Several years ago, there was a very popular book series that started off with one book titled Chicken Soup for the Soul. CSftS was filled with stories, song lyrics, poems, jokes, and sayings from authors, motivational speakers, poets, actors, movies, children, and the family dog. It was wildly popular and I’d bet my boots (not the red ones) that you’d be hard pressed to go into the bathroom /bedroom / den of your mother /my mother / your friend’s mother without finding a copy. As happens with all popular things, it wasn’t long before hundreds of spinoffs started flying to the shelves: CSft Woman’s Soul, Man’s Soul, Golfer’s Soul, Dog Lover’s Soul, the Scrapbooker’s Soul (seriously) and, I swear to Elvis, there is even a NASCAR version. Now, of course, there isn’t a Chicken Soup for the Yoga Soul, but I digress…
Who in the world would have thought a book about soup would turn out to be so widely popular? Why not “Oil Changes for the Country Singer’s Soul, “Hedge Trimmings for the Single Parent’s Soul,” or even “Laundry Folding for the Nearsighted Soul”? What exactly is with the soup? I mean, we all need oil changes, our hedges trimmed, and dear maude, my laundry always needs folding. What’s so special about soup? I suppose it’s because when we know that someone is hurting and there’s nothing else we can do, we can feed them. We can nourish them. We can show our love with a casserole, a pie, and yes, a bowl of chicken soup. When we know someone we care about is in need, we all turn into Jewish mothers.
I have been sick, very sick, for a long time. I would have days of feeling much better and thought that I had kicked this illness in the ass, but then within 36 hours, it would be back with a vengeance. After about 6 weeks of being sick (and a few trials and medication,) I finally got a decent diagnosis and multiple prescriptions. 24 hours into treatment, I’m feeling better than I have in several weeks, but I know I still have a ways to go. I’ve been living my life from my nest of pillows on my bed.
Our neighbor, ONM, has been a rather interesting part of our life since we bought this house. I have written about him on this blog before and nothing about him has changed, except maybe that we are closer to him than ever. ONM has a wife, ONW. They have been married for 37 years. She views my sons as her grandchildren. She views my husband as her son. She has survived more in her life than most people would ever survive in 3 lifetimes. ONW is ONM’s whole world – and her hospice worker said today that she has between 2 weeks and 2 months to live.When I heard about ONW, I got out of bed and immediately went to my kitchen to make them some food. I didn’t think about it; it was an automatic response.
The 15-20 minutes it took me to assemble a casserole and put it in the crock pot wore me slap out and I retreated to my nest. No sooner had I gotten back in bed than my husband came into the bedroom asking me if I had ordered take out. Of course I hadn’t ordered take out! He left to send the delivery person away, but returned a minute later with bags and bags of food: one of my dearest friends had ordered a feast and had it sent to my house so that we can have a nice meal without me having to cook. It brought great, huge tears to my eyes. There was enough to feed my family for 2 or 3 meals, but I will say this:
It will feed my heart for a lot longer.
I suppose that’s what it’s all about -feeding the heart. I know that is why I teach. I teach to feed others’ hearts and to have mine fed in return. I teach to soothe aches and to dance with joy and to share moments of comfort and elation and growth and humanity. I teach to be there in the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, in sickness and in health, until the soup pot runs dry. I suppose that is why there hasn’t been a Chicken Soup for the Yoga Soul: it’s too detailed of a recipe and everyone’s heart gets filled by different things.
Here’s a few things I have come across in my time in my nest that have soothed this yogini’s soul. Maybe they’ll fill yours, too.
Beautiful flowing handstands done by a woman who is 9 months pregnant.
“When you speak badly about someone, you eat their Karma, when you think badly about them you drink it” – Robert True
Sh*t Yogis Say, A Comeback Special
And an all time favorite:
Soup’s on! Enjoy.