhappy with the way my life was unfolding. I was questioning all the decisions I had made - the divorce, the way I was interacting with my littles, the way I was responding to the people I considered friends. I was practicing little to no self love or self care and beating myself up about it at every turn.

It was that very day that I started searching online, looking for help, in the form of a therapist or group, anything that I could just trust and believe in. Somewhere along the way, I found coda. I read the characteristics that define codependency and I related to them. Not all, but more than a few and definitely more than could be considered healthy. My denial patterns and compliance patterns were classic. In fact I found examples in all the categories that I related to and a little voice inside thought maybe this was the answer I had been seeking for so long.

When I were married, and even today, my ex liked to tell me that he hoped I would find what I was looking for. I believe he intended this to be positive, an encouragement for me along my path to self discovery, although truthfully, I never took it as such. Then and now, I felt as if the connotation was derogatory - painting me in a half empty sort of light, never satisfied with what I had or where I was or even who I was - always searching for something better, something more.

I will never believe this to be true, although I was searching. Most definitely, continually searching. But not for the reasons he may have believed. In hindsight, and after so much work, I have realized that what I was searching for was a way to understand the truth about me. About my feelings. About why I choose to do the things I do, why I feel the way I do. How my choices and behaviors have created shame in my life and how to embrace those feelings, learn from them and not let them overwhelm me and cause me to feel unlovable, unworthy, and a whole host of other emotions that are just as debilitating and sad.

The most difficult part though, was that before coda I could not articulate this - to myself let alone anyone else. I didn't understand it at all. The only thing I knew for certain was that there was a sadness inside me, a lot of which I attributed to my mom's death and I wasn't looking for something to fill the void, I was looking for something to keep me from thinking about it - yoga, triathlon - anything that would keep my mind busy, exhausted and quiet.

Which, when you add in the writing I did on my blog during that time, makes absolutely no sense at all. I didn't want to think and yet, I over thought, over analyzed, every single event in my life, every single thought that passed through my mind. Talk about beating your head against a wall.

Fast forward last year.

Divorce, the loss of my job, the loss of my oldest little to living with his dad, an eighteenth birthday and graduation and inevitably, his moving away. The sale of our family home, my purchase of another. New job, additional new job, both children gone for a month. Surgery, contractors, allowing another man in my life then finally listening to my heart and taking steps to create appropriate boundaries which ended the relationship. Wanting connection and avoiding connection. The loss of friendships - through divorce and for other reasons. Grief.

There was not one thing in my life that was the same as it had been the previous year. And yet, instead of feeling better, I began to feel worse. My relationship with my daughter was suffering. My friend relationships were suffering. I was back to retreating and avoiding and excusing and beginning to behave in ways with people that I loved that were not healthy in the least. To a small extent I was living in fear for reasons that I will not share, but reasons that suffice to say, were very, very real to me.

People kept telling me that words and actions could only hurt me if I let them. And yet, I did not believe them. That fear I lived with forced me to give up. To give away my power before I realized it was happening and there was not one thing I could do to stop it. I just gave in.

And then I wrote the words above. And I went online and found coda. And, as scared as I was and as uncomfortable as it was for me - who would be there, would they judge me, would they look at me like I didn't belong - I went to my first meeting. And I even stood up when they asked who was new and accepted my first week chip.

People have told me that I am courageous. That I had the courage to say when enough was enough for me. That I had courage in how I dealt with my little. That I had courage when I faced the changes in everything I knew to be true about my life. People tell me I am courageous.

I am not so sure about those things. I believe those things were reactions to situations I felt powerless in versus conscious choices on my part to be courageous. I reacted and sometimes I reacted well and I was proud of the decisions I made. But sometimes, well, probably more than sometimes, I reacted poorly - in anger or in pain. And those times, however courageous they may look - have taken their toll.

No, those are not evidence of me being courageous, but I can tell you what I think was...

The day I realized that divorce did not magically solve all of our problems, the day that I realized I could no longer continue to run and hide from the truth of how I felt about myself and those around me, the day I walked into my first coda meeting. That was me being courageous that day. It took courage to look at myself in the mirror and to see that I was unwell and yet to still believe that I deserved to be well. It took courage to face my fears of embarrassment and rejection and in reality, to just walk into that room. It took courage to admit that I had problems and that I wanted to work on them. Yes, that first step took courage, my friends, it was scary, heart pounding I cannot speak kind of scary, because it left me - exposed. That first step screamed - Hi, my name is Melisa I am not perfect and today and going forward, I am choosing to own that. No blame. No shame.

It is unbelievable how far I am today from that scared little girl who walked into the fellowship eighteen months ago. Don't get me wrong, I realize I am far from healed - and may never be completely, step 12 asks us to practice the principles we learn in all our affairs. And it is a practice. But now I have a plan, a map that I follow that is leading me toward that healing. And for the first time in a very long time, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. A light that is fueled by the belief that it is ok to invest in myself and that I am worthy of this time, and that in the end, the love and respect I show myself will magnify the love I am able to show those around me.

I am loving this journey, this discovering of who I can be when I let go of obsessively trying to control my past and look instead at how it has shaped me and at what I can and have learned from it. When I focus on what I want to take with me into my future and let go of what I want to leave behind. Trust me when I say it can frightening, truly truly frightening, to open ourselves up, to allow others to see those deep and dark places we hide from the world, but I am learning that when I do - a whole new world opens right up before me. A world where all that is required of me is to be authentically, unapologetically, me.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

april 23. a momma's heart.

Last week, the jewelry company, Pandora, released a video to YouTube for Mother's Day intended to highlight the unique bond between mother and child. In the video, six women form a line and one by one, their young children are blindfolded and led toward the group. The idea is that each mother has a uniqueness about her and to the child that makes sight unnecessary.

As each child comes forward, we watch them run their hands over the clothing of the mothers, grasp their hands, cup their faces, breathe in their scent. We watch the apprehension on the faces of the mothers as the children near, doubting that sans sight, their children will be able to recognize them. We watch as the children, one by one shake their heads - no, not that one, no, not that one, yes - this one is my mother. And we watch the complete and utter relief wash over the mother as she realizes her little has untimately chosen her.

I am his. I am hers. They are mine.

It is beyond cool, and there were tears in my eyes as I watched the embraces between each mother and child. It made me think of my own little ones.

When I look back at my life and all the events in my life over the years, I would have to say that becoming a mother has been the single most significant. From the moment I first held LJ and then Frankie in my arms, to the moment I breathe my last breath on this earth, I will think as a mother, behave as a mother, make decisions as a mother. My life, as much as I would like to pretend it is about me, is in reality all about my littles. And truth be told, I cannot imagine it any other way. I don't want it any other way.

I have heard it said that we cannot understand unconditional love until we become parents. Perhaps that is true, because while there are more than a few people on this earth for whom I feel great affection and even love, there are truly only two whose lives I would put before my own. They are mine.

Now and again, though, I have wondered, will they always know I am theirs?

And as I watched the faces of the mothers in the video, my heart went out to them. I empathized with how they must be feeling. I sensed the nervousness with which they stood still, the strength it took to hold themselves back from reaching out to their children, from whispering, its me, its me, I am yours!

But in the end, the children knew. Of course they knew. How could they not?

Perhaps it had something to with their momma's scent or the texture of her hands or even the shape of her cheeks. But, I would like believe that there is also something else, something our five senses cannot detect, something that cannot be seen with the eye or felt with the hands or heard with the ear - that makes each parent child connection unique.

Perhaps it is just an intuition that our mothers are near by. Perhaps it can be likened to a magnetic pull which becomes stronger the closer we are to one another. Or perhaps it is simply that from the beginning our hearts have always beat in sync.

Maybe in the end, it doesn't much matter what it is. Maybe what matters is simply that it is. That each momma is as unique to her child as her child is to her. That regardless of circumstance, regardless of time and space and sight and sense, that bond is always present, linking our hearts together as one.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

april 22. say what you need to say.

When I first began attending Assumption regularly, I didn't know very many of the parishioners. I had met the priest, and there was a family down our street that attended regularly, but for the most part, in the beginning it was just me and maybe one or both of my littles when I could get them up early on a Sunday.

I am a creature of habit by nature and so immediately, I found a spot where I felt comfortable - about midway back, not too far toward the center of the pew just in case I had to make a hasty exit, and right next to a sweet old man whose name I did not learn for many years. Each week he was there before we arrived and each week, he would greet both me and Frankie with a hug and a kiss as he stepped back to allow us to slide in beside him.

In my church, communion is given toward the end of the service and it is one of my favorite portions of the whole ceremony. Orthodox babies are baptized at three months of age and immediately given communion, and I find such great happiness is watching the young children and the parents with their babies head down the aisle to receive.

After accepting communion from the priest, we are offered a piece or two of the communion bread to take back to our pews as we wait for everyone to be served. For one reason or another, not everyone takes communion. Either they are not a member of the orthodox faith, or they do not feel prepared in one manner or another, but regardless it has become customary for the people who do take communion to bring back a small piece of bread for those who do not. Often times when I attend church alone, I will bring back bread for my littles, my father or someone I feel might want or benefit from a little God love.

I realized quickly that my friend never took communion and so without great ceremony or even much thought actually, I began to bring him a piece of bread each time I went. Year after year, as I slid back into the pew, I would open my cupped hand and give him what I had brought him and each time, he would smile and silently hold my cupped hand in both of his in thanks.

Eventually I learned his name was Don and his wife was in the choir and that they'd been married for almost fifty years. On the weeks I attended when I hadn't for a spell, he would tell me how much he'd missed me. He asked about my littles, he hugged me when he learned I'd divorced. To me, he was as much a part of the tapestry of my church as the candles and icons and the bibles in the pews.

A few years back on a Sunday, after spending the night away, Frankie and I had a little communication mix up and she ended up at church without me. When she arrived home, she told me about the service - where she sat (in our spot with Don), what Father Andrew's sermon was all about, how she felt there without me and finally that she'd remembered to bring back bread for our friend.

In all the years, she never questioned my actions, she must have simply assumed that I had my reasons and that in my absence, it was her responsibility to fill in. There was something so sweet and innocent and loving about her gesture that tears filled my eyes.

The past year or so, our friend developed cancer. His body failing and in pain, his attendance at church became sporadic, and last night, our priest sent us a message that Don's illness had finally taken him and he'd passed away at his home, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

The message from Father said simply, we will miss him more than words can express and today, that is exactly how I feel. Don was my first connection at Assumption, he was the friendly face that welcomed me each week, the gentle hand that guided me to my seat, the quiet peace beside me that always helped me settle into the service no matter how out of tune my heart was that week.

I never told him how important he was to me. I never even thought to tell him, I guess I just believed he would always be there to greet me when I arrived. They say that you should never miss an opportunity to tell someone how much you care about them. In this instance I very much failed in the words department, but as I sit here and remember him and the lesson I am learning from his passing, a big part of me prays that the bread we shared between us each week told a completely different story.

Yes, I am going to miss Don, more than words can express. Rest in peace, sweet man and say hello to my momma for me.


Monday, April 20, 2015

april 20. ben.

Last night, Danny and I watched a movie called Gifted Hands which is the true story of Ben Carson, the acclaimed Pediatric Neurosurgeon who was the first to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head in 1987 and who is expected to announce sometime soon that he will joining the 2016 race for President.

The past year or so, I've heard bits and pieces about Carson and the possibility that he might run for President but in truth, I knew little to nothing about his background, his education, his family or his career to date. In fact, I assumed quite a bit about his upbringing that after watching the film, I realize was neither true nor fair and spoke more to my bias than to the reality of Ben Carson's life.

The youngest son of a single mother, Ben Carson grew up in Detroit in the 1950s. He was learning challenged, poor, black and had what he himself has described as a 'violent temper'. His mother often worked two or three jobs to support the family and at one point, realizing that Ben's behavior was leading him down a very tough road, came up with the idea to task her boys with reading two books each week and writing book reports that they would turn in to her for review. Later in life, Ben would learn that his mother had very limited education herself and often could not even read the reports he'd written.

Regardless, her idea worked and Ben pulled himself up from being the self proclaimed dummy of his class to a man in love with learning. He attended Yale and ultimately graduated from the University of Michigan School of Medicine before joining John's Hopkins where he now holds the title of Professor Emeritus. Along the way, he faced challenges that many of us today would be hard pressed to find believable and yet they are true.

To be sure, I realize and am so thankful that our country was built upon the backs of the multitudes of people who were not afraid to roll up their shirtsleeves and work hard, people whose names we will never know. People who refused to take no for an answer, people who overcame obstacles so high and so big that to the rest of us, they would have seemed entirely impossible to scale. I guess I just didn't equate the public personality we see in the media with a person that would have had those kinds of obstacles, and there were moments in the movie where I was both shocked at their magnitude and appalled at the fact that in our country, he would have had to overcome them at all.

I sometimes wonder about my littles, I worry if the life their father and I have provided is such that they will never know how it feels to work hard toward a seemingly unattainable goal. We've been blessed and in turn, we have blessed them, and in doing so, have we done them a disservice? I'd like to hope not. I'd like to believe that each of them will at some point in their lives have a passion that ignites the fire in their bellies and forces them to climb any obstacle in their path, to endure any hardship, to be what they are destined to be.

But it seems that life can be easy these days and so we learn to accept the status quo when perhaps what we really should be striving for is excellence at any cost.

Ben Carson's story got me thinking about that song by Eminem, Lose Yourself.

If you had one shot,
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

Would I? Have I? Would you? If everything I'd ever wanted required just a little more work, just a little more passion, just a healthy dose of fear of failure, would I capture it or just let it slip?

I don't know the answer to that question some days. Some days I am definitely all fired up and I know what I want and I am going for it and well, some days, I'm just happy to be sitting in my pjs, working from home in my little cave, practicing yoga and facetiming my littles over the internet.

Maybe its just that at forty six, I still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up, and I guess that's going to have to be ok right now. God willing, I have many, many years ahead and maybe a few thousand blog posts to figure that one out. But in the meantime, I'm going to be thankful for people like Ben Carson, people who have paved the way and provided us with living, breathing examples of all we need to unlock the greatness that lies within each of us - hard work, faith, determination and a healthy dose of imagination.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

april 16. life is change.

After graduating from college and getting married, my parents packed up their car and began the long trip south for flight school and for the entirety of the first half of their marriage, moving was the theme. Every two or three years, my father would get his orders from the military and my mother would begin the packing up process.

Before I finally left for college, we'd already lived in a half dozen states plus Japan, Greece, and South Korea, where we spent my last two years of high school. We moved. A lot. But we knew nothing different, so it didn't seem difficult and was generally made easier by the fact that when we moved, for the most part, we moved to military bases and everyone was doing the exact same thing as our family. Transitioning.

We were professionals at weeding out and packing up, the military being notorious for household belonging weight limits and because my parents made everything about moving fun. They loved it and so in turn, we loved it too. For the most part, we lived in base housing, but periodically none was available or provided and we lived on what we called the economy, which was exactly the way it was when we moved to Greece.

I have the most incredible memories of that first few months in Athens. It took my parents and the military about a month to find us permanent housing so in the interim, we stayed in base officer's quarters (the boq). Generally the boq is a drab apartment-like temporary situation on base but in Greece where there was no housing on base at all, consisted of a full-fledged hotel called the Bona Vista converted to boq facilities.

It rocked. There was a pool and Monday night bingo and Friday night all you could eat Mongolian bbq and all sorts of places that kids our age could get in trouble. My dad taught me to play blackjack at the Bona Vista and I learned to french braid my own hair from the lady across the hall - a skill that has actually been invaluable over the years.

Of all the moves, the trip to Korea was undoubtedly the most difficult. Korea was considered a remote assignment which basically meant that my dad had the option of going for a year on his own, or two years with the rest of us. I guess I wouldn't want to be alone for a year either, and in hindsight running away from home for a few days in protest probably wasn't the smartest move I have ever made since obviously, we all ended up in Korea.

Alright, maybe I didn't exactly run away from home, but I did go to school one day where I was a cheerleader and on the student council and madly in crush with the quarterback of the football team, and subsequently refuse to return home until my mom signed me out of math, took me to lunch, said she'd miss me and... cried. I hated to make my mom cry and I am certain my mother was well aware of that fact since now that I am a mother myself, I might also have used tears on demand to my advantage a time or two.

So, we all moved to Korea and to this day it remains one of the most significant growth periods of my life, both in terms of what I learned about myself but also what I learned about the world.

Since then I have lived in Arizona, Tucson for a few years while I attended college and then Scottsdale afterwards when I found a job, met a guy and started a family. For many many years, I shopped at the same grocery store and filled my car with gas at the same pumps. I lived near the same people. I frequented the same places and I ran the same trails, mile after mile after mile.

For a military brat, twenty plus years in the same place can be a lifetime, and for me in more than one respect, it was a life time. One that changed leaving me no choice but to change as well.

I didn't move out of state, or out of country, in reality our new home is not terribly far away from the old, just a thirty minute drive, although it might as well have been to a new planet for as different as everything is now. I have a new love, new neighbors, a new hair salon and a new path to get to my trails. I can ride my bike to yoga and walk to a taco shop that serves the greatest breakfast burritos ever. There is a farmer's market every Saturday at the church around the corner and at rush hour the traffic on the side street can sometimes be loud, but somehow after just three months, I don't seem to hear it anymore.

I find that I really love it here and I feel such gratitude to the people who have eased this transition for us, who have welcomed us with open arms and helped to make us feel part of this space. I think back to the experiences I had as a child moving with my family, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that those experiences contributed to the content I feel now.

They say that life is change and I can attest that this is true. The past few years, what has not changed in my life has been a much shorter list than what has. But on the heels of that truth also comes growth is optional and the admonition to choose wisely.

Our lives are in a state of constant change, from our relationships to our jobs to the places we live. Sometimes those changes come about by our own hand, and sometimes they are changes that we neither appreciate nor are willing initially to accept. However, in both instances, I find that it is my attitude toward that change that will inevitably set the course I follow. Will I accept, open my heart and subsequently, grow? Or will I fight that change, inevitable as it is, ending up frustrated, resentful and bitter?

I am consciously choosing acceptance these days. And believe me, it is a choice and it is a hard choice at that, at least for me. I find it so much easier to play the victim and to complain that life is not fair and yet, on the occasions I choose that path, my happiness quotient, or whatever that thing is that measures our contentedness in life, takes a face first fall into the abyss tout de suite.

What are you choosing?



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

april 14. practice.

The Huffington Post ran an article recently that talked about how the Encintas Unified School District in California was offering yoga as an alternative to regular physical education classes in their schools. The classes are made possible through a local non-profit that promotes yoga and the grant provides twice a week, thirty minute classes to the district's 5600 students.

A family in the district filed a lawsuit attempting to block the classes, stating that they believed teaching yoga would promote Hinduism and inhibit Christianity, in particular that they encouraged praying to, bowing to and worshipping the sun god. The family's lawsuit was unanimously thrown out and the court stated that the classes were devoid of any religious, mystical, or spiritual trappings.

I have been practicing yoga on and off for probably twenty years, but it has only been in the last two or three that I have begun to take my practice seriously. At first, it was all about flexibility. I am and always will be a runner at heart and yoga allowed me to work out the tight hamstrings and hips, to stretch those hard to get to areas that running wanted to tighten up. It created balance and strength and I do believe it made me a better runner - if only that with regular practice, it kept me from any of those common overuse injuries that are the nemesis of runners.

Recently, however, yoga has become something else entirely. Around the time of my divorce when it seemed that every piece of my life was in a state of utter chaos, the yoga studio was my safe haven. Second only to church, yoga was where I went to find a little peace in my day. For the eighty minutes I was in class, there were no fears, no doubts, no judgment. During those early days of my practice, my thoughts were centered solely around staying upright and somehow not passing out and face-planting in front of everyone.

Slowly I began to adapt - to the movement, to the heat - and as I did, I was able to focus less on the physical adjustment of my body and tune in to what was happening within me.

I realized that thoughts had begun to return to me while I was practicing. But unlike before, they simply flowed in and immediately flowed right back out - like the waves of the ocean as they hit and recede from the shore. I breathed them in and before they could take root and do damage, I breathed them right back out again.

I have heard yoga described as a moving meditation and I believe that is probably the most beautiful and accurate definition possible. Because while I have tried repeatedly to meditate outside of yoga, it is only in class within the confines of the four corners of my mat, where I have finally found success.

Through yoga, I am learning to let go of what does not serve me. Through yoga, I am learning about grace and acceptance and joy and love and forgiveness and selflessness, which seem very much like the lessons I have learned through Christianity. Through yoga, I am learning to practice self care and do no harm. And ultimately through yoga, I am learning to be still and to listen for God's voice in that silence.

So while I am thankful that the court upheld the decision to continue allowing the practice of yoga in the Encinitas schools because the benefits our children will reap, even if solely physical, will be immeasurable, I would disagree that yoga is completely devoid of spiritual trappings as the court suggests. At least for me.