Becky Whidden Huff, author of Moonbeams and Fireflies: A Collection of 5-Minute, Imagery-Guided Meditations, worked for several years as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer with a focus on medical writing before embarking in a new direction: teaching yoga and meditation. Her journey with yoga began when she was challenged with her daughter’s Down Syndrome diagnosis. She now teaches yoga classes at the Marietta Center for Yoga and Well Being in and is an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica.
What’s your favorite aspect of your life right now?
I love being a healthy woman in my 40s who’s not afraid to try new things and take risks. I began writing imagery-guided meditations for my yoga classes in March, and they flowed freely—almost like they were being given to me. I decided to write one a day for a month, and in less than 30 days I had 31 meditations. By July, thanks to great support from my very talented students and friends, I had published my first book, Moonbeams and Fireflies. I’m proud of the fearlessness it took to see the project through to the end.
Your least favorite?
The process of clearing out the old to make room for the new.
How did you come to this point in your life and career?
I began my yoga journey shortly after the birth of my daughter, Lily, 9 years ago. She was born with Down Syndrome, and the unexpected diagnosis and subsequent heart surgery when she was 4 months old left me searching for ways to cope. My yoga practice, which taught me to breathe and be present, along with my faith and the support of family and friends, sustained me through the darkest of days. My book came to fruition through a merging of my journalism background, my love of yoga, my own personal struggles and an unexpected muse that swept in and provided amazing inspiration.
What has been the most life-changing part of your experience having a child with Down Syndrome?
Shortly after Lily was born, I sat my son, Reid (who was 7 at the time), down to attempt to explain to him that Lily was going to be different than other children. I was finding a hard time finding the right words, but then he turned to me and said, “Mom, everyone has special needs. You just can’t always see them as easily.” Children are our greatest teachers. We just have to be open to the lessons.
What one piece of advice would you give someone whose child has been diagnosed with this or any medical challenge?
You are stronger than you think you are.
What do you see as the keys to being your “best self”?
I’m happiest when I’m serving others, and approaching my relationships with love, understanding and a nonjudgmental attitude.
What has been your greatest achievement?
My ability to love unconditionally.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?
It’s not all up to us. Sometimes the universe has other plans. Be open to them.
What’s your No. 1 health and wellness secret?
Get plenty of sleep, eat all things in moderation and do something active every day that makes your heart pound.
What is your cause of choice and why?
We host an annual art show and sale at the Marietta Center for Yoga and Well Being every fall, and we have a silent auction and bake sale to benefit a local charity. We’ve raised money for Right in the Community, a nonprofit advocacy group for children and adults with special needs, and Calvary Children’s Home. This year our charity is NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). There are so many wonderful charities—it’s nice to give back to organizations that are supporting our community.
The holidays are on the way. What’s your favorite thing about the season?
Spending time with loved ones, the smell of a Christmas tree and the aroma of lots of delicious food cooking, preferably in someone else’s kitchen!