happy (belated) new year sweet yogis!
after a nearly two month hiatus, which included all the fullness of the holiday season, and two weeks without internet service in our home, i am finally back and ready for a new year of sharing omwork with you all.
this is the time of the year when many of us are in full swing with all the changes and shifts we dedicated ourselves to at the new year. my yoga classes are fuller than ever and i’m seeing more and more people out in golden gate park when i go out of my morning runs. january offers a new beginning, a chance to refocus and reconnect.
with that in mind, let me challenge you to go beyond the standard resolutions of eating better, exercising, etc., and resolve to begin reconnecting with the gifts that you already have – right now.
our culture encourages us to always have at least one foot in the future and the other in the past. we seem to often be striving and reaching for what could be or replaying what was. but what would life be like if we stood with both feet in the present? what if we stopped looking forward or backward and just observed what actually IS happening, right now, breath by breath.
when we replay stories or future trip or we are tripping over our present reality. we miss what we have to offer, to ourselves and the people around us, because of the story we have about where we’ve been or where we need to get to. ironically, i find that when i consciously stay with what’s arising, that my life unfolds in ways bigger and better than i could have ever calculated them too. instead of trying to become someone who is more balanced, healthy and loving, if i make conscious choices in each moment that resonate with my spirit, then i slowly morph into that more balanced, healthier person – without all the effort. the future will always be abstract and out of reach and the past will always just be foggy stories we tell ourselves and others about what happened. we will never arrive anywhere but where we are.
so, what are the practical ways to stay present, letting go of what’s over and releasing our drive to become something ‘better’ and different from who we are.
challenge yourself to say goodbye to your goals that connect to measurable results such as:
*attaining certain weight or clothing size
*running a certain distance or speed by a certain time
*having specific job or salary by a certain date
*feeling free from any pain or discomfort, emotionally or physically
connect to goals that are behavior based, like:
*carving out some part of your day for movement or mediation practice
*practicing slow and mindful eating, without distractions and with lots of chewing
*shifting view of food to fuel, rather than reward
*using cues to trigger mindfulness, for example: “every time i see a clock (or whatever other cue works for you) i’ll take a deep breath and notice how my body feels”
make an intention to practice self-compassion.
all too often, especially around this time of year when we might be less connected to our resolutions than we had hoped to be, we become punitive with ourselves. if we didn’t reach our ‘goals’ or stick with our resolutions, we beat ourselves up and say it’s because we aren’t good enough or strong enough and will never have enough will power. or maybe we feel like we are just living out the same cycle,or thought pattern, like a bad habit.
what would happen if we stayed in the present and realized that every single moment was a chance to make a choice?
what if we realized that our bodies and spirits are wise beyond our understanding, and every single choice, even unconscious ones, are made for a reason? maybe that cookie was because the body needed quick energy or wanted to stop feeling something painful and feel something pleasant and familiar…. or maybe you slept in because of a belief that you aren’t strong enough to wake up and exercise or that you’ll be tired all day if you do. perhaps your spirit had a deeper layer of understanding to come to before you could let go of a certain thought process or behavior.
you are doing further harm to yourself by being mad at yourself. if you made a choice that had consequences you’d rather not repeat, check in with the motivation, give yourself some loving self talk, and see if you can make a different choice, with that motivation in mind, next time.
you are a beautiful, strong person with unique gifts that you will continue to uncover throughout your entire life. remember that every day, loving and forgiving yourself first, and your new years resolutions will turn into a new year of evolution!