The year is advancing quickly to its close. Without hurrying, I am basking in each last moment 2017 will offer me. It seems to accelerate as 2018 comes closer. But I have taken a few days of late to reflect back on my year and make adjustments for what I will call in in the months to come.
Three things stand out to me as I reflect on the year.
These had the biggest impact on everything else:
1. This year I settled into my meditation practice like never before and it changed everything. It held everything. I learned of an inner landscape of my very intimate own that I had not found access to before. I will keep this in my mornings. I will add this to my teachings. I will help, as I can, to share this as a regular part of each yoga offering. I am thrilled with the feeling of waking with the pleasure of sitting in my own still company each morning - whether I am grumpy, tired, ordered, or not - I am wholly present and this changes it all.
[if interested, you can try the mediation app of Headspace for basic instruction and structure - very direct, simple, progressing teachings. Or Elena Brower's Art of Attention. Or I have a simple, free audio meditation on the breath on my website for whenever you need it.]
2. My food became more and more plant-based (credit to the Rich Roll Podcast) Week after week I listened to different people extoll the merits of eating a plant based diet for personal reasons, for ethical reasons, for reasons of their heart health and brain health, for fitness performance and improved recovery and overall wellness, for land-use and carbon emissions reasons, for the judicious protection of antibiotics for medicinal purposes for all beings. The list goes on and on. But the real testament was in how I felt better in my own life, in my own body, as a result of eating plant-based.
I'm not vehement in my food choices. I'm not vegan or vegetarian. I'm a human being that needs to eat to live and want to do both of those with as much grace and intention as possible. So I eat mostly plants. And for the first time since being a teenager with eating issues, I am at peace with my body.
I can't begin to describe how wonderful this feels like for me. Now I eat to sustain a freedom in myself with myself. I eat to feel good - in the short term, in the long term. [If interested, you can listen to the Rich Roll podcast, or watch the documentaries Forks Over Knives for the food science or What the Health for the ethical questions of food production. Or, simply start to really tune into how you feel after you eat, what you have eaten, and keep choosing what serves yourself best in the short and long term]
3. 2018 will be the year of more connection for me. I've set time aside each week to write to friends. Have a calendar of dinners with people to come each week. This past year, I became focused with that which is necessary and good, but it left me edgy and hungry to return to the company of those I love. So I've made it a priority and am happily willing to help with their work, to watch their kids, to meet them at the grocery, to let the busy circles of our lives overlap somehow so we feel heard and known and loved and enjoyed.
Part of this connection is a more direct connection to the state of the world. We are so many people on the planet now. Recent politics leave me confused and cranky and wanting to withdraw. I watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequeland a week later the movie, Gandhi. The overlap for me was Gandhi's homespun movement where the Indian's boycotted Brittish-made cloth opting instead to make their own and Al Gore's training seminars to support motivated citizens to know the facts and motivate/mobilize their communities in appropriate ways. Both were acts of positive planet-changing learning, sharing, intelligence, and action.
What is my version of making my own cloth? I can't make all of what I wear, and there is more than enough to go around currently. But I can make an effort to buy used all this year. To buy used books [Amazon makes this incredibly easy], to buy used clothes, to swap with friends, to use eBay - to reduce my use of starting with new resources to make new goods that already exist. I can have a lighter, more meaningful footprint. My plant-based choices are a part of this. My meditation is a part of this. Self-care and consistent sleep patterns are a part of my contribution to every moment I am a part of. It all matters.
I will listen to how this feeds into my own teachings at a day to day level. I know for certain that the more I do of Kundalini yoga, the more comfortable I feel in discomfort; the more humor I can find in my own actions and my own reactions; the more power I find in my will and my determination to be a source of light and generosity with what I know and with what I have and with what/how I consume. Such a grand practice currently and I know there will be more. There will be something that takes my yoga to the World more fully, more directly. I can't see it yet, but I am making myself available to whatever source could use what I have to offer for the greater and greatest good. I will keep contact with you as it forms.
Reflect on your year: What will you leave behind? What will you increase?
Name three things of each.
Physically attach that list where you will encounter it.
These are actions of power.
You are so beautifully potent.
I look forward to the year to come xxx my gratitude for your company xxx m
Monday Jan 1, 2018 Federal Hill 6:15-8:15pm Kundalini by Candlelight - space is running out. Please book ahead online. I fear we may have to turn people away at the door. Claim your space!
WANDERLUST book group starts Saturday January 13, 2018 noon-3pm and runs for 8 Saturdays. A chance to learn more about the history and breadth of modern day yoga. Lecture, physical practice, guided journaling, discussion, and a primer for breath and meditation practice will all be included. Get your book and book your place. Details here. You can sign up for all of them, or pick and choose.
My 100 hour training for teachers and students alike The Power of Prana will be in 4 weekends this spring starting in March with slight changes to the schedule to send you home earlier and with a spring still in your step on Saturdays and Sundays. Details, description, and dates are here. You can sign up for all of them, or pick and choose.
Each month I record our kundalini sequence at home and post it on YouTubeat the start of the month for you to do at home. Always there. You are always welcome to reach back into past months and use your favorites over and over.
**New offering: ** Each 40 Day Practice is a combination of 30 minutes of asana, 20 minutes of kundalini kriya, 10 minute guided breath practice, and 10 minute guided meditation, all designed to foster a specific state of mind/body. Rise, Focus, and Return all offer movement, stillness, and guidance to build consistency and breadth in your yoga practice.They are designed to help you build a practice for 40 days. They help you to build consistency. But you can take as much time as you like. Each has a printout that helps you to track your progress, helps you get back at it when you lose your way, helps you see it successfully to the finish. Take a look. Once you buy the practice you have lifetime access anywhere, anytime. $40 for 40 days. Enjoy.
Kundalini : Monday noon@Fells, Tuesday noon@midtown, 7-8pm@columbia, Wednesday noon@midtown, 7:30-8:30pm@midtown, Thursday noon@Fells, Sunday 8-9am@FedHill
Vinyasa: Saturday 9:30-11@FedHill, Sunday 6:30-8pm@FedHill
Dear One, if you made it this far through this long email, I can't tell you how grateful I am to you. May my work in 2018 shine on yours to great benefit and blessing. Much love xx