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Before we turn the page on 2011… Let’s take stock.
No need to get too-heavy here, just acknowledging how far we’ve come, and where we’d like to go. It’s best to keep this somewhat lighter, and fun.
Carve out 20 – 40 minutes for this meditation & writing exercise:
Make a cup of tea, get a nice pen, three pieces of paper, and a pad of post-its. Find a quiet place where you can sit.
Light a candle, and get comfortable. Let your breath smooth out and slide into meditation for a few minutes…
Once in quiet – creative space, reflect on your experience of 2011. Let your mind drift through the past year, the milestones that have passed, the highs and lows. Let it all come. Breathe.
Embrace the whole of where you are at in your life right now. Acceptance and appreciation of now, is the base-camp for your journey into 2012.
In bold letters, title the first piece of paper:
What I’m leaving behind in 2011.
Inhale….Exhale… Start writing… Don’t stop, judge, or filter in any way. Get it onto the page. What are you so-done with? What will not survive the strike of midnight on December 31st?
Explore the facets of your life. Home, career, relationships, (might need more paper!) health, behaviors. Then get into the energetics. List your done-with fears, doubts, hesitations, and grudges… No, you won’t have to read this aloud in class. Keep going.
Have you been unkind or hurt anyone? Apologize. Has anyone treated you unkindly – unfairly? Forgive them. Make amends, Make your peace.
List your disappointments, and how you’ve disappointed others. Where are you kidding yourself?
(Breathe) Are you still carrying that bad habit? You know the one, the one you said you were done with last year. Go ahead and write it down. These ripples end here…
Phew. Still with me? great. Onward.
In bold letters across the top of the second sheet, write:
How i’ve grown and what I’ve learned in 2011.
What has living through 2011 revealed to you? What have you accomplished in the different areas of your life? how have you grown, what have you’ve learned, especially those tougher lessons.
(breathe, steady and evenly) What obstacles have you overcome… what have you gained? Where have you surprised yourself in your strength?
What are the important changes you’ll bring forward into the new year. What are the high points, peak moments, sweet memories you’ll savor?
Take some time with this, We’ll squeeze every last bit of goodness from 2011 before moving on. These waves live on.
You’re doing great. Keep going!
Here’s where it gets fun. Label the third sheet:
I’m happy – healthy and thriving in 2012.
How would envision your ideal life. Again, ponder the facets of your life, Relationships, work, creativity, your home, finances, health, your Yoga practice…
Write in positive and present tense, like it is already your reality, How will you feel? Describe in detail your day, from rising after a great nights sleep, your meditation, your breakfast… to the work you will do, to the beauty you’ll experience, all the way to tucking yourself in… (Or being tucked in?) content and slipping off into peaceful sleep.
Take a break, sip some tea, then meditate on this visualization, allow it to saturate you.
let a word or simple phrase of summary come to you.. One that sums up this direction you’d like to move in, this quality you’d like to see more of.
Write this theme, Your Mantra for the coming year – nicely on your post-it note.
FInish your tea, slide back into meditation for a few minutes before rising.
Bring your first sheet, and your candle outdoors, or to your fireplace where you can safely burn the list. Make a ritual of this, as your paper turns to ash, state:
I _______ release these qualities and experiences from my life…. and shed these anchors for real. So be it, cause I said so, Swaha!
The second and third lists you’ll read once more, then tuck away. Reflect on them in in a month or two, You just may need a refresher to get back on track.
Stick the post-it Mantra on your bathroom mirror, or a place where it will be the last thing you see before you go to sleep, the first thing you see before starting your day. Read it while you brush your teeth, ponder it for the full two minutes.
Putting pen to paper, and writing intentions seems to work. We leap from, “I might want to think about maybe making this change someday, to “I’m doing this!” For more on these practices of writing down our intentions, check out the book: Write it down – Make it Happen.
It’s been quite a journey for me this year, and I created this writing practice to lighten up, and be more open to the currents of creativity.
Much water has passed under the bridge as they say, and I’ve learned much through love and loss, bliss, good-fortune, and hardship. I have so much to be grateful for – and joyful about.
Not just on New Years, but each day I resolve to do my best. To show up, stay open and love fearlessly, to dust myself off after spectacular failures of my best whole-hearted efforts, and keep going.
I’ll stay in awe of the beauty of the little things in life, and open wide to possibility.
I will try not to be deterred or taken off course by the callousness, doubts, and fears of others. I’ll not limit myself through fear or hesitation, and will lean into uncertainty.
I love the quote about taking the leap… and growing wings on the way down, by Kurt Vonnegut. I know, dramatic, but hey, I’m on a roll here! And I’ve leapt, so he would surely approve.
Of the thousands who will read this post in the next few days, how many will actually try the exercise? It’s up to you.. Nobody can do it for you. But I plead with you, I challenge you. Get three pieces of paper and invest some time in You. Here’s a printable version for you: Year in review pdf
The people who count on you – are counting on you.
If you have a partner, a family, do it for them. If you’re single, do it for the next person you’ll be in a relationship with. You’ll be clearer, lighter, more open to possibility. I’ll bet you’ll feel it in your asana practice.
You count, you matter, you’re worth this effort. You can make a difference.
it just doesn’t have to be like it was yesterday.
Look around, you are surrounded by people who love you. Will you love them back? open all your doors and let the light in. Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya.
I look forward to practicing with you all in the New Year. I’ll be teaching our New Years Day class at 9am.
On January 8th, Clarence returns with his gorgeous cello to shake our bones while we practice. Wait till you hear and feel what we’ve been creating together!
There’s no place I’d rather be, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing, so many thanks for your support.
Please forward this to a friend? click the like button, or tweet… Imagine if we all introspected regularly.
May all beings be happy and free. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti…
p.s. by the way, ‘Onward’ is my post-it Mantra for this year. What is yours?
Jill Manifests, creates her own reality, and says that we can too:
When did you first realize your ability to Manifest, has it always been there?
I've always had faith. I knew on some level that "you get what you expect" and you have to keep a positive attitude and all, but now I see life from a spiritual, not a material perspective.
Has it developed over time? Have you worked on strengthening it?
Yes, it has developed over time — the more I realize my "Oneness with God" the more of a "cosmic sweep" my thought has. I guess you could say I think on purpose. If you want to call meditating "strengthening" then, yes, I strengthen it all the time!
We’ll need some context, Can you expand on what ‘God’ means to you?
It's really a personal thing isn't it — it's whatever it means to you. Universal Mind, Infinite Intelligence, Cosmic Consciousness, Source, Being, Truth, Creator, etc. . . are some expressions that may have a deeper resonance with us.
As far as what it means to me? It's always evolving. When I meditate on divinity within, my understanding of the Infinite expands. It's hard to put into words. The soul has it's own language — silence. Let's just say you know it when you feel it!
Where has manifesting brought you the biggest benefits?
Just knowing that God provides for me, in every way, on a daily basis, has brought me great freedom and peace. All we have is this moment in time, this day, and I don't really need anything more than this day requires.
So, I don't have the burden maintaining a lot of stuff or worrying about it. If I need something, I ask in faith, knowing that God will provide it.
Do you try understand or explain your gift?
It's not so much that I try to understand it as much as "I now understand.” When I meditate on the Infinite, it's as if I'm blessed in some way with understanding and wisdom. I accept it and express gratitude. Appreciation is a big part of manifesting.
The first step in making a demonstration is to understand that "God will provide." Second, is to "affirm" there is no lack or limitation in spirit. Establish in your mind the difference between the appearance of lack or limitation from what it is your asking for . Third, visualize yourself as already having it and give thanks for it!
Can we can all do this, and does Yoga help?
That's a good question — I think so. Everybody already has it within themselves, they simply need to awaken to it. I started practicing Yoga a little over a year ago. The silence of shavasana was not lost on me. The calming postures of forward folds brought me clarity. I awakened spiritually. I saw the duality in everything and realized I was "One with the Whole."
I’ve heard you have a thing for the American flag, can you explain?
When I see the American flag, I see the face of God. It speaks to me. I feel the Spirit of it. Spirit is everywhere and in everything. This nation was founded on God and the American flag represents that. All I have to do is think of the American flag and one appears in my sight!
How about a specific story, what have you manifested lately?
About a month ago, on a Sunday night my husband and I were facing seemingly empty pockets. Although he was expecting to be paid in a few days, the immediate prospects weren't looking so good. The situation felt a little desperate. Knowing that there is a supply for every demand, I asked God to supply for this need.
I no sooner finished asking when I looked up and my eyes landed right on an envelope, with my name on it, that was hanging on the kitchen door. It was a paycheck for some temporary office work I had done just days before. It had been hand-delivered to my house earlier that day. Needless to say it was plenty enough!
Should we ask for what we want or just what we think we need?
We should ask for both what we want and what we need. Our desires are the God in us looking to be expressed! And we should ask largely — don't skimp. God provides — period. Spirit doesn't recognize quantity.
This is an abundant Universe and it responds to your thought. So the more abundant and prosperous you feel and think the more it will respond in kind. It may appear that we get what we need as opposed to what we want because most likely our belief and intention is stronger for what we think we need.
Please expand on "Ask."
To ask means to claim your good, to feel, to believe and have faith. It's a little misleading in so far as asking implies there could be a yes or no answer when in reality the Universe is always manifesting what your feeling and believing in this moment. Try it! Ask for what you really want or need . . .
I was thinking about your experience in India and your burning desire for a Q-tip! When one appeared on the street, dirty and trampled on, you joked about how you should have been more specific. Actually, the dirty Q-tip was part of the manifestation of the real thing.
When you're lost at sea, you know dry land is ahead when sticks and twigs are floating in the water. It's a sign of what's ahead — the real thing! and you did get a box of shiny, new, multi-colored Q-tips shortly thereafter. So the lesson is — don't give up, banish any doubt and believe "with God, all things are possible!"
There you have it. Say hi to Jill at our Tuesday night class. I've got some great interviews with our fellow Yogis lined up. If you've got an aspect of Yoga to share, or know someone who would like to answer 9 questions about their practice, let me know! Om Shanti, I'll see you in class. -j