Last week I had the pleasure of visiting with my aunt: someone whom I have not seen in a long time. It was wonderful to be in her company and listen to her tell stories about our family. While I was there, she shared photos, family recipes, and gave me dishes which came from her godfather.
I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to connect with my living elders and that I like them. (I recognize not everyone likes or feels safe around their family.) Being with my aunt and uncle, as well as a surprise visit with my cousin, was not only fun but made me feel deeply rooted. There is something very special about being with people who have known you your whole life.
One of my takeaways from this visit is the importance of listening to family stories.
Even knowing that all stories are told through the lens of time and personal perspective, I appreciate the values reflected and the patterns shown. Listening to my family’s stories gives me insight into why I believe certain things and why I chafe at others. There is a lineage which has influenced me. Recognizing my lineage gives me choice about what I want to accept or to reject.
Another takeaway I received was the feeling of acceptance.
Being around people who have known me since I was in diapers is both comforting and annoying. On the one hand, they love me worts and all. They have seen me at my worst and my best and they love me all the same.
On the other hand, there is no hiding with them. They tease me and do not let me pretend for one moment that I am without flaws. My family has my back and keeps me humble: both are true.
My family is not perfect. We have a history which is both good and bad. There are traits which I am very proud of and behaviors which I am not. I think each generation’s job is to make amends for the flaws and to perpetuate the goodness. Some patterns need to be broken: other patterns need to be celebrated. Learning the difference is our work.
I have included some photos from the day with my aunt as well as a recipe from my paternal grandmother’s kitchen. Every year my grandmother would make cookies for her 14 grandchildren. Each one of us got a specially wrapped box filled with sweet treats. Seeing the original recipe written in my grandmother’s hand was so wonderful, I just had to share.
Wishing each one of you a wonderful week!
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Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.