Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reflecting on the past year

The end of the year is the perfect time to pause and reflect on life and the events in our lives. . Even though life is really a cycle with no beginnings and no endings, there are places to pause, markers of time passing. We all have lessons to learn and challenges and accomplishments in life.

Take a moment to find a quiet place, close your eyes and think about something during the past year that you accomplished and feel good about. Breathe fully and notice how it feels to breath in the feeling of that experience. It could be a good deed, a new skill learned, completing a project, taking a risk, becoming a better listener, anything that feels full and rewarding.

Now take a moment to think of something that is still a challenge in your life. Something that feels difficult and perhaps unresolved. Breathe that in. How does that feel? What lesson have you learned from that? How can you use this experience to grow and turn it into something positive?

We need a balance of achievements and challenge in our lives. There are lessons to be learned from both. Part of learning is becoming aware. How do we feel? What can we change? Can we change our attitude? Life will always ebb and flow. We flow into balance and out of balance. It is seeking to return to balance and to appreciate our gifts and talents as well as the challenges in life that gives life meaning and richness.

Yoga is about balance. It is about playing the edges and returning to our center. It is about breathing fully and dancing fully with life.

In your next yoga practice, think of one of your favorite poses that your feel confident doing and come into that pose. Hold it for a moment or two so you can really feel the fullness and richness of the pose. Notice the details that help to bring you into alignment with that pose. Feel your center. Feel your edges expanding.

Now come into a pose that you find challenging and maybe do not like so much. See if you can bring some of the feeling and details from the previous pose into this pose. Can you make this pose easier by using the principles of the pose you feel comfortable doing? Take the time to clear your mind and use your breath to bring a lightness and softness to your pose. Notice if this changes anything.

It is easy to think about what we want, what we think we need, something that we don’t quite have yet. But taking time to give thanks and feel gratitude gives us what we need.

So pause and consider your year. Give thanks for the gifts as well as the challenges. Appreciate the tapestry of life with all its colors and textures. Realize that life itself is a gift and beauty comes in many forms. Breathe fully, live life with passion and remember to smile often.

No comments:

Post a Comment