Listen, Learn, and Love

 Listen, Learn, and Love

By Helen Kilgallen

First on my list, thank you Jen Kelleher for taking over this column and giving us valuable tools to work with on a daily basis. I truly look forward to reading your beautifully written column every week. I am full of gratitude for this amazing woman, who is now owner of Ocean Bliss Yoga and doing great things to grow the community and support us. If you haven’t visited Jen’s studio on the third floor of the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, please make time for yourself– you will not regret it. Many of us have found transformational healing and connection in this special community.

Now that I am semi-retired, I have so much more time on my hands. Thank you again, Jen. This has changed my life in many ways for the better. My attention is much more focused on how I wish to live the rest of my life. Travel, family, friendship, and service are top priorities. I love to travel to new places and meet different people from all walks of life. I have made lifelong friends along the way, and this has made all the difference in shaping my life.

Many people are living without personal connection and community. This makes me sad, hence why I am writing the column this week is to encourage you to reach out to those in the community who are lonely, depressed, and perhaps grieving. We are in this together and to be in service is one’s highest purpose. How can we help?

Listening to Vivek Murthy, the 21st Surgeon General, on a podcast, he talks about the mental health of society. The three words he used for change were: listen, learn, and love. Even before the pandemic, we had signs of breakdowns in our communities. We need to rebuild our social infrastructure and listen to one another. Loneliness is a terrible reality in today’s world. We have distanced ourselves from one another and now is the time to begin to heal, rebuild, and move forward. How can we be of service to our fellow human being who is suffering? Can we help to shed the layers of trauma by communicating and spending time with one another on a regular basis? Therapy is great, but we also need more human interaction. My wish for this generation is to know you are loved. We are here to listen and learn from one another– our stories are similar.

Looking back to my 20s was a great time, and also very difficult. The loss of my 22-year-old brother, John, was life changing. It was the most horrific, devastating time in my family’s life, but this traumatic loss taught us to live life fully and love one another unconditionally. His death was our greatest lesson in life. Never would we forget, and somehow by the grace of God we would learn to laugh again, with the support of community and family.

We are social people who need one another. Pema Chodron’s new book, “How We Live Is How We Die,” is a reminder to live this one precious life with compassion and kindness. Pema teaches us that the more freedom we can find in our hearts and minds as we live this life, the more fearlessly we will be able to confront the challenging times ahead.

Ocean Bliss Yoga invites you to join Jen Kelleher on Wednesday, May 17 for Chakra Balancing With Sound. Learn about the 12 chakras, how to recognize when one is off-balance, and how to re-balance with sound. The evening ends with a healing crystal sound bath. Sign up at

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