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Leap of Faith IV

August 6, 2010 by Faith
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In Part IV of her series, Faith Stuart continues to ask the question “Who am I” as she manages the emotions of grief and the interplay of marriage when one person has changed in the absence of the other.


Journal entry: May 17th, 1997 –  “Almost a month has passed since my arrival home from Yasodhara Ashram. I try to remember that in many ways I am not the same person I was before taking the Yoga Development Course. It is important for me to become reacquainted with myself in the old environment, or create a new environment. Family, friends and particularly Chuck, my husband, are finding some of the changes threatening and their old concepts of who I am are challenged.  I am trying to remember this, but sadly often my interactions with Chuck are cool and distant. On top of the effects of this powerful course, I have just returned home where we are both grieving. He cared deeply for Patti and simply needs a little warmth and consideration. I think of survival and feel so open and vulnerable, like a flower in the approaching storm. I need to fold my petals around my inner light.”

"I need to fold my petals around my inner Light."

Rising early in the morning gave me space and time alone for my daily practices. I also took time each week for Karma Yoga at Radha Centre Calgary and paid attention to creating healing and personal rituals to help me through the transition from the YDC and the many levels of grief I was experiencing over the death of Patti.

Journal entry: April 30th, 1997“Today I lost my temper and there was a particularly painful confrontation between Chuck and I regarding his statement that his teachings make better sense than mine because they at least value marriage and the family. He is heavily involved in the Masonic Order and I encourage this.  Am I living an illusion to think we can work through our differences?  I can understand his concern as Swami Radha’s teachings definitely encourage me to keep asking “Who am I?” and look closely at the roles I play such as, ‘be a good and nice wife, mother and woman’ according to the cultural values I was raised in.  The memory came of the final day of  the YDC when we were invited into Swami Radha’s room at the ashram, to chant and listen to what she had to say to us. She gave me one word: forgiveness. At the time I was puzzled and now I realize how angry I am that I am still so entrenched in what are now, for me, outdated roles. I have a lot of work to do on myself, but at least I am getting closer to the root of where to start the digging up and investigating. I have the tools and I know it will be a learning process as I grow from the darkness into the Light, bringing this into my intimate relationship with Chuck.”

"A good starting place to deal with this anger"

A good starting place to deal with this anger will be the practice of Simhasana, the Lion Pose. I can roar the emotion out and back to Divine Mother and chant everything I feel into the Mantra! She can handle it and will be there to lead me through my reflections. Padmasana, the Lotus Pose also seems appropriate – growing out of the mud into the Light of new and clear understanding.

Patti is gone, I can’t hang onto her and I need Divine Mother to hang onto me. I am now experiencing why it is so important to let go of identifying with outdated roles. ‘I am not the body; I am not the mind; I am Light eternal’. Patti was and is not the body, mutilated with sickness and pain – she is a mass of Light traveling back toward the source. I can bring this awareness of identification into my interactions with Chuck and visualize both he and I in the Light. If I feel like I am going to that place of anger I can repeat the Divine Light Mantra to myself as a reminder of my higher intention. The trick is to remember, not always easy in the heat of the moment. Our relationship can heal, with Light, trust, faith and mutual growth and acceptance.

River Beauty and Inukshuk

By early August 1997 we were both working at our communication and had taken a few counseling sessions. We were focusing on quality time together and had been to a lot of our favorite places to camp and hike. On one of these trips we took Patti’s ashes and together spread them along the river. We built an inukshuk on the bank beside a group of seven small spruce trees and a flower called “river beauty”. It grows in rocky, seemingly impossible environments. The teachers from the YDC 1997 had warned me it could be hard on a relationship when one person changes in the absence of the other, as was the case with Chuck and me.

Journal entry: July 1, 2010 As I write ‘Leap of Faith IV’, I reflect on the challenges in the past and my continued gratitude that I found Radha’s teachings. I often wonder how people live without them! Chuck is still actively involved in his Masonic work. We have both grown and changed significantly since that first year after the YDC 1997. We enjoy the freedom gained from stepping away from the old concepts and roles of what it means to be a wife and a husband and create ever changing ways of being together.”

Faith Stuart and the Lotus

I like Swami Sivananda’s phrase, ‘adjust, adapt and accommodate’ and I continue to ask myself  “Who am I”? I’ve just arrived home from swimming, and then riding my bike through busy streets in Calgary. My body feels strong, my mind alert and I am grateful for my life. Diving deeply into Swami Radha’s work and meeting the challenges of married life, I have stepped out of those old roles into a life radiant with Light.

Hari Om.  Faith


5 Comments »

  1. How elegantly stated!
    I miss you!

    Comment by sue — August 9, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  2. wow, beautiful, honest and inspiring. thanks for sharing the changes and light that you are. Paula

    Comment by paula richardson — August 11, 2010 @ 3:11 am

  3. Faith,
    Thanks for sharing your reflections on marriage and change. Much appreciated. I have a beautiful image of you cycling around Calgary streets, flowing and glowing!

    Comment by Sharon Cross — August 11, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  4. thank you Faith!

    Comment by karin scarth — August 12, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  5. Hari Om Faith.

    Comment by Val — August 25, 2010 @ 9:00 am

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