communication

Heart Warm And Full

After each class, we have the opportunity to send an email to people who attended. It’s a great way to keep track and nurture relationships. Every once in awhile someone responds. (I think I’ve gotten 3 responses out of probably 100 sent.)

A few days ago, I got a particularly heartwarming response:

Hi Emily! 

Thank you so much for hosting that class on new years eve! I absolutely loved it. That was my first time practicing again since moving to Utah and the way you taught really helped me get back into my body. I'm going to be taking the 200 hour teacher training in February and I'd love to take more of your classes and learn more about your style since I enjoyed it so much. You have a very calming demeanor. 

Warmly, 

Elizabeth*

*not her real name

It’s always so nice to receive feedback, and especially wonderful to hear how I affected someone’s practice. I was expecting 9 people for the class on New Year’s Eve. When I left the house at 10am, it was snowing furiously leaving me to wonder how many people would show. 5 people came several minutes early, and they were the only 5 there when class started at 10:30. I let them know we were expecting 4 more, and that they may trickle in. Ultimately 15 people trickled in by twos and threes. I couldn’t believe it. The room was full. The energy was amazing, and it stayed with me all day. To then receive her reply to my email warmed my heart and made me feel full.

Correspondence

Letter writing has been a part of my life since I could write words to form sentences. Handwritten notes received in the mail are one of the many delightful components of life and human relationships. When I was helping my mother pack her house a few months ago, I discovered a small box that read "Dad's Correspondence". Inside was a letter his sister, my Great Aunt Emily, wrote to him. It was a letter I'd heard about. Other people in the family knew about it and also wanted to read it. 

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I love so many things about this letter. Starting with the envelope, it was before ZIP codes, which started in 1963. Before that, there were postal zones. Salt Lake 5 and Chicago 23. That she addressed it to his office and wrote "personal" at the bottom is also endearing to me. 

The letter is postmarked June. She opened letting him know she hadn't heard from him since Christmas, and that she was worried about him. He was going through a divorce. Who knows how often was their normal communication.

The other best part was when she mentioned he should come for a visit with the girls [my mother and aunt]. She told him Fred, her lawyer husband, said he should consult his lawyer first. She had a sense of humor, but I don't think she was trying to be funny. She authentically expresses guilt, love, and compassion.

I love it because it's a window into her life, his life, and their relationship with each other. In 1960 they were in their mid-50s. Emily's children were grown already and about to start having children, Walter had two teenagers. They hadn't lived in the same city for 30 years. 

What I love most about this letter is that it is so clear from the communication that she truly loved her brother, and she was willing to do whatever she could to help him when he was suffering.