Sunday, January 1, 2012


Push all four corners of your right foot into the ground; make your standing leg strong, lift your knee cap, stay grounded; extend your left leg up and back, flare your left toes; strengthen your core; lift your chest, shine brightly through your heart. As the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, I stood in dancer pose on my yoga mat, shining out through my opening heart while grounding myself into the present, setting the tone for the next 365 days to come.

Yoga Dancer Pose, Natarajasana

Instead of drinking and toasting, setting New Years resolutions I didn't intend to keep and starting the new year with a hangover, I choose to intentionally step into 2012 with all the patience, love and acceptance that a fierce yoga practice cultivates.

My yoga studio holds a 10 pm - 12:30 am class on New Years Eve. This year, we were asked to bring a journal.

"Please write 4 difficult things you faced in 2011, 4 wonderful things from 2011 and 4 things you grew from most in 2011," instructed the teacher.

(The number 4 is used because (2011) 2+0+1+1=4)

4 Difficult Things I Faced in 2011:

  • Being apart from Greg
  • The January 8th shooting in Tucson
  • Moving twice
  • Being on my own
4 Wonderful Things From 2011

  • Falling in love
  • Bringing Raleigh the Menace into my life
  • Having my own place
  • Moving home to Tucson (I moved back to Tucson, my college town, from Phoenix in February; I met Greg the week I moved)
4 Things I Grew From Most in 2011
  • I always feel the need to be in constant motion; training Raleigh has taught me (some) patience.
  • I never knew the capacity I had to love until I met Greg.
  • Living on my own and Greg being away has helped me cultivate self reliance and true independence (as opposed to theoretical, idealistic independence).
  • I have had four jobs this year (due to extraneous circumstances); the trials of learning new tasks and procedures has humbled me and taught me to be patient with myself.
The items in each list blatantly overlap. The hardest challenges tend to help us grow most and yield the most wonderful results. This year has not been easy; it's been a year of both miracles and tragedy and I feel blessed to have survived it and grown so much.

"Think about the ways in which you identify yourself. Who would you be without those labels? Would you still be you? If you were no longer angry all the time, or sad, or stubborn, are you still the same person? Think about who you might be without being who you claim you are," my teacher told the class.

My Identity
  • Strong
  • Independent
  • Woman
  • Feminist
  • Democrat
  • Fur Mommy 
I would still be these things without claiming that I am but removing the labels could make me a more open minded person, more willing to accept the views of others.

"Set 5 intentions for yourself in the 2012, list 5 things you want to let go of in 2012, write 5 ways you will make this happen in 2012," instructed my teacher.

(5 is used because (2012) 2+0+1+2=5)

5 Intentions for 2012
  • Heal
  • Expand and explore my capacity to give love freely to others
  • Accept where I am at each moment
  • Cultivate patience
  • Love myself and respect what my body needs
5 Things I Want to Let Go of in 2012
  • My poor body/self image
  • Close mindedness
  • The need to constantly keep moving, planning and driving forward without appreciating the present
  • Worrying about the future
  • Doubting myself
5 Ways I Will Make This Happen in 2012
  • Reach out more to others; close connections help us heal.
  • Attend yoga more regularly to cultivate self-love and self-acceptance and patience with myself.
  • Listening to my heart/body/mind and respecting its needs.
  • Taking time to appreciate the good in my life at present.
  • Saying no sometimes and not over-committing my time. 
I chose to start my new year in Dancer Pose because in Dancer Pose, you shine brightly and expand your heart while standing still, grounded in the present. In 2012, I will strive to be more accepting of myself as I am, in my present state. While I will never stop moving forward, I will try not to forget to love where I currently am. 

Happy New Year readers!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this. Maybe I will do the same 4 and 5 point lists.x