I started yoga teacher training last night. My back against a wall, feet on the floor, a soft voice of yoga in front of me, the rumble of Kirtan behind. The row of windows to my right let in the twinkle of holiday lights still wrapping the trees and the noise of the street, Friday night in Old Town. At first, I am flanked by emptiness, but before long the circle is full, it and the door closed. Women with intention, all of them speak of a hunger for community and friendship. I feel on the floor in more ways than one, grounded and low, bottomed out. We chant the Ganesh mantra, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Compassion, and I remember that I am my biggest obstacle. Breathe in, breathe out. Begin again.
1. The sky in Colorado. It does stuff like the above, all the time and for no special reason, sunrise and sunset and everything in between. This happened the other morning while we were walking Sam at City Park. Luckily Eric had his phone so we could get a picture of it. This is one of the reasons I get up early, leave for a walk while it’s still dark. This.
2. Red Table, my favorite cafe that was scheduled to close for good on December 22nd is not disappearing, just moving. Once a new lease is signed, they’ll announce where to, and there will be dancing in the streets, even if it’s just me, a flash mob of one.
3. Yoga Teacher Training at Om Ananda Yoga, (I’m official, all signed up and ready to go, we start in January) and a new yoga mat from Eric for my birthday. I am so excited to see how this is going to shift my practice, my relationship to my body, my life.
5. Guest post request from Rachel. She’s taking a blogging break, so “lined up a few great ‘substitute teachers’,” and asked me to be one of them. I am still working out what I’ll write about, but am so excited for the opportunity, so touched and grateful that she asked.
Bonus Joy: Sam. We have (mostly) decided that rather than get a new dog over Winter Break, we are waiting until Spring Break. *sigh* There are lots of really good reasons, but the most relevant is that Eric and I are still feeling the trauma of losing two dogs in a row to fatal cancers and need a bit more time to work with that before being responsible for another life, before inviting another beast in who will eventually break our hearts. The only issue I have with this decision is it isn’t necessarily the best one for Sam, because he needs another dog. He’s developing fears he never had before (the washing machine, which means the dryer too by default, the vegetable steamer, even the toaster because it sometimes sets off the smoke alarm) and will be much happier, calmer once he has another dude.
I know, I know–this post is supposed to be Three Truths and One Wish. But lately, it just doesn’t want to behave, doesn’t want to conform to the rules, and since my goal here is the truth, forcing it to be something it isn’t doesn’t make any sense. Today, what really wanted to be said is that in the past month, there have been practices that have helped me to get at the truth, to go deeper, to consider what has happened in the past year and contemplate what might happen in the next, and I really just wanted to share them with you, in case they might be of some benefit for you as well.
1. Truth: I am so happy that Kat of I Saw You Dancing decided to host Reverb12 this year. For starters, I now have another wonderful blog to read, one where I find myself constantly saying “yes!” and “me too!” as I read. I have entire conversations with her in my head, only a tiny part of which ever get shared with her in the comments. She is a kindred, and even though I am officially about half a month behind in posting responses to the Reverb prompts on my blog, I am so glad I took part this year, gained so much clarity from the process, and hope to again in the next.
2. Truth: Sarada’s New Year’s Eve Yoga class at Om Ananda, my favorite yoga studio was amazing. I attended this special event for the first time last year, and was so happy I did. This year’s practice was the same, the best way to say goodbye to one year and welcome the next: Sarada’s amazing teaching–her warmth and her wisdom, the light and warmth of the space (twinkle lights outside, candles on the window sills, the studio lights dimmed, the hum of the heater), my fellow practitioners, and the focus of the class (union, carrying the strength of the past into the new year, surrendering residual tension, moving forward with intention and love, opening our hearts and being present). I left feeling blessed, blissed, and so so lucky.
3. Truth: Reset. Revive. Restart. was so worth doing, and I plan to do it again next year. Sandi Amorim and Cigdem Kobu are amazing women and put together an incredible program. It’s over now (*sob*), and there’s a rumor that our private Facebook group will be shut down in another week, but I’m still in denial about it, am going to miss it so much. It was like virtual summer camp for grown up women. The good news is I can now restart A Year With Myself (another awesome program Cigdem put together), since last year I only got to about week 15 before I crapped out, (another year with myself isn’t the worst thing that could happen).
4. Truth: Signing up for the Open Heart Project, and then joining at the Practitioner level was one of the best things I did for myself this year, maybe ever. Today is the final day of a seven day retreat and it was such a good thing for me, to intentionally focus on reflecting, practicing and contemplating, to not jump ahead into next year or the next thing too soon. I absolutely adore Susan Piver, and the community that has formed around her, the practice and the project, is such a support to me, such an amazing opportunity.
- Rachel Cole’s Wisdom Notes: Rachel has a quiet, gentle yet powerful way of leading you to the truth. This came at just the right time, and her emails were such a comfort and inspiration during the busy and sometimes stressful holiday season, the overwhelm that can happen this time of year. Her upcoming Ease Hunting promises to be the same sort of wonderful.
- Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook. I did this last year too, and it’s one of my favorite New Year’s rituals.
- Picking a word for 2013. This originates (for me anyway) with Ali Edwards, Susannah Conway, and Andrea Scher. Last year I selected Retreat, and this year it’s Freedom.
- Andrea Scher did a really great post with a series of videos this year, A New Year’s Ritual, a short practice that you might want to consider if you haven’t had time for anything else.
- Patti Digh offered Two Questions for the New Year, another practice you might still consider if you are short on time, but big on intention.
One wish: Neil Gaiman offers some of the best New Year’s wishes, so I will share his from this year as my wish for all of us, kind and gentle readers.
It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.
So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.
I am a yoga practitioner. I have been for about five years, and have aspirations to be certified to teach someday, to share this practice that has been so helpful, so meaningful for me. I attend four yoga classes a week, and do some practice on my own. Three mornings a week, I attend a class at my gym. What I love about that class is many of the same people have been going for the last five years, there are lots of rotating regulars, and it’s become a little community. The space where we practice, a general fitness class room, isn’t all that appealing.
However, I’m am lucky enough to also practice one day a week at a real yoga studio, Om Ananda. It is a beautiful space. Before class yesterday morning, I took some pictures so I could share it with you.