I went to a yoga class a couple of weeks ago on the new moon and winter Solstice. The teacher started class by referencing a factoid that every cell in our body completely changes itself every 7 years, and looking back on who we were 7 years ago and who we are today, can be mind-boggling; who would have imagined some of what we look like, do or have become today, would have ever been possible 7 years ago?! I found this very interesting and attached to this idea/theme for the class immediately and followed it through my practice. Now, as I sit here typing this, I see that it may not be true that EVERY cell changes at the same rate, some cells change much more frequently, others not at all, at any rate, there is definitely more scientific information out there….and I digress, but it gotcha thinking, no?!
As I (we) approach the close of another year, I find myself reflecting on what I have learned, what I do know for sure (at least at this very moment) and paying attention to what I want to leave behind, or forgive, from this past year. I cannot pinpoint all these lessons to this past year specifically, but I can say without a doubt that I would not be who I am today without experiencing these lessons in one way, shape or form. I can also say that regardless of my cell turnover rate, I AM a different person than I was 7 years ago. My circle of friends are different, my diet and habits are different, my practice(s) are different, the way I approach things and relationships are different, my job is different, having my dog has made me different, who I allow in to my life is different and why I make those choices are different; I think we all can agree or attest that our experiences shape and change us and so Today, feeling a little defeated, hopeless, tired, confused, worried; as well as, happy, content, capable, blessed and more, I offer you the following that have shaped and changed me as a gesture of gratitude and inspiration to identify what in your life has refined you:
–ASK for what you want, knowing it can (and probably will) change, knowing it can be difficult and scary, knowing you may not get the answer you want, ask anyway.
–BE GRATEFUL, always. Days like today (and we all have them), are when it serves me best to recognize all the gifts I am blessed with, and I am not referring to our materialistic possessions; I am referring to our gifts of this life. Simply being able to breathe, walk, eat, laugh, taste, touch, see and feel and MORE! I found that posting daily about what I was grateful for made me recognize and appreciate ALL the LITTLE things around me EVERY DAY that are beautiful gifts of being among the living. I promise you will be a happier human when you invite gratitude into your life daily.
–ENJOY LIFE, I have to admit that this is one i am still learning. There is a part of me that really enjoys (or needs) some aspect of control and that can get in the way of pure joy. For instance, I really would like to know when (or hell, IF) this beloved man of mine is going to show up. I can’t know. I can trust that he will, but it is painful (sometimes) not knowing and relying on the universe’s timeline to provide; Hence, I am meditating on trust these days…..
–GIVE MORE, give more love, give more kindness, give more gifts, give more help, give more listening, give more feeling, give more feedback, give more of whatever you can to someone else, in need or not. You will always feel better when you give more. 🙂
–LET THINGS GO. let go of being right, let go of knowing, let go of control, let go and let BE; Oh the power of detachment! When we can let go of what isn’t ours or let go of a toxic relationship or one that isn’t serving us, we benefit. When we let go of stuff that is ours, emotions or past experiences that hold us down in a place we don’t need to be, we can grow and expand into what we are to become. Let go. Let it happen. **(sometimes easier said than done:)**
–PAY ATTENTION, as a yoga practitioner and a forever practicing student of the embodiment of yoga, it’s slightly impossible for me not to pay attention (I’m sure my type A part also has something to do with that;0) and when I pay attention, I notice that I grow; I pay attention to my body, to it’s movements, how that impacts my thoughts; I pay attention to others and notice what they might be dealing with that affects how they interact with me. I am an active observer in my own life. I focus my attention on my dog when we walk together, I look people in the eye when we are talking to each other, I notice and take to heart.
–TRUST the whammy of them all, the one that I am to be guided by until I receive it. It is not easy for me to trust, but I have found within my yoga practice that it is definitely possible and that speaks volumes. I feel like I trust myself and I definitely trust my instincts, perhaps a gentle honing in on this quality will drive it even deeper into the parts of myself that still feel doubt, worry and fear.
–LOVE yourself. Love one another. Love when you don’t want to. Love the stranger who is rude. Love the person who was mean to you. Love the people who are hardest to love. We all benefit from love. Love makes the world go ’round! Love. Love. Love.
With love, I say: take nothing for granted. Life is SO short and all that we have in our lives is temporary; cherish your friends, family, loved ones, pets, whomever you hold dear and let them know in your own way that you appreciate them. This will require some vulnerability, which is hard for the lot of us, but can be accessed through some self-love and attention.
I bid you a most wonderful closing to your 2014 and a plethora of blessings in all forms for you in 2015. May the force of love, trust, peace and happiness be with us all.