So before we know it, the year is about to come to a close. It has been an interesting and eventful 12 months for me. As I reflect back, I am feeling grateful for all that I have experienced and all the friends that I have met along the way. They have taught me much both in terms of being a better person and a better teacher.
I have to say that some of my greatest lessons were taught to me while on the mat. Practicing all alone at the studio after my students had gone, I experienced some pretty powerful emotional releases and epiphanies that have slowly but steadily shaped my mind, my heart and my life.
There were moments when I broke out in laughter and there were moments when I broke down in tears. And there were moments when I sat really really still and actually heard the voice of the wise woman coming from deep within.
I learned that the more I struggled and resisted my demons and fears, the more they stuck around. So I tried a different tact. I stopped struggling and resisting. Instead I (very apprehensively) welcomed them in and even invited them to stay for as long as they liked! I thought about them the way I would of a good friend going through a hard time i.e. compassionately. This was not an easy thing to do. Coming face to face with your fears is almost like coming face to face with failure. And who in the right mind would want that?
But in doing so, something magical happened and that which I feared started to lose some its fearsomeness. When that happened, I imagined them as balloons that I released one by one.
What resonated with me was the experience of lightness, love and letting go. Learning to love something or someone without holding on to them could well be the hardest thing many people face. But once you can manage to do that, you will experience a certain lightness and joy that is simply liberating. It releases you and welcomes in new experiences that you would otherwise have turned away from.
As we wind down 2014, my wish is that you too will take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months. What did you do? Where did you go? And most importantly, what did you learn?
Ashtanga yoga teacher
Art of Yoga
20 December 2014