I am a hopeless word lover

If you know me, then you certainly know, too, that I am a hopeless word lover; I drown myself in words. I collect quotes & I copy beloved poems by beloved poets, living and dead, into my own personal notebook, so I can have the most lovely of lovely words close at hand any time, I use my quotes at work, when I blog and even used them when I have recently taken the aptitude test.

Many of you are certainly familiar with Albert Camus‘s quote: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was, in me, an invincible summer.” 

So, as a woman with a stack of notebooks filled with beautiful words, how did I choose Camus’s quote to influence my blog and (dare I say it?) my “brand?” Long ago, I made the quote into a kind of personal mantra–the mantra for the hardest times, the darkest times.

I have written it on the inside cover of every journal I’ve kept, for years–I don’t even know how many years it’s been. Five or six, I’m sure. I made it my personal email signature years ago, too.

In essence, I’d call this quotation my motto. These are words I live by. Let me tell you the story of how I became completely hooked on yoga.

I think it was 2002. I shared a run-down, adobe house near my university in the American Southwest. Even though the water heater broke down on a monthly basis and the bathroom was an electrical disaster waiting to happen, I loved the house–for the apple tree in the front yard, the garden in back, the view from the rooftop, and the owner’s shrine to the Virgen de Guadalupe that overlooked the little garden. (I wasn’t religious, but the little altar housed in glass was so very beautiful, all the same).

At any rate, my roommate convinced me to attend a yoga class with her. The first class was free, and the studio was in walking distance, so I went.

That day, I met Ulla, who was to become my primary yoga instructor for the next 6 years.

The class was perfectly lovely all around–I experienced, for the first time, the bliss of the body-and-mind high that come with a truly gorgeous asana class.

But it was the end of the class that hooked me.

After we’d finished savasana, and had sat up again, our eyes still closed, Ulla spoke soft words to guide our meditation.

She told us that every person has a light–a bright and perfect essence that shines in the very center of us, that lives at our core.

She told us that this essence never changes, “no matter what you’ve done, or what anybody has done to you.”

Those were the words that made me an instant yoga junkie. (I bought a class pass that day and started going to yoga every single day after work).

It felt amazing to be told that there was something indestructible in me, something good and holy at my center, something that had never changed or diminished, despite any struggles I had experienced.

For me, the light of which Ulla spoke that day is like an invincible summer.

I remember that light when I am afraid, when I despair, when I wonder if my life is ever going to get any better.

And I call upon that light when I need to write, to create, because I know it is always there–an endless well of goodness and sacred inspiration, always ready to be tapped, always ready to reveal itself.

And I believe you carry such a light at your center, too.

Yes, I truly do.