To Love and Die in LA

To-the-wellorganizedIn Savasana tonight I had a vision of myself as a very old woman coming close to the end of breaths in this body.Β  At first I got scared and rejected this idea and almost came out of Savasana to start thinking, but instead I decided to just be with it and open to it. I saw my children as people in their fifties with children of their own. I saw that they were sad to lose me and i realized my only hesitation about leaving this realm was that i worried for their happiness. I told them that they had been the absolute lights of my life, the greatest of gifts, that I had had a beautiful, fulfilling life, and that I would always be with them every step of the way. I assured them that they couldn’t lose me because I would live in their hearts, and that I was sure we would be together again.

When I came out of Savasana I was emotional and felt fragile. Usually Savasana is so peaceful, I feel so connected and open and quiet, so this was a very different experience. And it wasn’t a dream because I was awake, and it wasn’t a thought tangent because I actually saw this scene unfold like a movie. I wasn’t even terribly troubled at the idea of dying since it seemed I had made it a good long way, and my children were grown and seemed like happy people.

I love my life. I love my children beyond words, and I love teaching yoga and being with people and being of service and being in nature and feeling in the flow of things even when they aren’t unfolding exactly as I would like or might have expected. I love to learn and open and deepen and surrender, and sometimes be scared or sad or lonely or angry, because I know then that I am awake to my own experience. I have no interest in drama, or who’s fu*%king who, or what someone said or did, or who’s doing better or worse because life is just too precious and too short, and I’m pretty sure it’s about learning to love one another. I’m in a relationship for a long time, and it is full of history and complication and love and memories and hurt and anguish and joy and birth and work and so I don’t judge other people in relationships because I know the terrain is steep and sometimes full of rocks slipping underfoot and hail hitting you in the face, and sometimes it’s like a soft breeze on an untouched stretch of beach.

If we accept that energy does not die, it just changes form, then death does not seem so scary. I believe in a collective unconscious, I think we are all flowing to and from the same source, I believe that source is love. And yet, there are souls we cherish in bodies we love and want to touch and hold, there are voices we yearn to hear. Goodbyes are hard, they are like a knife through the heart, and death is the most definitive goodbye we know, not that we know it. Most people are afraid of the unknown, and what happens after we leave our bodies seems something we will never be able to discover until we experience it. But I meet people from time to time, and they seem so familiar, I think, “I know you, we have traveled together before”, and I find this comforting. Who knows if my vision is real. I hope to live to be one of those ninety-year-old yoga teachers with long white hair and twinkling eyes and deep laugh lines. Maybe it will happen that way.

In the meantime i want to celebrate this life and every person i meet and every experience i have and do my best to allow things to unfold, to cling less and to surrender more, to judge less and to love more, to speak less and to listen more because there is so much happening around us all the time, but there is a deep well of wisdom in the body, in the heart, in the soul. An atheist might say there is no soul, there is just the limbic region in the brain. A Jew might say there is no Jesus, and a follower of Jesus might say anyone who doesn’t believe will burn in Hell. I’m pretty sure my job is to find a way to love everyone, even the people who feel completely differently about things than I do, maybe especially them. I think love is the source. It’s not about making money or being right, love is the currency. How much do you have and how much can you give, how far can you fling it and share it and spread it. And to acknowledge that the body I’m in is borrowed, it will not last forever, and that goodbyes in the form of changes or deaths are part of this experience. So that I can fully appreciate every breath, every moment, every light in every eye I love. So that I don’t miss chances to tell the people in my life that I love them, not just on holidays, but every chance I get. So that a “normal day” is never taken for granted. We want to deny the reality that everything is temporary, that we are even temporary, but that is probably the very thing to acknowledge and accept so we can WAKE UP to each moment. If you love full on, full force, full blast, I think you might just take the fear out of death, out of goodbyes, out of change.

Sending you love, Ally Hamilton

20 thoughts on “To Love and Die in LA”

  1. Wow. Your beautiful strong words left me breathless… and full of breath at the same time… Thank you for sharing your vision and your understanding of the world. It gives me chills up and down my spine just to think about it. I hope we can all remember to feel the love in so clear and unconditional a way more and more consistently until it’s all there is. I’m certainly going through the steep rocky terrain you talked about and it’s a huge relief to read your words and remember… Thank you Ally.

    1. Hey Sara. Yeah, this one kind of spilled out of me, I felt a little breathless writing it and almost didn’t post it because it seemed so “out there”, lol…but I’m glad I did. Sending you lots of love xo

  2. I believe, just like you. I had a very similar vision a few years back, and it changed my life for the better. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. What a wonderful gift – this vision in savasana – to see a life well lived, a strong heritage of caring happy individuals. I agree it is essential to learn how “to allow things to unfold, to cling less and to surrender more, to judge less and to love more, to speak less and to listen more.” Give your best, give your heart and trust in the beauty of the now.

    1. Hi Donna! It surprised me as I’ve never had a savasana experience like that, but it was definitely a gift and it got me thinking, so I’m very grateful. πŸ™‚

  4. “People bind themselves to the finite because the infinite terrifies them… Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

    Ally I love you so much; and best of all what you reflect to me of my own truth. It is an honor to have your radiance in my world… I am a better human spirit for having you here. Thank you for relentlessly sharing your deepest of deep insights to achievement of life liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Om Mani Padme Hum,


  5. Dear Ally,
    Your words are so true…. Thank you for writing them down and sharing.Reading them really helped me today.Sometimes we need a reminder to help us remember that each living moment is a gift,even the difficult moments. Much love to you Ally for sharing such precious thoughts.
    Karin Kern

    1. Hi Karin. I’m glad I posted this at the right moment, then. Sending you lots of love through the challenging moments, the joyful ones, and everything in between!

  6. Dear Ally,

    I met you over two years ago. I jumped back into my asana practice, three weeks after giving birth to my second child, a daughter. Why was I there? Well, because I knew it would be a kick-ass workout and I could bring my kid, knowing that my husband would be pissed if I left her with anyone else. And I bought into that guilt, so any class that I could bring her was right up my Ally (pun intended).

    What did Iwant? I wanted an escape and I wanted to sweat and work and of course, those brillant yogi abs. What I found was something completely unexpected. It did not happen in class one or two or 30. I heard your words, I listened when you invited me to breathe thru discomfort. Damn, girl, if I can sit in Virabhadrasana 2 (with a 90 degree bend!) for two minutes, then I can certainly speak the truth to those who might feel pain and breathe and sit with their feelings.

    But it took some time to materialize the ideas you present in class into action in my own life. It took time to be okay with who I am and to tell the people around me, “this is who I am”, and to no longer need or even ask for their acceptance. A dear friend said to me on Thanksgiving that my new mantra should be, “I want what I want because I want it.” The entire notion that I deserve what I want seems slightly crazy to me, but people like you and the amazing Kourtney Kaas, and a few other incredible souls at the table of life inspire me to believe in myself and the beautyof living in each nanosecond.

    Much love,

  7. A while ago I purchased a one month membership through yelp and was just online looking thru the class schedule, while feeling a bit down from life’s difficulties. Then I came across your blog. Thank you for sharing! This really touched me…As Karin Kern said “Sometimes we need a reminder to help us remember that each living moment is a gift”. I hope to become a part of your practice soon!

  8. Hi Ally,

    Today I found out my grandmother’s seemingly slow-moving cancer has turned aggressive and she will be receiving hospice services from home starting this week. My Grammy and I are close, and the news was devastating. Quite serendipitously I stumbled on this posting… after wiping away my tears so I can write this, I just want to say thank you. Though my heart is still sad, these are the words, the thoughts, the hope I have been trying to find for myself.


    1. Nikki, I’m so so sorry to hear about your grandmother, and very very grateful this was comforting to you. I lost my grandma when i was four and a half, but she taught me a lot about how to love, and what it feels like when someone loves you all the way. I absolutely feel her in my heart. Sending love to you and your grandma. Love, Ally.

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