The beginning of a new calendar year is a very handy way to trigger some deep introspection, and can be a great opportunity to create change. This year I definitely knew that the important thing was about staying the course. In 2015 I, like many of the FHY community did some groundwork to keep making my personal evolution important. It was hard. And sometimes I did a terrible job. And sometimes I obstinately refused to do what I knew I needed to do. Growth sometimes sucks. It can be hard and it can be scary. But obviously we recognize the need to initiate change because almost everyone resolves to do something about a habit around this time of year. I asked a few yogis in our community to tell me more about how they wanted to FEEL in 2016. I was thinking that if we used feeling as a way to measure if something we are doing is right or seems true, then it might be a more authentic way to steer ourselves toward good decisions, rather than making specific rules to live by. Here are some of the responses I got to my queries. I hope they incite some thoughtful reflection for you and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
What are you most proud of from 2015?
**I've accomplished understanding and accepting where my limits are with others and learning to respect them without feeling the need to be apologetic. I've been working on this a long time and I think in the last few months of 2015 I nailed it
**I have fought cancer and won. I made it through with a positive attitude and I'm not sure if I could have accomplished this without the things that I have learned about myself through my yoga practice. Even when not able to actively practice, breathing and accepting where I was on a daily basis, helped me deal with many of the tests, the chemo, radiation etc. and I know it will now help me accept the changes I have undergone.
**I'm proud of my capacity for honesty and vulnerability in my personal relationships, particularly through periods of change. Without them, my adaptability and bending nature would be self-destructive.
** I am proud of committing myself to something and someone other than my friends and family. Since I joined Fearless Heart this year I have committed myself to my yoga practice and in turn my health, and all aspects of my life. I am more at peace because of these changes that unfolded from committing to myself.
What moment gave you a sense of joy in 2015?
**I told a few friends in recent conversations, if it all of sudden ended I am grateful for the journey I've been on. 2 going to the retreat, paddle boarding, fat bikes, trying Ashtanga and enjoying it. Straightening legs in shoulder stand.
**I found satisfaction in staying with and consequently working through the dark times instead of trying to avoid or building up to major storms. I feel good having my mat at FHY to invite awareness, reflection and will to try anew. It doesn't mean all the conflicting stuff of life is gone only that in precious moments I am at ease.
**I practice gratitude everyday. I am grateful to be female because women are interesting and beautiful and to live in a country that respects the freedom and choices for (many) women... I will continue to practice gratitude and commit to finding ways to develop greater strength and vitality overall so that I can take better care of myself and be available to others
**So many moments brought me joy this year! But I think the retreat stands out as bringing me the most joy; meditating and practicing with so many kickass people was so powerful.
What will you do this year to feel joyful?
**More joy= following my intuition and doing what feels right for the day/moment/season of my life
**I want to commit to have more fun in my practice. It is easy for me to start viewing yoga as work, something I have to do, than something I love to do (which is what it really is). Practice on its own brings me joy, I just have to let myself get back to that place.
**I commit to continue finding places and people that make me feel welcome and are safe and accepting (like Fearless Heart!)
** I will commit to accepting help from others and to give back. There is great joy in knowing that you are part of a community and that others, even strangers, can contribute to your joy and you can contribute to the happiness of others. This sounds like something that should be common knowledge, but I think we tend to try to muddle through things on our own.
What do you wish for our a)community OR b)the world in 2016?
**Greater compassion , kindness, collaboration , less competition. These are qualities I try to strive for on a daily basis and I can only start with myself and practice in my work and personal life relationships. I like the expression "live mostly by the Yin, but know the Yang"
* *I wish everyone would realize that their actions have an affect on others and the world. How everything they do matters and little things can make a big difference. Its' time to care.
** I wish for our community to continue to grow and foster meaningful relationships with each other.
**I wish for everyone to unplug a little bit more, the way I would like to. Stop looking at our phones and recording all our moments. Retreat from technology.
**I hope that my growth helps inspire friends and family to take a step in a direction to make life style improvements.
**For the world, I wish for people to learn the power of focusing on each moment as it comes, independent of the narratives they're used to constructing for themselves about what that moment means.
What one thing will you commit to for your health in 2016?
**Eating more salads! Delaney was telling me that it was easy. You ask yourself, did I eat a salad today? If the answer is no, you eat a salad. I think this is an attainable commitment. Perhaps 5 salads per week as an actual commitment.
**I would like to know how to make mulligatawny soup and eat more whole foods
**I want to commit to listening to my body and not feeling guilty to say no; No to food that won't make me feel good, no to situations that make me uncomfortable, and no to relationships that don't help me thrive.