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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

In a few weeks, I will start teaching two yoga classes a week at the Red Bridge YMCA. After I talked to the director and left the facility with this news, I realized that I was elated with the prospects of teaching again. The feeling surprised me. It was almost like something inside me had been slightly misaligned and the prospect of teaching again set it all back into place. I didn't even know there was something off kilter until it clicked back into place. I had just assumed all this time that I was content with just my own practice and I believe that I was... for awhile. But I was made to teach yoga. It is part of who I am.

When Chris died, I lost my bearings. I started to question everything about myself and who I was. Who am I without Chris? This was the question that I was continuously asking myself. For so many years I had only seen myself as Cindy and Chris, Chris and Cindy. We were a unit and when he was gone, I fell to pieces. I was left with putting pieces of me back together and oh so often, I wound up putting those pieces back in the wrong way. Through trial and error, I have been working to set those pieces as straight as can be straight. Along the way I started to find the pieces of myself that make me who I am. The question is no longer 'who am I without Chris?'. The question is 'who am I?'. I didn't become me the day I met Chris. I have always been this girl. Brave, yet insecure. Creative and practical and at times philosophical. Chris just enhanced all of that. He pushed back those insecurities that might have kept me from being my best self. The pieces of my best self are still there. They've just been stuck in the wrong orientation.

Things are falling back into place. 

My therapist left me with this for Thanksgiving. It's a quote from Immanuel Kant.

Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. 

It sounds very simple and funny really considering the length we all go through to find happiness, all the self help books we've read and projects we've started. I have all of the pieces required to fulfill those rules for happiness. My job fulfills my brainy side. Teaching yoga fills me with joy. Michael has been around through some of my trials and errors in fitting those broken pieces back in place and surprisingly, he's stuck around. He sticks around. We're making plans for our future, working together on finances so that we can pick a day to gut our kitchen. Michael's been using the IKEA kitchen planner to build our new kitchen and we futz and tweak it just about every night. We have many things to hope for. This makes me very grateful.

I am thankful for all of those pieces. I am thankful for my friends and family and the time we will have together over the next few days. I am thankful for you.