So Billy points to Danny the Wonder Pony. This was a man who came into the club each night, always naked except for a cowboy hat, chaps and a saddle on his back. For one dollar you could climb onto Danny's back and he'd trot around the dance floor while you hit him with a switch. Billy nodded toward Danny and said, "God is right there." Then Billy pointed toward a cross-dresser that frequented the club. This person was about 6'6" and would often wear a light blue cotton housecoat, black sensible shoes, a short, gray wig, a small hat and veil and a pocket book. He looked like a large, homely version on my grandmother! Billy, still grinning, said, "God's right there." Then he pointed to two men arguing in a booth over beers. They were wearing suits and looked as "straight" as either of my brothers. "And there," he said, nodding toward the men. "God's right there."
Then, suddenly, Billy took my hand and placed it firmly onto his heart. He took his other hand—I remember it large and dark—and placed it directly onto my chest. He looked me directly in the eyes, and I could feel his heartbeat under my palm. Billy then said to me, "Seane, I want to tell you something very important, and my hope is that you will always remember this..."
I know now that God shows up in remarkable and unusual ways, providing us with guidance and insight into the soul, planting seeds that will move us toward our destiny. I had no idea at the time, but Billy was my angel, one of my soul companions, and his next words would shape the rest of my life.
"Ignore the story and see the soul. And remember to love—you will never regret it."
Billy died shortly after this evening, but those words to me became my very first lesson in what I would understand yoga to be.
I didn't actually start practicing yoga until two years, eight nightclub jobs and countless parties later. I liked yoga at first because of how it made my body feel, but within a few short years, yoga infiltrated every part of my existence. Because of the practice, I quit smoking, drinking, doing drugs and eating animal products. Because of the practice, I meditate, breathe, pray and serve. Yoga created the foundation that allows me to feel connected to spirit, the world and all her inhabitants. The concept of God no longer frightens me, for I learned that God is truth and love and exists in all moments, light and dark, and fully within each being. God is not something to be discovered, simply uncovered, and the journey of self-awakening will be unique for each soul. I believe this is exactly what Billy had wanted me to understand. We each have a "story" and karma that must be worked out. We each struggle, but we'll eventually find our way to love, in God's time. Don't judge. Let God do his/her work, and have faith in the process. What Billy had told me simply, but masterfully, was that God is everywhere. We are all connected. We are all one. So remember to love.
I have traveled all over the world practicing yoga. I have studied with masters, healers, shamans and saints. But still to this day, 24 years later, I have never in all my searching understood the meaning of yoga better than from what I learned from Billy in Heaven.
Seane Corn is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher known for her impassioned activism, unique self-expression and inspirational style of teaching that incorporates both the physical and mystical aspects of the practice of yoga. For more on Seane Corn, visit SeaneCorn.com.