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Life reminds us to be open to the possibilities. And that is a lesson I teach frequently in my yoga classes. So many yoga poses are about opening our heart center so we can be more loving and kind; opening our arms to embrace the day and each other; opening our hips to let go of tension. And meditation and yoga encourage us to open our minds to new ways of doing, or perceiving things.

But so do all spiritual practices. As I was going through my divorce from Tom, I went to a chapel sometimes four times a day to pray. The church was on my way to and from my daughter’s school and I often brought her with me. Kneeling, praying helped me, giving me guidance and support when I needed it most. At the same time, I journaled, I went faithfully to Alanon (a beautiful spiritual practice), I read self-help books, I went to church and I talked to friends and family constantly. And of course, I meditated and did my yoga. Divorcing wasn’t part of my life plan. Like so many, I thought it would never happen to me. But my husband’s drinking led me down a different path.

I also thought that I would never leave Florida, because I didn’t want to take Dalice away from her dad. But when he refused to see her (his anger was really directed at me) and his attorneys strongly encouraged me to move back to Michigan where I had family, I felt it was the best option. I prayed long and hard on it and had peace that it was right.

And so in the dead of winter, I arrived in Michigan with a crying cat, an unhappy child and clothes that did nothing to protect me from the cold. My key focus at this time was to keep the three of us safe and protected. I had little interest in anything else. Plus, my undiagnosed thyroid problem resulted in me having a sluggish level of energy, which was fueled by gray, gray, cold winter days. I missed the sun terribly.

I continued my practice of praying every day to God. I went to the church where my sister had been confirmed, where my family had faithfully gone every Easter and Christmas, where my mother was buried and where I had married Tom. I lit my candles. I knelt and pleaded with God to provide me with guidance. I still remember my prayer. Now that you’ve brought me back to Michigan what am I supposed to do?

It was at that church that I met Howard for the first time. Actually, my daughter met him. We were in line at a church dinner. I had brought her there because I wanted to help her become part of the community. She started talking to him and asked if he could sit at the table with us. What could I say? I remember he asked a lot of questions about me and I didn’t want to go there so I shut the conversation down.

Shortly thereafter, I started attending the church’s morning bible study. I prayed again to God. Now that you’ve brought me here what am I supposed to do? As I was leaving, I ran into Howard again.

The church had a weekly Tuesday evening church service followed by a community dinner. I went to the service with my daughter, and repeated my prayer. Again, I ran into Howard. This time, I recognized that he was part of God’s plan. I thought perhaps he would become a good friend.

I remember telling this story to my girlfriend. She asked me if Howard was stalking me. I laughed. I’m still laughing, but I knew she didn’t get it.

When I returned to Michigan following my divorce, the last thing in the world that I wanted was a relationship with another man. I wanted to take care of my daughter and my cat and me, and I had energy for nothing else. But when I kept running into Howard, I knew that God had a different path for me. And even though I had nil energy and nil desire, I opened my heart to the possibility.

Years later, another friend asked me how did I know that Howard was right for me. I said, I knew I was home. It’s amazing when you are open where life will take you. It brought me my husband.

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2 Comments

  1. I love this essay. It involves taking care of both concrete and spiritual needs. But it’s a tiny little happy romance in capsule form. So glad you have gotten your happy ending!

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