Ah, my last blog post of 2013 and once again I will build it around the past three year-ending posts – Posts that have emphasized transitions, growth, and adventure. Narratives that have attempted to shine a special light on all the beauty within all of those people that have interwoven their magic throughout this journey that we call, life. They have been the people who have led me, who have carried me, and who reside within me in a very deep and profound way. This last post of the year is for you.
I ended 2012, alone in my house, writing. Dazed and confused and so unsettled, unsure, unbound with what the future offered. Here it is a year later, and I am lying on a bed in a Mexico hotel room. Life is a funny motherfucker. I am still so unsure of so many things, hands outstretched, blindfold on, trying to read the brail on the walls as if they were organically painted by some distant universe, leading me this way or that, but really just continually bumping into things along the way, following light when it presents itself, taking solace in the darkness because I know that is the only way in which I can find the light.
A year ago, I quoted one of my favourite Liz Gilbert’s quotes:
We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
Truth-be told I worked hard on this one this year. It was like a full-time job as I struggled to find the courage to be more on my own. To find my own sense of self. To find my own power in the stillness. To sit in it. To bask in my own radiance. To accept the challenge. As always, it is still a work-in-progress.
It was a year full of challenges: the 365 day Handstand Challenge, the Plank Challenge, the Core Challenge, the 21 Day Meditation Challenge and my personal favourite, the 28 Day Facebook-Free Challenge. I played along with all of these with reckless abandon as they provided a good reason to change things up, if nothing else. Yet it was the everyday challenges that continued to mystify me.
As my Yoga teaching evolved into its second year, I began the year with a focus on that most delicate of Chakras, the Heart Chakra. It would be a theme that carried on throughout the year. I wanted to move on to the Root or the Throat Chakras, but I felt that my true understanding of the Heart Chakra was amiss; that the Heart Chakra had to be in balance; that the giving and the receiving of love had to be balanced. On some days, when it felt like my heart was literally overflowing with joy and love, I had to learn to just sit in it. Enjoy it for myself. Run with it. Play with it. It doesn’t need to be given away so easily although sharing the very essence of it in everyday life is fun. I learned that I am not guarded at all and don’t want to be and if pain and hurt occur due to a more open heart than most, then so be it. At least I could feel. It is good.
Along those same lines, my Yoga practice has continued to be a huge source of inspiration on so many levels, reminding me to find my big deep beautiful breath, and breathe into each and every moment, however uncomfortable some may be. They will pass. Time will heal. Breath will flow. It always has. For this I am grateful. Every morning, I look out my window and give thanks for all those people that have flowed through my life…some lessons, some laughter, many breaths; some quick and shallow, others deep and lasting.
A by-product of this breath has been my newly discovered LOVE of running. I have never been a runner and have used it only as a means toward an end, but in the Spring of this year, I started putting on some mileage and found that my breath flowed like water from a spigot. Free and easy. One breath, one stride, until 10 kilometres had been patched together and I was looking around wondering how I had arrived here, lost in the transportation. Like Yoga, my running became a moving meditation. The more that I focused on my breath, the more miles I put on. Definitely a very cool addition to the fitness aspect of both sports.
Shoulders back, heart forward, bit by bit we chip away at the stone until we have carved out what we want. For some, this takes months, for others, decades. The key is that we keep chipping, however slow, however methodical, however frenzied. Bit by bit, we all get there.
Life simply doesn’t happen all around you, YOU happen to it. You choose, you want, you engage, you plan, you implement, and when things work out, you celebrate. When things don’t work out, you stress. This is how life works. YOU are the common denominator to ALL the good and ALL the bad in your life. That is not saying that sometimes really, really bad things occur to which we can assign no blame whatsoever, it is just saying that YOU control the majority of your own destiny! Today is New Years Eve 2013, and my thought that goes out to each and every one of you – old and new acquaintances alike is, “Make 2014 the year that you want it to be.” Get in touch with yourself, your needs, your desires, your creativity, your moxie, your determination and create your very own year for you!
It is about the journey, and riding the waves as they coast up and down beneath us. I hope to do the same in 2014 – hopefully cutting myself some slack, and learning from some of my mistakes and being kind and gentle to those around me (and myself), because everyone is fighting a fucking battle of some kind. BE THE CHANGE that you want to see (Obama-ism). Each and every single day, change one little thing, and be genuinely surprised when at the end of the year that you are so much closer to being the person that you actually want to be, and there is nothing more sexy or more appealing than watching someone who has that inner swagger going-on! That is beautiful! Namaste. Peace to all with as much love, light and laughter as I can muster. Create YOU, beautiful you!