Pat Francis

I went to a small Catholic school where they taught with intimidation and harness. While I did have a couple of wonderful teachers who made it tolerable, they were few and far between. School was not my favorite place to be. I was taught to fear the wrath of God more than love, forgiveness, compassion, and kindness. High school was a little better, but I viewed school as just a means of eventually getting a job and making a living.

When I became a dental hygienist I thought that I had made it—I had a job, and life was good. Then I began wondering if I was going to be able to do this for the rest of my life, so I started taking night courses as I worked during the day. In 1990 I began working for Dr. Pam Westrom in Boston who took me under her wing and taught me how to be a great hygienist by bringing out my strengths and helping me develop in areas I needed to work on. She supported me and gave me confidence when I didn’t believe in myself. She saw things in me I did not.  

When she retired she sold the practice to Dr. Wayne Baker, who had the same values and brought a little spirituality and law of attraction into our meetings, I became curious about the things he was talking about. He believed that the answers we are looking for are found within us, not from any outside source. It started making sense to me. Through him I met other teachers who talked about the law of attraction, meditation, and universal intelligence. I became more and more curious and started reading books by Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, etc.  

When we move to Florida in 2007 I had always wanted to try yoga so I took a class at The Yoga Sanctuary. I came for the physical aspect, but after my first class I felt so peaceful and calm I couldn’t get enough. Jennifer encouraged me to try different level classes, and I did. All the teachers at the Sanctuary had so much to offer. Then I realized this is what my heart had been looking for. I talked to Bonnie, the studio’s former owner, and Jennifer to let them know I was interested in doing the teacher training, and they encouraged me to take as many classes and workshops to help me prepare. It was good advice.

What I have learned from Jen, Bonnie, Wayne, and other teachers is that we are all teachers and students. There are lessons to learn every day, and I want to be open enough to be able to recognize this. Nature and animals have also taught me so many lessons. I have always had dogs. Anyone who has had pets knows how they teach us about compassion and acceptance, and how to live in the moment. They are always happy to see you no matter how long you have been gone, never judging. They never bring up the past or worry about the future. They don’t try to change things. They just allow things to be. They can teach us so much.

Nature never asks for anything in return. The sun shines, the moon rises and sets, and the rain falls all in perfect harmony. These are lessons if we are willing to be open, quiet our mind, listen, and be still.