I’m so energized today. Why, you ask? Don’t know exactly…could just be the super high test Yerba Maté I’m drinking this morning, laced with delicious high grade organic maple syrup…that always seems to give me a swing in my step and a palpitation in my heart!
Yesterday I taught a class in the morning. It was filled with (but not only with) people coming back to their practice after having a bit of a break…a holiday break, a been too busy break, an I needed a break break, an I have been gone so long now I can’t fathom going back break…you get the idea. So, I did the best I could at my job to give them the space they needed and the encouragement and sweet but tough love they desired in coming back into the room. It got me to thinking…all the New Year’s resolutions that float around the air at this time of year. All the feelings of being not good enough are hanging heavy over people’s heads right now. All the food and drinks and celebrations now seem to be overkill, the joy has been removed from the occasions and now all that is left is the extra few pounds, the pants that don’t quite fit, and the feeling of the New Year’s resolutions that were made in an energized, perhaps slightly inebriated state of mind fog that now have to be maintained.
MAINTENANCE. Ugh. It could be such a big oppressive word, don’t you think?! Making the goal and starting the new activity (eating/exercising/positivity/whatever else you have made for a NYResolution) is easy…you have the motivation for it, you told yourself you would and now you are…but then it turns to the reality of LIFE. It’s one thing to start something new when you are on vacation or with the kids out of school. But, yesterday the kids went back to school and everyone went back to work and suddenly it was like the realisation that it’s not that you changed something for a while or for fun or to try it out…you made a RESOLUTION and now you must stick to it or fail (again?) at your resolution….the MAINTENANCE of it is here again.
So, yesterday, as I saw all these people come back to the mat with a slight bit of fear and trepidation, they also brought with them a feeling of knowing…knowing they would feel great in a few short classes, a feeling of triumph of getting back in the room and knowing they just needed to get through 90 minutes and they would have bliss at the end of the road. The thing about making resolutions (or any kind of change at any time of the year) is that once you get through the first month, it then becomes part of your life, not just something you do. They say it takes 30 days to create a new habit. It’s one day at a time, one choice at a time, but after 30 days, you are over the hump and hopefully you have created this new habit for yourself. (I’m not saying you have to do a “30 day challenge”, but just maintain your goals for a month however you need to to be able to do them, and with some luck you will feel in the groove to keep going!).
So, all that being said…my goal for my yoga practice for this year is to enjoy the feelings I get IN the yoga room. A couple years ago I decided I would not ever go into a yoga class with the feeling of “ugh, I so don’t want to go to class”…why would I? I didn’t want to bring in any negative thoughts or feelings into my yoga practice with me, so I have created a wonderful relationship to my practice that has taken me…oh, 12.5 years to cultivate!! So, I decided this year I want to focus on the wonderful feelings I feel INSIDE the yoga room, not just the hard work in the yoga room to reap the feelings OUTSIDE the yoga room. As a teacher I look at my students in the postures and feel elated for them! I look a the bodies in the postures and think how much is going on in the body…the blood flow and the oxygen saturation and the heart pounding and the lungs expanding and the skin stretching and everything getting a tune up!! (makes me excited to get into the yoga room just typing it!!…I’m such a yoga geek). So, now my goal is to bring more mindfulness and presence to my own practice this year. LIsten, I have been doing this yoga for over 12 years, if you think this series cannot be practiced for fear of boredom…think again! I have learned more from this one series than from anything else in my life. But it is my job for myself to figure out all the things it has to offer me. My job right now is to bring this mindfulness and presence to my own practice so that I can help my students find it as well.
Whatever it is that you gave to yourself for this year, whatever goals or thoughts you gifted to yourself for 2013, they are here for you. They are here for you when you want them and for when you don’t. Be generous with yourself but give yourself some sweet tough love. Set yourself up for success and be generous every day with yourself. Some days are going to look how you want them and some won’t. Some days you get what you want and some days you get what you need. And…if you’re really lucky, some days what you want and what you need are the same thing.
Happy life, my puppies. Whether your goals and resolutions involve something physical or spiritual, something tangible or not…happy life…that’s all there is to it.
Love and sweet unicorn kisses,