Letter from Kripalu's CEO

Photo by Sonia Malfa

Dear Kripalu community,

I have decided to start a regular letter to our community so that you can hear and feel a blend of exciting organizational updates, inspiring stories and me sharing some of my views on our world, its healing, and Kripalu’s role in that.

In the Irish and Celtic Wheel, we are turning towards the celebration of the sacred fire festival of Bealtaine (Beltane), often celebrated on May 1. It was a time when all the fires of Ireland were extinguished and relit from one central fire on the Hill of Uisneach. This was a time to honor the element of fire, the arriving season of summer, the medicine of the snake, the bear and the Sun. Still today, at the beginning of May back in Ireland many will gather at Uisneach and light the fires, we too shall do this at Kripalu where staff and guests gather to recognize this "cross quarter day". Often two fires were lit during the festival for cattle to be driven between to help cleanse them of disease and ensure the future health of the herd and the families they fed

In these times it can feel like we are living between two fires all the time. Things feel intense on so many levels, some days it just feels challenging to be alive and engaged in our world. I often reflect on what is needed in these times, from me as a father, as a leader, as a citizen of this world, from Kripalu, and from our community. I know from my experience that for me to live into what is being asked of me, I must keep walking between the fires and releasing all that does not align. It is a dance between courage, fear, and faith, allowing myself to be completely human in my fear and at the same time open to a vast well of courage and faith to take the next step, to show up, or as Maya Angelou guides us "have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time." Since 2008 — in my own life — I feel like I have been walking between these two fires constantly. With such a path I often can get caught in this one aspect of living, the walking between the fires.

The festival of Bealtaine invites us into two paths of practice, the practice of letting go as we walk between the fires and the practice of lighting the central fire or igniting within us that which is our full expression. Just as the Sun shines fully in the season of summer, can we too allow ourselves to shine fully? Not just as an act of individual fullness but from a knowing that we are part of an undivided web and that as we shine fully, we may give light and hope to others as they walk through the fires and light their own central flames. As we light our own fire, may we do so with brilliant care to ensure that we are stepping forward into this season full of love, released of hate, full of curiosity, released of judgement. To live this, to ignite our inner fire, we will need to slow down, it is one of the greatest acts of love we can give ourselves, our conversations, our decisions, our loved ones, the act of slowing down. To become so intimate with the present moment that we embody a unity of being and a life of service and love.

Grá Mór (Big Love)

Robert Mulhall

Robert Mulhall is the CEO of Kripalu. He is passionate about service and deeply curious about how people can facilitate sustainable transformation to enable more peace, justice, and freedom in our world.

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