Monday held a weightiness to the day. The start of a new year was being recognized around the globe. Whether you stayed up to toast with friends and watch the ball drop, created lists of reflections and/or resolutions to save or send to the fire, or opened a new calendar, collectively as a human species we made a transition. As I age in this lifetime, the more value and intention I desire to place on these recognized transitions. My thinking is, why not place more awareness and presence into something to shift it from ordinary into extraordinary.
As yogis, we often explain how our breath follows our awareness; where we place our attention matters. The ancient texts of the Upandishads explain we are the creators of our own reality. These ideas and concepts that have since been supported by scientists and the population at large – think New Year’s Goals, Vision Boards, and Life Coaches. Here is a translation from the Upandishads on observation becoming the highest form of intelligence.
Watch your thoughts because they become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your Actions become your habits,
Your Habits become your character,
Your Character becomes your destiny.
This life is a choice. How we see life unfold is a choice. One of my teachers once said, “trials are part of your life, misery is your choice.” – Mitchel Bleier. As yogis, we are constantly asked to take a step back and become witness to our bodies, minds, and hearts how they react, experience, and what they truly yearn for. Held in the strong flow of collective consciousness reflecting on a New Year, we are given an opportunity to choose to reflect on the life we have created and dream the life we want to choose to create. Questions like, how am I living in integrity with my highest values and dreams? And, how can I intentionally align to move forward? Where am I currently living out of integrity? What would it take to step deeper into my dream? If you haven’t yet taken some time to reflect and dream, consider letting the turning of this calendar page inspire you to reflect on the choices you are making, and ask yourself if you truly are living the life you dream of and what would it take to get it.
I chose to start of the New Year in the good company of friends and other yogis eager to take in deep breath, sweat, reflect, and vision together. At first, it was just a wild idea between my dear friends Taylor, Sarah, and myself. We gathered a few times to create a clear intention, vision framework to hold the time together. Would anyone come spend 2.5 hours with us on New Year’s Day? We had no idea. Enrollments were slow going, but, we decided early on that even if it was just us, we still would be psyched to start our year together.
Yesterday was a true example if you build it they will come! At 9am, albeit it being New Year’s Day and -12 degree temperatures, the studio filled up wall to wall with warming and loving beings! Everyone ready and eager to embrace the shift of the year consciously and collectively. And embrace we did. The breathing was pronounced, the practice deep, the savasana sweet, and reflection intentional.
Given time to do my own reflection and dreaming, I reflected on my deep gratitude for my friends, my family, and Lila, the community that has provided a home and refuge for myself and others. I reflected on all the teachers, guides, students who shared the space in trust, curiosity, and play to support us all in growth and knowing. I visioned for and dreamed of a life filled with creativity, JOY, commitment, exploration, deep listening, community, connection, and love. I dreamed of the Lila community continuing to grow in size and scope. I dreamed of consciously becoming healthier in interactions, for myself, but for the community at large. Actions becoming less reactive and steeped in intention. Ideas becoming reality. Truth be told, this life excites me, challenges me, and leaves me curious for more. My dreaming and reflecting on Monday was a tipping point for more conscious daily reflection and visioning. I want to embrace that my thoughts create my reality and continue to create the reality I want to thrive in. This one life is so precious, dear, and finite.
As yogis, every time we come to our mats, we are giving the opportunity for both reflection, connection, and visioning our future. The practice invites us to slow down, feel, sense, and listen. From there we can move, rest, play, explore, but, guided from a place of authentic knowing and understanding. This listening is a practice, a habit. Once your practice becomes habit, it becomes a part of you. Soon intentionally living, listening, and responding becomes a part of who you are. My wish for us all is to let each day, each practice provide us with an opportunity to check in, sense, feel, be, and step into becoming. As creators of our own reality, may we all have enough space to actually see, feel, and listen to what is and what is to come.
Happy New Year to you all.