Dedicating my practice to my cousins

July 21, 2012 / Aaron

Today I dedicated my practice to my cousins Joey, Shelly, Eileen and Gina. It’s a cheesy Facebook post you see every once in a while but today seems appropriate to quote, “ Cousins are usually the first friends we have as children. No one will understand your crazy family like your cousins do even if you haven’t talked too much lately. Share this if you have the best cousins in the world.” Joey, Eileen and Gina are my first cousins and Shelly is Joey’s high school sweetheart that he married and had three kids with. Cousin by marriage…cousin none the less. I can remember going over to our Grandma’s house and all the kids would play in the family room in the back of the house while the adults hung out in the front room playing games and hanging out, doing whatever they did when they hung out. I know in the back of the house it was common to hear 1984 by Van Halen or some kind of rock music playing on Grandma’s giant record player that looked like a giant coffin and you would lift the lid and put on records and listen to music. I can close my eyes and see Gina standing in the corner behind the recliner crying a dramatic sobbing screaming cry and her Mom screaming at her to shut up (the 70’s and 80’s wasn’t the best time for good parenting, there was a lot of spanking and screaming in my family). Everyone had mullets, feathers, tight clothes (not the greatest time for fashion either) and we grew up playing together and hanging out with our wacky family.
Yesterday, Eileen called me to tell me that Joey and Shelly’s daughter Sarah (who is pictured in the post) who has been battling cancer at 19 was sent home from the hospital after the last round of treatments that were unsuccessful to be taken home to be made comfortable by hospice . Joey and Shelly have asked that the family come and visit. I know that they have stood by Sarah while she has been battling for her life. Joey isn’t working and Shelly is working part time and trying to go on disability to continue feeding and sheltering her family that is going through an unimaginable ordeal. I haven’t seen Joey and Shelly since Grandma’s funeral many years ago but today I set out to spend some time with my cousins. There is nothing that I can say to ease their pain. Its awkward to have to see people that you haven’t seen in years and try to catch up in the middle of such a moment. I need to give them money and offer to do what I can to help ease their needs so they can concentrate on what is important in life.
I’m a little in a daze today as I try to practice. My thoughts wander to my cousins. I set an intention to dedicate my practice to my cousins. As I set the intention in my mind I wonder, Is dedicating my practice to them for me or for them? To get my head in the right place to deal with the things that you need to face in life or if there is some cosmic energy being channeled by a mindful intention to the place that it does the most good? Either way I have learned to discipline the mind in my yoga practice and not run from my thoughts or let them torture me. I recognize the thought and release it from my mind as I move through my practice. I work through the details through mindful intention and relieve the nervous emotions I feel in a puddle of sweat on the floor.
Light on tradition, heavy on workout doesn’t mean that the experience is not of any less value to who you are as a person. It doesn’t mean that the lessons aren’t there for you to apply to your life. It just means we are not going to throw it in your face to influence your perception. You take what you need to be the person that you want to be in life.
I want to be the person that you can depend on. I want to be the kind of man that you can turn to when things aren’t going well because my intentions are set in the right way. It takes a certain amount of mental discipline to stay strong in the face of adversity. So I am heading out to spend time with Gina and Eileen before we visit Joey and Shelly. I don’t know Sarah very well but my cousins were there in the beginning and I want to be there for them if needed even though we may not see each other very often.
Life is a gift and the time that you get to spend with the people that you love is what life is really about. I am really appreciative for the time that I have had to share with William and the life that we have created together. Our YB Family and the people that we share our lives with mean so much to us. You will never know the impact that having you in our lives has done to shape our perception and take our journey in a more fulfilling direction.
Much Love to you all. I look forward to seeing you all at the anniversary next Sunday.