eoin finn on the greatest gift
posted: December 5, 2013
Eoin practicing with his son, Ananda
Editor’s preface: I’ll never forget the first time I met Eoin Finn. It was about 12 years ago. I was an editor at a national Canadian magazine and had interviewed him over the phone for a story about physical health and fitness. He popped by my office unannounced to thank me in person for the coverage. As we’d never met, I went in for a handshake, but Eoin went in for a hug. Hugs with people I’ve just met aren’t my most comfortable place, if I’m being truthful, but Eoin’s authenticity left a profound impression, and is one of the main reasons that I’ve been practicing yoga with him—at home using his DVDs and whenever I can make it to his classes—ever since. Then there’s the fact we both love surfing for what it’s taught us about navigating life, but I’ll save that for another story. Over to Eoin…
On this, my 45th birthday, I think about a question a Yoga Journal editor asked me a few months ago: What is the biggest gift in received in my life? Without doubt it is my son, Ananda Lion.
My wife’s family has a tradition of whispering the name of a newborn baby in his or her ear on the seventh day after birth. On the sixth night, we still didn’t have a name.
Even though we both teach yoga we had made a pact not to name our child a Sanskrit name because it was so hippy. But our son had such a smiley disposition that when we were looking through a book of names, I closed it, looked at my wife and said a little sheepishly, “You know what? I think Ananda is such a perfect name for this guy.” She confessed she had been thinking the same thing.
In that moment it was settled: we named him Ananda, which in Sanskrit means bliss. The Lion part comes in because the deepest bliss isn’t just sweet, it’s bitter sweet.
The Finns: Eoin, Ananda and Insiya
Before he was born my friend described parenting to me this way: It’s bliss for sure. Not the sitting-by-a-pool-in-a-resort type of bliss, but savage bliss.”
Every parent or individual who has loved deeply knows this concept of ‘savage bliss.’ It’s what allows you to joyfully sacrifice for another. It is why parents tend to our children in the night sacrificing our own sleep with no resentment, only joy. This is Love in its purest form—and really all that matters in life. Ananda teaches me this daily.
There are gifts that are returned in spades for these sacrifices. The first thing I whispered in his ear when he was still in the birthing pool with my wife and I was, “Welcome to the world, little guy. You are going to be our best friend.” Even at two-and-a-half, he is my best friend, as well as my teacher. I do yoga to be half as happy as he is.
When I hear his wholehearted laugh that seems to come from happiness deeper than one tiny body could possibly contain, I lose all thoughts of my massive to-do lists; I forget about the money I owe.
The root of enthusiasm is en theos, which means ‘the God within.’ In our culture many of us can only connect to our joy after a few glasses of wine, but my child’s smile is a portal back to the endless enthusiasm I had for life as a child.
I am so grateful for the gift of Ananda’s enthusiasm for life, because it reminds me of this all day long.
Eoin as a tyke. He’s still tapping into that youthful enthusiasm
One of lululemon’s earliest ambassadors, Eoin Finn is a yogi, surfer and blissologist who teaches his unique and transformative yoga all over the world, sharing his passion for well-being and happiness. He is the founder of Blissology and a strong advocate of the belief in yoga and environmentalism. His new video Earth, Body, Yoga will be available in lululemon stores and on iTunes Dec 16 this holiday. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.