WelcOMe to 2013. A new year, a fresh start. It’s that special time of the year to take a step back to evaluate where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re heading. Each year I enjoy reflecting on highlights, lessons learned, and dreams for the following year. This process brings back good memories, a sense of gratitude, and offers an opportunity to ensure movement in a direction aligned with values. For yogis this is an important aspect of our practice and it’s called svadhyaya (self study) – one of the ten moral codes of yoga.
Let’s get started, pull out your journal, and pour a cuppa tea. Go through your photos or planner and note the highlights of your yearlong journey. What stands out? How did you spend your time? Where did you travel? What did you read? How did your spiritual practice unfold? I posted my year in review sharing pictorial highlights and it helped me recall what a blessed year it has been – sprinkled with simple pleasures, connections, and sensory experiences. A few 2012 highlights include: spending final days with my beloved Gramma, Tranquil Space becoming a teenager, serving 200 girls and donating $4000 through Tranquil Space Foundation, continuing our 1% for the Planet partnership, raising over $2000 for So Others Might Eat at our Thanksgivng classes, hosting monthly Second Sunday classes for various charities, adding new locally-made items to our boutiques, having teams at the AIDS Walk and National Race to End Women’s Cancer, graduating more talented teachers through our teacher trainings, hosting yoga retreats in Mexico, France, West Virginia, and India, sponsoring Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals, hosting over 5,200 inspiring yoga classes, and many, many moments in between. 2012 has been a year of transition, deep loss, and creative exploration. What are your highlights? Can you bring them together in visual form? Collage, doodle, list them, or pull together photos of your year.
Next, review the year’s challenges (aka growth opportunities) to label as lessons learned. For me, a few stand out: release what isn’t working, schedule creativity, embrace simplicity, express gratitude constantly, lean into eccentricities, dance with joy, communicate compassionately (highly recommend Nonviolent Communication), keep working with spaciousness (and remember it when over-scheduling!), and don’t take things personally. What lessons are you taking away from your experiences this year? Is there a theme that emerged?
Now it’s time to look forward. What do you dream for 2013? For me, it’s an ongoing journey to be strategic with my time and energy. Since I oversee five organizations including two yoga studios, volunteer, design TranquiliT eco-collection, “mother” three furry creatures, and am in the homestretch of my MSW (master’s in social work), this is more important than ever. A few more of my 2013 dreams include: Create (and sustain) morning and evening routines. Do all I can for the animals. Nurture our yoga cOMmunity. Read 2 books (in addition to school books) each month. Teach inspiring yoga classes. Live these zen habits. Indulge in an art retreat (scenes from my 2012 indulgence). Do daily sun salutations. Craft inspiring videos, podcasts, and e-courses. Offer more Tranquil Teens programs through Tranquil Space Foundation. Dance. When you ponder what you want your life to look like December 31, 2013, what do you see? Take a moment to collage, draw, dream, pen, or paint it. Choose a word or mantra to focus on in 2013. Alas, spaciousness remains mine . . . for the fifth year in a row.
During a recent mindfulness meditation workshop, teacher Gina Sager said, “Live each moment as if it is truly the last – feel the engagement in each moment. You choose what you attend to and how. Reality depends on how we see. What if your expectations are what creates the problem?” What a great reminder as we journey into this new year! As we cross the threshold into a brand new year, I wish you oodles of tranquility. Raise a glass to 2012. Honor your efforts, tie a bow around it, and let it go. Toast to a dedication of Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu and let your thoughts, words, and actions contribute to the happiness and freedom of all beings.
May you bask in the wonder of 2013. Happiest of new years to you. You are beautiful. And you are full of potential. Relish in being uniquely, fabulously you this year. Let your light shine, the world is waiting.