The Flow of Life

By Mary Boutieller

As we stand at the beginning another year, we once again have the opportunity to slow down just a bit and take stock of where we’ve been and where (or how) we want to be going forward.

The beginning of anything can be a time of reflection, of being fully present. Remember turning 30 or 60 and how it felt as though you were standing at yet another jumping off point in your life? Similarly, starting a new job, moving to a new location, the birth of a baby, the beginning of a new year…can fill us with anticipation, awe and maybe a little angst!

And so it is as I ponder how I want to be in the coming year. Will I branch out more or keep myself closer to home until things feel a little more settled? Will I find a different way to enliven my body and my mind? Will I let in that which nourishes my soul, as I continue to let go of what’s no longer needed? Like tides and our breath and the changing seasons, we tap into the flow of Life, over and over again.

I read recently that, when practicing yoga, it’s not about what pose we do, but how we do it. Imagine if we focused on how the pose felt instead of how it was supposed to look? Might we worry less about what others thought, and think more about the juicy flow of muscle and joint and breath? What if the end result of every yoga pose was a smile on our faces, no matter the pose, because we were present and listened and honored our bodies?

Emily Hill said, “It’s not about achieving the pose—it’s about how the pose changes you, challenges you, and makes you feel afterward.”

How often do we allow our own lives to change us, challenge us, and make us feel something real? Even the mundane can challenge us to see things from a new perspective. This life of ours is fleeting and worthy and amazing, and we are all a part of the matrix that makes it so. Imagine then, if the end result of this life was a smile on our faces, no matter the details, because we lived and loved and laughed and cried with the best of them.

Sufi poet Hafez said, “Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred. Now is the time to understand that all your ideas of right and wrong were just a child’s training wheels to be laid aside when you can finally live with veracity and love.”

I’ve read this quote many times lately because I needed to remember, again, that everything is sacred: the clouds that float through the sky, a rainy day, those I love, those with whom I disagree, an extraordinary moment, the taste of a ripe tomato. We waste so much of our precious lives worrying and disagreeing and thinking that we are separate from each other and from “All that is” and, every once in a while, in those fleeting moments of grace, we are reminded that this is surely not the case.

So, for now, I’ll ponder these things and decide how I want to be moving forward. And both in times of sorrow and joy, I’ll remember that doors seamlessly open when we are ready.

To all of you who are reading this, I feel such gratitude for your presence. Thank you for being you, for bringing your unique contribution to the world, for being a part of this wider circle.

Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at:

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