My husband of thirty-four years turned 65 today. For more than half of my life I’ve had the privilege of living alongside this man who is a continual expression of kindness, humility, and compassion. In addition to being my husband, he is my best friend and teacher. One of his greatest teachings has been how to live a seamless life, one in which work, spirituality, and personal life, are all woven together. Learning to see and live the individual parts of my life as a whole is a practice that requires continual attention. It’s helpful to be in the presence of another person who lives each day this way.
Recently a colleague and I were discussing this idea of living a seamless life. We talked about the persistent cultural influences that beg us to compartmentalize our lives. She helped me see that the different kinds of work I’ve been pursuing that appear to be separate aren’t all that removed from the rest of my life. As I think about this, I am reminded that my yoga isn’t just on the mat, and in fact, my true yoga practice is what happens all the rest of the time when I’m NOT on my mat. Extending this idea further, the quiet, still mind that is cultivated through sitting meditation practice is most worthwhile when it is applied to the daily situations that throw us off balance when they invoke fear, stress, and frustration. Every time we weave our inner practices (e.g. prayer, meditation, and deep breathing) into our external lives, the seamless quality grows.
I know I have a long way to go before I can say I truly live a seamless life. But I know I’m a lot further along in the process because I’ve shared a life with someone who also arises in the early morning to sit in silence before beginning each day. Someone who could have done just about anything with his life, and consciously chose to support my vision of a school started over three decades ago. I’m certain that the seamlessness of our lives together is enhanced by the fact that we also work together, yet there is more to it. Along with the working together there is both an inner and outer spaciousness, and a deep honoring of each other, through the sanctuary we have created in our home and garden, and the sanctuary of our relationship. I believe our shared commitment to service and personal growth are two strong threads that hold the seams of our lives together. Add love and respect to that and it’s a tapestry I’m certain will hold up, seams or no seams, for the remainder of our days.