I received the letter. I cried.
We can never know the impact we have on another.
I thought we had simply been traveling together, having a great time and becoming friends. Little did I know how keenly she had been observing me, my choices and habits.
Lianette Laria and I met at Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Lake Tahoe the summer of 2013. We found ourselves traveling through Yosemite together for a few days post-festival and have become fast friends. Later, she sent me the following letter.
I humbly bow to the teacher in all of us.
“I was fortunate to cross paths with an incredibly powerful, determined and committed yoga teacher who later on became my friend: Heidi Michelle. Being around her is a journey in itself and a valuable learning experience.Starting with her diet, Heidi is extremely conscious about keeping her body in healthy balance, while making food choices that are in line with the well-being of animal products and the prosperity of organic farmers. For example, she makes sure that everywhere she goes she supports local, organic markets and consumes as many organic, non-gmo products as possible.Every morning, Heidi drinks a delicious green smoothie bursting with healthy nutrients which regulate your body’s PH as well as supports your intestinal tract. Since I learned how to make the smoothie myself, I drink it every morning and feel amazing! Many members of my family have started doing this too and they have noticed positive changes. An aunt who is diabetic was able to lower her prescription medication by half just by taking this green drink as a breakfast replacement in the morning. My brother reported that his lifelong constipation issues have disappeared and that he is losing some extra pounds.
As far as other meals, Heidi prepares her own rich and nutritional salads and takes them with her along with her glass water bottle. She is very concerned about how eating or drinking out of plastic can have a negative toxic impact on your body. If Heidi wants to go out to dinner, she will do her best to pick restaurants and dishes that are made from protein sources that feed from natural diets or consume alternative vegan sources of protein and healthy fats. In other words, when you hang out with Heidi, you are sure to always agree on the healthiest choices for meals and feel great throughout the day after making these choices!
Another commitment of Heidi Michelle’s is to make sure, at all times, to make the least negative impact on the environment that surrounds her. Heidi is very gentle in pointing out how you can help too, but primarily she impacts others by her own example in being the change she wants to see in the world.
For instance, at all times, she carries with her a set of bamboo utensils and her glass water bottle and tupperware. She makes sure in restaurants that they don’t bring her anything in a disposable plastic or styrofoam container and refuses to the use of plastic straws. She always makes sure to tell the waiter about this before they bring these items to the table. By doing this, Heidi is not only directly impacting the reduction of landfills and ocean garbage but also standing for making a difference at the personal, group and community levels of society with her direct actions.
But yet, the biggest impact that being with Heidi has made in my life, is how, no matter what or where, she always finds a time for personal reflection, yoga and creating personal balance, which ultimately and naturally radiates to the people around her. Her passion for yoga is so great that she could basically do yoga anywhere and everywhere. A parking lot of a hotel or at the airport waiting for a flight. She can always find inspiration and do her routine no matter what is happening around her. Yoga is just part of her life and this is very inspiring for yoga beginners such as me who still have the insecurities about being in the right pose or not. She teaches that wherever you are in yoga it is perfectly fine and to just find the time and do it for yourself. This way you will also impact others in your life who will be interacting with a more balanced, centered, clear and calm you.
But best of all, Heidi doesn’t do this out of any personal or professional monetary advantage or for any sort of gratification, but out of pure passion and love of life and all beings that surround her. Being around her is a beautiful experience of harmonious responsibility, of the fun of being alive and the connection with mother nature and the universe with a constant reminder of our loving essence.”
— Lianette Laria, Owner/OD, Laria Eye Care, Miami, FL
I am incredibly grateful for this reflection, the ricochet effect of greater health and well-being on the planet and a deeply nourishing friendship. Together, we are the change.
Namaste, Human Family,