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Anniversaries and Birthdays— Times of Gratitude or Reflection or Both?

Last week, The Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing quietly experienced its 18th birthday. Or can we say, its 18th anniversary? Birthdays are opportunities to celebrate our gratitude for the birth of new life. We held our first yoga class on September 5, 2000, in the bare first-floor construction space of the former Woolworth Building. We didn’t move to the 3rd floor until March, 2001. We even started our first Yoga Teacher Training program in the first-floor space.

Over the years, we have been so grateful to the Divine Mother for the gift of being able to serve thousands of yoga students. We have trained over 100 future yoga teachers who now teach throughout the United States. We have introduced Healing Touch to over 300 medical personnel and lay future healers. We were gifted with terrific board and office leadership; excited and searching students; generous financial and service benefactors; dynamic and creative team members who provided many different holistic health services, like acupuncture, Feldenkrais, massage, yoga, meditation, Reiki, Healing Touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and nutritional counseling; and volunteers too numerous to name.

The Center is thankful for serving the holistic health practitioner world. It has been an incubator for a number of local healers and holistic health practitioners in the Fond du Lac and Southeastern Wisconsin Area.

The Center has now been given the opportunity to serve our military veterans, those struggling with mental illness, and physical or sexual abuse. The Divine Mother has asked us to be a beacon of light to those who have experienced traumatic suffering. We have been honored to provide yogic help to many wonderful and struggling people.

Also, over these many years, The Center was gifted with the presence of powerful, loving teachers. They were and are nationally and internationally known in taking part in the healing transformation that is happening in the planet today. The Center hosted Brugh Joy (the psychic healer), Pandit Rajmani Tigunait (the Spiritual Head of the Himalayan Institute), Rolf Sovik (the spiritual director of the Himalayan Institute), Mirka Kraftsow (international Viniyoga teacher), Sandy Anderson (Himalayan Institute yoga teacher and author), Brian Goldstein (musician and sound healer), Phra David (Buddhist monk) and Luke Ketterhagen (internationally-known yoga teacher).

The Divine Mother, above all, blessed The Center with the over-12-year presence of Sister Helen Renzelman. This has been a birthday worth celebrating. Thank you, to all who have helped the Center continue in its yogic, holistic, health service to our Fond du Lac community and beyond!

But when do birthdays become anniversaries? Was this the Center’s 18th birthday or anniversary?

When I think of anniversaries, my thoughts and feelings are not just of gratitude but rather a multitude of them. Thinking of anniversaries pushes me to a state of reflection that includes gratitude, but it also includes thoughts about what we learned from the time that has passed. For instance, almost everyone in the United States will not celebrate 9/11 this week. It definitely is an anniversary, but not a happy one for most U.S. citizens. And yet, some anniversaries are very joy-filled. For instance, a 50th wedding anniversary is truly a gratitude-filled event and includes much reflection about what was learned and experienced during the couple’s time together.

So, I guess we can say that The Center last week experienced a birthday and a happy anniversary. It has much to be grateful for and there is much learning on which we as members and participants in the life of The Center can reflect. The most important learning for me, in reference to The Center’s 18-year-existence, is the powerful support of the Divine Mother (my understanding and experience of God) that The Center received through all the people who entered its life.

As many people have said, “Who would have thought that a place like The Center would be able to survive in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.”

For me, it is the work of the Divine Mother through the thousands with whom The Center has interacted.

Thank you, Divine Mother! Happy Birthday, Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing!

And there is much to learn from The Center’s existence. Happy Anniversary, Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing!

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