OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I learned that my beloved friend of 30+ years died last week, my legs literally went out from under me. Even though I had been part of Chuck’s support team since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a month ago and I was well aware that the end was near, it felt like a piece of ground had been snatched away.

I sat on the ground in shock for several moments, before some kind people came to my aid. I have carried this grief hard in me as the days have gone by. Truly, it is only today, as I prepare to lead  and speak at his memorial, that the grief has softened into a gentler kind of loss.

I believe when we lose someone, we can choose to carry a piece of them forward in our hearts. I love remembering that this beautiful soul lives on in me and in the many people (and animals) he touched. Today’s practice is a way to embody that intention.

(I have allowed little Jambalaya to appear in this video, because she was one of his biggest admirers.)

Who will you carry forward with this practice?

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“Renegade-Woo” Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, brings together East Coast Attitude and West Coast energy consciousness as a master teacher, transformative speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life