The Kripalu Institute is a truly magical place. Meals are prepared mindfully, organic, local, fresh and seriously the best food I believe I have ever had privilege to eat. Breakfast is silent. Meals are eaten communally. It is a magical place. A place to learn, a place many go to heal. Last week I had the privilege of being part of a small group training with Dr. Ronald Siegel, a psychologist practicing at Harvard Medical School and an author of Mindfulness based psychotherapy practices. He was funny, warm, genuine about his own self-perceived lack of Mindfulness from time to time through the years as therapist, a husband and a father. He was real.
I checked my ego at the door and attended many classes outside of my continuing ed track as Charli, rather than Charli the therapist. I opened myself up to learning more about why I do what I do for a living, a vocation that I chose out of personal experience, and continue to choose due to the true bliss that I feel when practicing.
During one portion of lecture, a comment was made by a fellow attendee about the security organizations overseas, I couldn’t help but make my opinion known that they are necessary. We may not agree with what we read about them, but because only 1% of the population serves in the military, they are necessary. I’m a loud mouth, nozen mom when it comes to keeping my kid safe.
My comment caught the attention of a woman sitting next to me who pulled me aside the next day and stated “I heard you and I agree with you, I am a retired Army nurse with 3 deployments under my belt”. An Army nurse, with her retired USAF husband at a retreat in the Berkshires on Mindfulness. I had an immediate connection to them both. I hadn’t expected to meet up with anyone associated with the military in this setting. Why am I always surprised to meet a meditator, or a yogi associated with the military?
My own son is a meditator and I’m constantly prodding him to become a regular practicing yogi. I forgave myself for my misplaced assumptions that I had prior to leaving. Assuming that I would be surrounded by “hippy type” therapists that wouldn’t understand the part of me that needs to serve the military population. I was wrong. Again. I had more than one discussion about what an honor it is to do the work with this population. People care about our military and they want to do more, they just don’t know how to go about it.
I wondered to myself what it would be like for Kripalu to host an entire weekend of yoga, meditation and clean food to Veterans and their families. I think I’ll put that out there. They deserve some magic.