On a blistering hot summer morning, I woke up too early to an unbearable ache in my stomach, and a yearning in my heart. The sadness consumed me for a minute, an hour, an eternity. When the tears ran dry, I got up; I needed a walk, to clear my head, to ingest a larger than life cup of coffee. I had a busy day ahead.
Walking up to my house after a healthy dose of fresh air, I noticed a dragonfly on my bedroom window. The mystic, ancient creature inspired me to take a minute to breathe. In that moment, my heart lightened. I was alive to enjoy this simple beauty of life, and needed to remember that that, in itself, was reason to be thankful.
My photo shoot that morning was at Yoga Public, Erica Blitz was teaching her final day of a YYoga teacher training. Following the photos, Erica invited me to stay for the circle of love: In this ritual, everyone sits in a circle around one person seated in the middle, everyone taking turns to share one word that describes that person.
The words began to pour in:
My heart jumped at the word. The creature on my window from that morning flashed in my head. My instinct made a note to learn more about this mystical connector.
A few weeks later, sitting on a grassy knoll in Parc Jean-Drapeau in la belle province, I was enjoying the musical festivities of Osheaga with good friends. Nick would have loved this. More than anyone I knew, he would appreciate this moment I was living. I missed him. The pain, reminiscent of that hot morning in June, began to rise within me.
Before the pain could consume me, a dragonfly came and landed on my arm. Out of instinct, I shooed it away, but it kept coming back, like we were playing a game of tag. Once I let it, it came and sat on my arm for a full minute, "you're it."
I knew it was here to tell me something.
my youngest brother Nick to a snowboarding accident, he died on the seventh anniversary of the day my father lost his life to cancer. My strong exterior had been hiding my anger at the universe, for having taken these men I loved so deeply and left me behind to carry on in a world without their wisdom, their heart, their sense of adventure. I couldn't fight it anymore, it was there, pulsating in my heart and in my every breath.
Instinctually, I knew what this mythical creature was appearing in my life to say: that it was time to let go... It was time to let go of the things that don't serve me, to understand that there is greater purpose in it all. This creature was here to tell me that it is time to live. Really live. For him. For both of them. Because I can; my life is a gift.
A few days later, I took in a sweaty Moksha Flow class in Montréal with the intention to let go: of my anger; my sadness; and my feelings of guilt for having being given the gift of another day on earth. There, on the mat I let it go. I felt every residual feeling of anger towards the universe melting away with each bead of sweat pouring out of me.
So I listened to the dragonflies... I let it all go. And in letting go, I created a space for a surprising new emotion: gratitude. For each and every day I am given, I am grateful, and I will show that gratitude bu making the most of each and every breath.
Rachelle Taylor is a love warrior born and raised in the heart of Canada. This gypsy searched far and wide for inspiration, beauty, and bliss only to return home to Winnipeg where she founded Prairie Yogi as an expression of her love for creativity, yoga, and community.