I love reading and writing. I came to writing late in life and discovered a world where I feel like a fish in the water.
Sitting next to me in the waiting room was another yoga teacher. We were waiting to be called in for a job interview as a full-time yoga teacher at a school for young adults.
I asked her what brought her to yoga and meditation. She looked at me with a distant gaze as if looking back at the past.
“Since we’re waiting, why don’t we spend time chatting? I’m Nicole,” I said.
“I’m Karen,” she said.
“My mother was into yoga and used to take me with her to yoga classes. She insisted that I learn to practise yoga and encouraged me to become a yoga teacher. What about you? How did you come to yoga?” I said.
“Are you sure you want to listen to my story?” This was said with the voice of someone prepared to talk at length.
I gave her my most endearing smile to encourage her to talk. At that moment, anything was better than waiting in silence to be called for the interview.
“I was brought up by religious sisters in a boarding school from an early age. My parents were busy with their separate businesses and found it convenient to let the religious sisters take care of me. They made sure I had access to accommodation and good education which these nuns were well known for.”
“What is a boarding school?” I asked.
“It’s an institution where children live within premises while being given formal instruction. It was a school for girls attached to and run by a convent.”
“So, did the religious sisters teach you yoga?”
Her eyes crinkled and a smile played at the corners of her mouth. “Not at all. It was a roundabout way for me.”
“I had a lot of free time but found myself alone ever so often. Since I did not have friends to play with, I turned my attention inward.
“I still remember the first time I felt it. Walking alone in the courtyard of the convent, I felt something touch my mind. It was subtle, non-invasive, and friendly. Not knowing what it was and feeling curious, I stopped to listen. It was less than a whisper, but I could hear it clearly. A gentle soul touched mine. and my soul opened immediately.
“Not having the words to express my experience, I did not share it with anyone.
“For many years into my preteens, teen years, and young adulthood I kept feeling a close connection with this gentle soul that I came to trust and listen to.
“With time, I noticed that I knew things before anyone told me. I knew things before they happened.
“This kind spirit guided me in many life decisions and I never again felt lonely. It was there whenever I turned my attention to it. This friendly soul became my invisible teacher, my inner conscience, a trusted friend, and a powerful ally.”
I did not want to interrupt her by saying that to my knowledge, soul and spirit are words often used reciprocally. The distinction in a person is that the soul is the region of feeling and the seat of the senses, desires, affections, and appetites. The spirit is that part of us that connects to God.
She continued. “Whenever someone asked me “But how did you know?”, I would answer, “I don't know; I just do”.
“I never gave it a name. I just knew because it was the same friendly spirit and guide who was always there for me.
“As I grew up and became busy with life, it became more challenging for me to connect to it and to feel its presence. I missed the powerful yet subtle link.
“Looking back at my life, I now realize that what I said and did had an impact on how easy it was for me to connect with my invisible teacher and friend.
“Our connection used to be the most valuable part of my day. It lost its intensity with time, but I now feel an urgency to reconnect. I have made many changes to the way I live. I de-cluttered useless stuff and toxic relationships from my life. I practise yoga, meditation, and energy healing on a regular basis. I also pray and devote time to serve others.
“I’ve never been able to reconnect as easily as I used to when I was a child. But I heard that as I grow older I’ll become child-like again. I'm looking forward to re-establishing an uninterrupted connection that would fill me with joy and fullness.”
“Did you ever find out who is that person you connected with?” I asked.
“I believe that in some way I connected with a great Master whose name I still ignore but who have guided me all my life. That Master never failed me. I failed myself every time I turned away from my true purpose in life.”
“Do you miss the intensity of the connection that you’ve experienced as a child?”
“I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with such attention that guided my spiritual life. I never felt any pressure to leave my religion or belief system. The teaching and guidance were much more subtle. They were at the level of Being where any religious practice is accepted.
“I still have the ability to know without being told. I believe it's an imprint left on my mind by my connection with that gentle spirit.
“Practicing and teaching yoga and meditation is my way of contributing to improving the quality of life of others. It's also a way of staying healthy on many levels as I still want to be ready to open, physically and mentally, to that gentle influence.
“When I connect, I feel complete and whole. This feeling sustains me in life and fills me with wonderful energy. Nothing for me compares with the fullness of those moments and I would do anything in my power to make myself able to reconnect as I used to.”
With nothing more for me to enquire about, I left the room without being interviewed, convinced that Karen is what the school and its young adults needed.
© 2021 Liliane Najm
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 28, 2021:
Nice story, Liliane. I loved the ending.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 28, 2021:
Very well composed.
greg cain from Idaho, USA on January 28, 2021:
Oh! Even more impressive. Like it came to you in a dream and spoke the words right onto the page. Well, once again, thanks for sharing it with us. It's a wonderful piece.
Liliane Najm (author) from Toronto, Canada on January 28, 2021:
Hi Greg, I wrote it at 3 o’clock in the morning. It took me about 10 minutes to write it.
greg cain from Idaho, USA on January 28, 2021:
Liliane - wow! I loved this. It was intense, spiritual, seemed so real to me. I got so into it along the way, I could imagine you really sitting there with the other lady. Too, something along the way told me the narrator would react that way at the end. Love that! Nicely done. Great read.