A Conscious New Year Tradition

Usually this time of year I look forward to acknowledging profound transition as one year gives way to a new one – new space for opportunities to evolve my relationship with my Self, my life and others.  More often than not, however, my New Years’ passes with only fleeting awareness as the Christmas glow fades into exchanging mis-sized gifts, stashing decorations, freezing leftovers, and updating year-end bookkeeping.  Who has time to sit with so much to do?

But as I write this now in front of a glowing wood stove, a full moon rising through the trees out the window beside it, and the new year just a day away, I feel freshly compelled to remain connected to my internal transition this time.  If we move forward without consciously processing our past, we will continue to move unconsciously into our future.  Is that really what I want to do?  My life feels so rich with experience that I would be remiss to ignore the sensation of those experiences landing and depositing the wisdom that they hold for me.  Even with a regular weekly practice of integrating my life, this opportunity to rise above an everyday perspective and consider the bird’s eye view of my life seems to take it to a level that will enhance what wisdom I may receive.

So as we learn in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, I close my eyes and consider what about this past year stood out most to me…

I had a couple of key occasions this year to notice the wisdom of my body.  The first was a decision I made that did not sit well with me, that I sensed was not the right decision and made anyway.  It was a decision to continue to offer yoga classes at a new venue rather than to acknowledge after a year and a half of trying two different venues in that same community that the effort was not working.  The body sensation that accompanied my decision was a rather spiritless, lethargic energy around executing the move.  I lived with the consequences as the decision was confirmed wrong for me, and when I had an opportunity to correct it and close that site I noticed the sensation in my body once again:  elation, weightlessness, excitement at having space open up in my life.  Both were rather significant business decisions.  At stake with the first was having space to pursue an amazing opportunity to expand my business in a new direction personally mentored by a master teacher for whom I have deep respect and admiration.  What stands out is that despite my body’s strong signals to me and a clear preference to the contrary, I made that decision anyway.  Curious.

When I consider how this shows up in my everyday life I notice (once again) my tendency to do things for other people’s reasons rather than my own.  In this case, despite having little business reason to offer the classes in that location, I was afraid of letting down a handful of devoted students.

I continue to integrate this experience by taking a moment to go within, to connect with my source – my inner guide, wisdom, divine knowing – and I bring this curiosity with me.  Here, I sit in this space of connection and curiosity – connection with my own wisdom and curiosity around this experience of myself in life – and I open myself up to receive what comes.  What comes is:  stay connected to source and trust what I receive.

Taking this guidance back to its relevance in my daily life, I realize how inconsistently I practice going within and making that connection, especially overextended as I was by teaching seven classes a week.  I fell out of balance with myself.  To stay connected to myself, I need to allocate space and time to listen within.  I then need to trust what I receive as true for me and therefore relevant to me – to my life – and to make my choices from that truth.

What can I do to turn this guidance into action?  Recommit to my own daily yoga and meditation practice.  I often find this same wisdom when I go within.  Life has a way of pulling me out of my center and stretching me across too many competing demands.  The only way for me to stay true to myself is to remain connected and listening to myself, to take the time to go within, connect with my source, and be mindful of what I experience and receive.

This year I had the privilege of participating in the Phoenix Rising Yoga professional training offered by Kevin Sharpe, editor of the International Journal of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy.  One of the biggest gifts from that training for me was a realization that I tend to pigeon-hole my yoga practice as separate from running my business.  Kevin helped me to notice that to take my connection to source off the mat and into the managing of my business raises the quality of that experience both for myself and for my students and clients.  When I make choices – in this case business decisions – from this place of connection, I keep my business grounded in and aligned with my own inner wisdom and stay on track with my own intentions.   Great awareness to take with me into the new year.

My intention for 2013:  stay connected to, trust, and live all dimensions of my life from my own truth and wisdom.  I look forward to allowing my uncentered, outwardly oriented, distracted tendency to die to make room for the more centered, inwardly connected, focused me to be born, just like the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes is reborn more beautiful than before.  How can I be anything but successful if I do?

So this year the decorations and the bookkeeping can wait until my spirit is present and grounded enough to approach these tasks with purpose and focus.  From experience I know that the tasks themselves will hold less “chore” energy and no doubt fewer decorations will be broken and the books will be more accurate if I do.  Happy new year, everyone.  🙂