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Jesus, Yoga and Peace.

       “For unto us a child is born… The Prince of Peace.”~ Isaiah 9:6  

When I was young, I attended vacation bible school every year I could. (My favorite part was the Kool-aid, the cookies, and my friends!) I enjoyed learning about Jesus. I learned that he loved me and I learned that he loved all the children of the world: “red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in his sight.” I learned about forgiveness and I was baptized. At that time, I did not understand the temptations ahead. Why would I sin after I was baptized? Now, many years and sins later, I have a picture of Jesus (from my grandmother) at my front door and St. Francis on our stoop (a gift from Allen’s Dad). Both are symbols, reminders as I come and go to let peace and love fill my heart, home and life.

I haven’t attended church for worship since I was a teenager, and I am not a formal scholar in religion or of The Bible. But not only have meditation and yoga given me tools to help me keep my body and mind more healthy and my heart more open to peace within myself so I can share peace in the world…but I could also write an entire book on how these practices have actually brought me back to God/Jesus/Spirit, and on how I’m taking better care of my body, the vessel for my soul, better than I ever have, even if it’s not perfectly.  

But you probably don’t have that much time to read this holiday season. So instead, I’ll just say…
This season, as you go through the hustle and bustle, I hope no matter what your beliefs that you will hold Jesus’s living example of peace in your heart.  Explore meditation techniques and really open your eyes, your heart, to the wonderful people in your life. Set aside the past for a moment, and tune in to any simple peace you can find right now: A deep breath. A smile. A hug. I think Jesus wanted every being to have peace in their heart so that we can have peace on earth. I hope this Christmas you will find peace in your heart, peace in your family. Together, we can begin to create peace on earth.  

For me, one of the ways I feel more peaceful is to give to others. I plan to take a day to clean out my closet to give more warm clothes away. I’ve been sharing my nut snack packs with the homeless people lately. This week. when I gave someone a half-pack of almonds, he said, “I love you.”  
I’m buying another box of nuts snacks to hand out to the homeless this month—if you do this, be sure to ask if they have a nut allergy!—and maybe some floss and toothbrushes, too. Giving to those in need gives me peace and splits my heart wide open! So this season, enjoy the food, the lights, and the gifts, but please give what you can to those in need. 

I wish you peace in your heart, peace in your family, and peace in your communities.
Peace on Earth.  Shan

10 Comments to Jesus, Yoga and Peace.:

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Kelli Austin on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 8:35 AM
What she said! Shannon, your words have done an excellent job describing my own experience with yoga and Jesus. After some really bad experiences with organized religion as a teen, I RAN from church. But now, as an adult, I find my spirituality to be the guiding force in my life. I feel like I am living the way Jesus instructed more than I ever have. And I have the disciplines of yoga to thank for that. Peace and Love to you Shannon and to all the fellow travelers of this world. Merry Christmas.
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