Now that the Holiday’s are in the rear view mirror we can begin to set the stage for this year. I genuinely love the idea of fresh starts, new beginnings, and the opportunity to transform what didn’t work into a beautiful butterfly. I don’t know about you, but once my kids went back to school last week I felt like I had three days to do all of the things I had put off the previous two weeks. I felt this sense of urgency like the previous sentence to get it all done in one breath, and I know I’m not the only one! Let’s just say I came out of teaching a class and I had seventeen texts, and they weren't from my ballet carpool… People are ready, hungry, and excited about setting their course. Life is busy and that was why in the pause that many of us got to take during the holidays; I encouraged reflection on what was working, and what could work better? One of the big questions we all grapple with is - What’s Next.. And this time of year only amplifies the importance of know this answer. Indeed if more of us knew that answer, the world would be a happier, and more productive place. So how do we begin this process; and uncover our deep desires, strengths and what will truly make us happy?
One thing I don’t think makes many of us happy is the old paradigm that when we make a resolution, that it’s about giving something up.. I think that can invoke a sense of loss for many of us, when greater balance is all we are truly seeking. So the premise behind the work of the next forty days is not going to be centered around giving something up - but rather about what you want to invoke and bring into this year. Just think if we change our wording and focus on what we want, we won't get bogged down in the depths of what isn’t serving us. So here are the steps for setting up your intention for this year.
I want you to begin by thinking about four aspects of your life; First your health and that could be fitness, genuine health crisis or overall how do you feel when you get out of bed in the morning? How’s your body functioning? How’s your mind functioning? Do you feel emotionally stable?
Now I want you to think about your work; Is it fulfilling beyond monetary? Sometimes it’s hard to create both - maybe you're great at making money and yes it “ful-fills your bank account, but you don’t feel your creative juices flowing when you're doing that job. So this area needs to be your creative force - and you may need to explore this without the hopes of it ever paying you back - this kind of fulfilment only can pay in joy?
It’s time to look at how much play you have in your life? I know many locals that just worked two and a half weeks straight without break.. Yes they held space for many out of towners to experience the magic of our valley and the holiday’s. So how balanced is your work to play? If it’s deficient how can you bring more playfulness into your life?
Lastly is family, friendships and love. Now this one works with the time and energy we put into the non- work related relationships in our life. This is our SANGHA part - we as humans need this sense of belonging, or community, it’s what holds our hearts when they get broken. Or may hold our hearts in the embrace of love.
So closing your eyes I want you to sit with each aspect that makes up all of the roles and relationships you manage in your life. Now which one feels like it’s falling a little short? What I want you to do is invision a table - now that table has four legs. Each leg is represented by one of these categories. Now if one of those legs is weak or damaged then the whole table will rock and shake. What rests on the top of your table is your Dharma… Dharma can be defined as your purpose. So by understanding where the deficiency or shaky leg is in your life, then you can begin to make a resolution or choice around how you're going to repair it. I just had two students come in this week who already declared that health was their goal this year and yoga is part of that intention. Now start to find the words that express this intention. Once you have the words you can recite them to yourself at the beginning of your day or at the beginning or end of your practice. Every day you do this your conviction will grow, as will your will, and clarity. What you want will make sense, and the tools of how to achieve that will become clear. It’s hard to get where we want to be, if we still don’t know where we’re going… By breaking it down we can get clear on how to establish balance, and with balance comes clarity, and with clarity come a knowing of yourself, and knowing yourself is one of the highest forms of self- realization. A realized person isn’t going to ask someone else what they should do to be happy? They know, it’s inside themselves, and this exercise will keep you moving down your destined path. So after the fortieth day your year will be in motion and the legs that hold up your balance will be steady, and ready to support you in your journey through 2017.
A final piece about your Dharma and the importance of doing the work, even when it’s hard. Dharma is not only of service to yourself and your journey, but is also in line with the highest good for all. So when we experience the feeling of being off course or not on your path, it’s an indication that one of those legs needs some work. Now you can do the restuarnt approach which is to put a little pack of sugar or some matches under that wobbly leg. Unfortunately this is just a band-aid and will only last so long. Take it from me, my personal relationship with my soon to be ex-husband needed more than a packet of sugar... It needed both of us to make time for each other outside of our work and family environments. I’m sharing this because although we are not together, I have done a lot of work on that leg. It has gotten an overhaul if you will, and now I feel a greater sense of community, and my friendships are thriving. It’s sad to not all be under the same roof as a family, because initially it was so hard on my kids. I’ve been applying these principles to offer support to them, and leading by example. Now my little people are beginning to adjust, their legs are less wobbly and they have expanded their outreach as well. We’re all growing in our relationships, feeling empowered for overcoming these obstacles and healing. So although we’ve been in the mud - I can begin to see the beautiful little green tendrils that are emerging; and our view on relationships, family, community, and love will flower this year in ways we never imagined possible.
Blessings on a intention that supports your mind, body and spirit-
I'm excited to be assisting the E-84 training in Maui Hawaii next week, and can't wait to share about my adventures in my next blog.