This is just a small post.
I'm not sure about you, but I love planning the year ahead. Working out and feeling into what I might like to create, how I would like to be, what places I might like to go, recipes to cook, and this planning has been super fun.
But, one piece has been missing. My two beloved teachers Elena Brower and Kelly Sunrose have written and discussed recently, farewelling and reviewing 2016. I feel like it falls into the Niyama of Svadhyaya, self-study.
How are we to grow, change and evolve into the very best of ourselves, if we dont take time to look back and review, flesh out, gently pull apart the last year of our lives?
So. I'm getting ready for my own process of gently reviewing the past year.
Here's what it looks like so far, incase you feel inclined to do the same:
1. Block out.
Take some time, minimum one hour and block it out in your diary. Make this before the end of year get super duper uber crazy. I'm looking at next week.
Scoop up all your notebooks, the diary you used this year, your iphone if you keep appointments there (I'm old school, mines hardcopy). Any pieces of paper you've jotted down plans for this year on. Get a blank notebook, or piece of paper and a nice pen.
Make sure you have a comfortable place to sit, and lay it all out on a table.
4. Light a candle.
Lighting a candle can make this process seem more like a little ritual and quite inviting. Imagine as you like the candle, that you are shining the light on the past year, all of it!
Place your palms togther in Anjali Mudra, at your heart. Take a handful of breaths here. Sink into your sit bones, feel into your breath, feel the warmth of your hands together at your heart center.
Softly and gently. If you had any intentions, wishes, goals or any other plans note what they were.
Here's the practice of self study, in sanskrit Svadhyaya:
What kind of year did you have?
How did you feel your intentions/wishes/goals played out during the year?
What things did you do on the weekend?
Who did you spend time with?
What did you read?
How does it look when you review what your intentions, wishes, and dreams?
Do you feel any sense of alignment? What do you feel; happiness, frustration, disappoinment, joy, pride?
What did you want to happen that didn't happen?
What happened that you had planned?
Loving this work.
Equanimity. Steadiness and ease. Skilfulness in action. Sounds so good right?
These are some words from the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita that are orbiting around in my world right now. They sound like pretty important foundational words to me.
The world is a place where we need a good foundation to our way of being. For if we are to create our life, one thought, one word and one deed at a time, its vital that we come from a place of steadiness, of measured thought, of calm and yes of course, LOVE.
Yoga is ease in action. Bhagavad Gita 2:50.
Right alignment is accompanied by steadiness and ease. Sutra 2.46 from Ravi Ravindras translation of the Yoga Sutras.
So valuable, as if we are coming from a place that is entered, that is steady, we may just take a small step toward creating what it is we wish to have and or see in our life. If we come from a place of worry, fear, worse case scenario, what do you think we will create? Drama, conflict, misunderstadning.
How to come from ease I hear you ask? Well, here are some practical steps:
# Body check in - how is your body feeling (e.g. tight, stiff, relaxed, easy).
# Breath check in - whats going on in the breath? Is it shallow, choppy, soft, relaxed.
# Future check in - what is that you wish to create?
Staying in alignment with what it is you wish to create, keeps you on the right track for you. Checking in, is coming back home. Drawing in to connect what it is we are feeling, how we are breathing, and considering hmmmmm what is it here I wish to create?
Because as my teacher posted recently:
"In this Yoga, no effort goes to waste, and no momentum is lost: even a little of this dharma rescues one from great fear". (2.40)
Much love to you!