Before we sit quietly to close the session with soft-belly breathing, the kids ask when I’ll return. Suddenly, I find myself in tears. I hadn’t planned to return, but these kids—so sweet, tender, and brave, so open to shaking and dancing with me, and looking into themselves and sharing with me—have opened my heart. “Soon,” I find myself saying, wondering how I’ll make it happen. “In the meantime, you can keep on doing soft-belly breathing and shaking and dancing. And you can keep going down the road to find that safe place inside you that gives you peace. Meet your guides and let them be your teachers. Share what you learn with others, the ones in our circle here and everyone else,” I say, gesturing toward the walls of the school and the kids in the yard outside.
As I return to the crowded streets of Dharamsala beyond the school walls, I hope that this experience of loving self-care stays with these children, who’ve already gone through so much, so early in their lives, and that, whatever happens, they find a way to maintain their connection with the guides they’ve just discovered and the invaluable gifts they’ve revealed—the wealth of their own inner wisdom.
James Gordon, MD, a psychiatrist, is founder and director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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