I had quite the weekend. You see my sister Michelle was up to something- something sneaky. She invited all of us sisters ( there are four of us all together- I am the youngest) over for a special “sisters tea” to celebrate finishing her living room and to say good bye to her house which she will put on the market this spring. It might not sound circumspect but I have reason to distrust my sister- I never take anything she says at face value – she is the trickster- she is as mischievous, yet also as devoted, as Hanuman.
My poor sister Denise, who is much too refined to have been born from the same parents as the rest of us, has often been the target of Michelle’s sense of play. She took her youngest son’s copy of “Are You My Mother?” by Doctor Seuss and literately doctored it up to reread as a fanciful tale of my sister Denise’s life. ( Michelle’s son is now 17 and wondering if she will ever replace his stolen copy…)
We all teased Denise she must be misplaced royalty …and that is when Michelle concocted her most creative prank. My poor sister Denise answered the door one night to Queen Elizabeth in full regalia. She had a letter to read to Denise- the Queen sat in my sister’s living room and proceed to tell her of how she was the Queen’s love child that was supposed to be sequestered to the Westons in Surrey England but somehow wound up in Surrey B.C. and so the story went on and on- I believe it was 20 minutes of script that poor impersonator had to get through- all written with delightful glee by my sister Michelle. The woman will go to extraordinary lengths. Now you can see why I was suspicious.
Well upon entering my sister home she came down to greet us with a wine glass…my kind of tea party! She said we had to stay downstairs until all the sisters had arrived and that “Mario” would be down to take our drink orders. Right! Mario? I waited for my thespian nephew Tim to come down with an apron and mustache but instead a gorgeous six and a half foot Mexican man came down the stairs…..MARIO! OK. WHAT IS GOING ON????!!! I could tell by his manner that he was probably with one of the best caterers in Victoria…and I was right.
The last sister came through the door and then with wine glasses in hand we were marched in birth order up the stairs and to the entrance of the living room. What we found there was not just a redesigned and painted living room- what we found was an art gallery…. and the feature collection was four individual abstract paintings of each sister. I just about dropped the wine glass.
From eldest to youngest we sat on the wall- Pam in blues, Denise in yellows, Michelle in reds, and myself in greens. She had written bios about us for the artist- trying to capture our essence- what we loved, what we identified with, what made us unique- and all those things were now captured in four amazing paintings. Each one stunning on it’s own but when seen together had an impact that was visceral. We were looking at an artists interpretation of my sisters interpretation of us. But it was so accurate.
I decided that my sister Michelle and Adele Blais– the lovely artist in Montreal- must be yogis. They just don’t know it.
In Anusara, we say that there are two grand purposes of yoga : Chit and Ananda. Chit is the knowing- knowing we are all connected- to everything and everyone around us- we are part of a great flow of Grace that moves through all of us. Adele had to remember to be part of that flow in order to be able to capture us so well. She had to trust in that flow and her connection to it to create her own interpretation of us.
Ananda- bliss- to playfully and gracefully participate in the flow with a wide open heart- to be part of the creative energy of that flow. Michelle lives her life everyday in rememberance of Ananda- Shakti dances in her so completely that she appreciates every moment of everyday and just wants to share it so deeply with those she loves.
This is yoga. Not the asana, not the meditating, not the breathing- Chitananda- to live your life in full rememberance of the source and to know that you are part of something wonderful and to celebrate that connection -to dance with open heart and open arms in the pulse of life.
My sister has done 10 Iyengar classes in her life- and she is a better yogi than me in all the ways that truly count. I love her more than words can say.