For the many years I have been practicing yoga, “letting go” has been a major theme for me. I have carried a deep conviction that yoga is a process of subtraction, not addition. To finally rest in the essence of who we are requires a discipline of letting go of all that stands in the way. I still hold this conviction, but on my recent trip to India I caught a glimpse of the importance of also “holding on.”
My final ten days in India were a unique opportunity to travel with a woman fondly called Sister Lucy. Born into a family of 9 children that barely had enough themselves, Lucy watched her father generously share with neighbors who had even less. Perhaps it was partly this influence that led her to become a Catholic nun whose goal was to serve the poor.
Through the circumstances she encountered, she developed a passion for the many children left to survive on the streets of India. Facing impossible circumstances, she began to take these children in, feeding them, getting them an education, teaching them to respect all religious traditions, and transforming them through love. To date, she, plus the committed housemothers and social workers who support her, have saved over 1000 children from the streets of India.
Has this been easy? Not at all. Sister Lucy continuously faces government corruption, lack of funds, and children who haven’t learned yet that love can be trusted. But Sister Lucy fiercely holds on. She holds on to each child. She holds on to her dream for all children. She holds on to the transformative effect of education, respect for all religions, and love.
Hold on? Yes, some things are worth fiercely holding onto.