Namaste is a sanskrit word meaning “the light within me recognizes the light within you.” It is a form of respect, endearment, reverence. It is what I wish mattered more in our society, and not just within the walls of my yoga studio. It is the highest level of connection that we can have with another, whether it be a close friend, or a random, fleeting encounter. Because you are coming from a place of love and respect, you are coming from a place within yourself that honors and respects the sacredness of another, free from judgement. It doesn’t matter how similar or different they are from you, you honor all of it. You honor another for not only their strengths, but for their weaknesses as well. It creates compassion within you, and emmanates out embracing those whose paths you cross. You become a vessel of peace, of compassion, of light. I have thought a lot lately about yoga, about the term namaste, about the way we treat others in life. It saddens me that so many people employ agendas, “protect us from the truth,” tell us what we want to hear, say one thing and do another, there is no accountability or consideration. I am an optimist. I believe in the goodness of others. I am also a realist. I have lived through a lot, and it has all changed me. Those who know me, know that it is my greatest desire to be a good friend. I often fall short, and I have beautiful friends who help pick me up and allow me the chance to continually do better as I grow. I try with all of my heart to be good to others, and in all things, I love. I love those who have hurt me, those who have wronged me, those who had disrespected me. But it saddens me. I am an open book, what you see is what you get. I care for others deeply and passionately. If you are within my circle, you are my family. When people choose to hurt you and disrespect you without any sweat off their back, it saddens me-not for me because I have the ability to bounce back and move on. I have too much beauty in my life to cry over anything less, it just saddens me that there is an existence of people who have no problem hurting and not embracing the light within themselves, or in you. We have much to learn from yoga and many of its enlightened teachers. What would our world be like if its leaders practiced this art of devotion and of love and respect. “The whole universe is inside you. Ask all from yourself.” Rumi The light within me recognizes, honors and cherishes the light that is within you. There is nothing that you can’t do or be in this world. In all things, come from a place of love. First for yourself, and then pass that light and peace onto others. We need more of this in the world. Our society is ripe for enlightenment and change. I have hope. Light. Honor. Peace. Joy. Namaste.