“You cannot step into the same river twice.” -Heraclitus
Life is a continuous flow and constant change. We begin as a tiny stream, slowly gain momentum, join forces with the big river and ultimately merge in the ocean.
There is so much to see and experience on this journey including hardship. Many times, it feels like we are going backwards. But from an elevated point of view, we can see that everything was always our unique path. The river never actually flowed backwards but merely changed course to overcome obstacles or revisited the past from a new perspective to learn and continue.
In India, rivers are sacred and worshipped as the manifestation of the Divine Mother because the nature of the river is to nourish all life and readily share whatever it has gathered on its way.
It makes sense that Yolanda has an intimate relationship with the river and guides seekers into deeper contact and reverence with the water element through ritual. It is the cycle of life itself. The Ocean becomes the cloud, falls onto the mountain as rain, organizes into the river and reunites with the Source in the end.
I met Yolanda a few years ago but I had heard of her long before that. I had a sense that I was already the recipient of her kindness. Her radiant smile, prayerfulness and gentle compassion enhance those she serves like a spiritual fragrance that can reach further than her physical presence.
So when we met unexpectedly at a wellness event, it was like reconnecting. We spent much of the evening “catching up” for the first time. On my mother’s side, I am Mexican American and lived for a few years with my grandmother and great-grandmother from Mexico. I always cherish that time and being around Yolanda reminds me of them because of her loving nature and Hispanic roots.
On top of that, Yolanda welcomed me to call her by any nickname. Sometimes I call her Yolandaji with Indian adoration. Sometimes, I use tia which means aunt in Spanish; and sometimes she lets me get away with abuelita which means grandmother. Now, I realize ordinarily that would not be polite, especially because my actual grandmother would be over 100 years old if she were alive today. However, no disrespect is meant and Yolanda is so gracious about it because together we know that love is universal. It looks for the appropriate expression.
This word “love” is so misunderstood and we have been conditioned to associate it with need, romance or attraction.
But, love is the river and simply waits to flow, give, serve, heal and fulfill its purpose. I readily will be brother, mentor, friend, son or even grandfather to someone older than me if that is my channel to love, care and open a safe space for another.
It is an honor to introduce you to Yolanda’s authentic story. There is so much power in our story. It contains the whole, like the way a lens placed anywhere in a projector’s beam reveals the complete image. Stories illuminate many secrets and connect us to the story of all life and the Earth. The honesty in this book is so refreshing, like the river, and healing for anyone who reads.
As you sail across the landscape of her physical, emotional, mental and spiritual terrain, undoubtedly you will connect with one or more of the varieties of wisdom practices of meditation, prayer, fellowship, sound, chant, dance and so much more to transcend one’s own limited notions of self.
May this work flow to the hearts it is meant to serve. May it inspire seekers to find their own way to forgiveness and heal themselves, thus uplifting this hurting world.
-Todd Fink, January 2021
“These writings are quintessentially Yolanda. Her open heart and enthusiasm for life and all its adventures comes courageously through these pages. Find a comfortable chair, open this book and take a peak inside her world.”
Kristin Panek Founder of Flowering Heart Center, Author and Speaker
Yolanda uses her own life stories and lessons she has learned to help unlock some of the “secrets” to living a life filled with gratitude and grace, even though challenging times. Her stories may help you to reflect on what is happening on your journey and how you might learn from choices you’ve made so that you too can better align with your gratitude and grace at a deeper level. Yolanda’s ability to connect with her own vulnerability and acceptance is truly a gift and a reflection of what is possible for all of us.
Kathryn Regganie, CST-D, LMT, RMT
Healing Arts Specialist and Coach