I have a very fond and heart warming memory every January 1st, when I recall a dear and very good friend of mine who would spend the day in her warm bathrobe and slippers, comfortably seated in her fake sheepskin covered swivel chair at her desk, gather her thoughts of the year newly passed along side of her hopes and wishes for the year just beginning. This is when and how she wrote her holiday greetings. She was an eloquent writer and would weave her astute perceptions and honest feelings into her message. She continually inspired me with the harvest of each year’s wisdom. Since her passing, I’ve lost count of the years I have not received her stunning greetings, but I have not forgotten the way or how she touched my life. Maybe she is helping me write on this first day of January. I do not own a bathrobe, but perhaps as a way to wrap myself in her friendship, I will buy one this year.
I personally have been picking a ‘theme’, a North Star of sorts, to help guide my new year. Last year I chose to be my “Year of Work.” This involved a deeper desire to challenge, stretch and grow myself; to willfully step outside my comfort zones. To dare to act upon the belief that I had more and different things to offer than I was offering in my known zone. I chose to offer a couple of very challenging workshops, ones that required me, most importantly, to believe in myself. The mantra that guided me was, “Let trust, confidence and curiosity be the Way.” Perhaps my greatest Year of Work challenge was creating and recording three CDs with breathing practices, yoga nidra and other guided meditations. That means putting myself out there in a more visible, audible, permanent way; some of my ‘parts’ fought this effort mightily. Very soon my web site will include a page where you can purchase CDs or download mp3s. The efforts taught me a great deal, have served me well, and with full disclosure, heightened, albeit temporarily, my anxiety and exhaustion. I do not think I will sign up for another Year of Work.
But I’m glad I did this past year.
This year will be my year of learning as I will be pouring crazy amounts of money into a training in Internal Family Systems that I’ve wanted to do for years. Although this will serve me in my professional work, I am equally doing this for me personally. And this merely represents more formal learning. I am also committed to learning how to rest and play more, which will of necessity involve practicing. Which will require me to spend less time working, even though I still love my work. It’s a beautiful cycle, isn’t it?
In addition to my bath robed friend, I am blessed with wonderful friends who inspire me. Much of the inspiration is discovered and shared on walks outside in nature’s beauty. Here is an intention or resolution I think is critically important that was shared with me last week: To take yourself, your precious self, seriously. What does your heart desire? What are you deeply longing for? What is the world asking of your particular gifts and talents? What do you need to do, and how do you need to do it, in order to feel “well used” when you look back on your life? My friend is scheduling twenty hours per week to do what her heart desires. She will fit work and life’s other necessities into the remaining hours. Twenty is the number that will allow her to take herself seriously. You get to decide what number is right for you to take yourself seriously. When we devote our ‘left over’ hours to our purpose and passion, what is the message we give ourselves (and others) about what matters deeply to us?
As most of you know, yoga nidra is one practice I use to take care of, and take myself seriously. It guides me to find my heart’s desire and mission. It helps me let go of feelings and beliefs that prevent me from realizing my heart’s desire. Please consider joining me in January for one or both yoga nidra offerings, as I will not be offering any classes in February.
On January 16th from 6:30-8:00 I will be at Temenos Retreat Center in West Chester (TemenosCommunity.org). The class includes LifeForce Yoga® practices, the complete guided yoga nidra meditation and time for Q and A. Call 610-873-0815 if you have questions AND to register. $20 for the class. Let me know if you need to pay less. Please bring a blanket, pillow and any other items that will guarantee your comfort lying on the floor.
Want more information and teaching about yoga nidra, including the complete guided meditation practice? Join me for a three hour workshop at The Spirit of Yoga on Sunday, January 22nd from 1:00-4:00. Call 610-873-0815 if you have any questions. Pre payment is necessary. Find full description, registration and payment information at: http://www.thespiritofyoga.com/workshops-and-events.html
[Click on ‘class pricing’ and pay through the mindbody app.] Only six spaces remaining.
Wishing each of you joy and well being in this new year. May you find meaningful, restful and playful ways to be connected to your precious selves and to others.