Hi everyone. I hope the first week of the new year is off to a wonderful start for you.
Although I’m not personally setting specific intentions, goals or resolutions, I have found myself in a very contemplative place this new year. My whole life is going to change in 2018 in ways that I can’t even imagine. I’m very excited but I’m also extremely terrified. I honestly don’t think that anything can truly prepare you for becoming a parent. Because of this, I am trying to have a lot of grace with myself around setting goals and ideals for this year because I don’t know how it’s all going to play out.
I hesitate to get into any specifics around work goals or returning to work after baby and that applies to fitness goals as well. I have no idea how I’ll feel once he gets here and I want to give myself a lot of freedom to act based on intuition and heart versus “making a comeback.”
That FEELING word is an important one and one that I’m leaning heavily on in 2018 and I wanted to share a few approaches to the new year that might help those of you who are with me on being less rigid and more “feeling-focused” in your approach to the new year.
1. BE YOUR OWN GURU
I shared this on Instagram a few days ago but one of my favorite yoga mantras is the Guru Mantra.
Guru devo Maheshwara
Guru sakshat, param Brahma, tasmai shri guravay namah
It’s been on my heart and in my mind to allow this mantra to serve as a guiding principle for my life this year.
The word guru means “remover of darkness.” The leading message in this mantra is that WE are our OWN gurus and our own greatest teachers. Our birth, our family, our life experiences, our friends, our struggles, our challenges…they are all our gurus.
Sharon Gannon writes, “Guru is the enlightenment principle that aids one in the realization of the true Self, the whole Self, the holy Self. The guru removes avidya, or ignorance, which is a case of mistaken identity. It is when you think you are your personality, mistaking your body/mind container for who you are and ignore who you really are. It is when you feel separate from the whole.|
By reciting this mantra with a sincere heart, you will see that the power that enlightens is all around you at all times. The mantra asks for the ability to see the guru in all names and forms, and even to acknowledge, love and serve the guru who you cannot see, who is beyond all visible forms. The guru is your own self, the inner guiding light.”
This year I am going to really effort to be my own guru, my own best teacher and to really lean heavily on my own intuition and inner guiding light as I journey into motherhood…especially as someone who tends towards indecision.
2. MAKE A VISION BOARD
As I mentioned in my New Year’s weekend recap, Dorie and I hosted a vision boarding workshop at the studio on December 30.
The idea behind a vision board is that you fill it up with images and words that describe how you want things to look and feel in the year ahead. You put it somewhere where you’ll see it regularly (anywhere from in your bedroom to your office to your closet or bathroom…wherever!) and it serves as a visual reminder to keep you grounded in how you want to feel.
There are a couple of ways to do this. We went through magazines to cut out images and phrases and also used markers to write words and we glued all of this to poster board sheets. I have another friend who has a New Year’s Eve tradition of making vision boards at home with her husband and 10-year old daughter and they go online and search for images and phrases and print them out to assemble their boards. Whatever works for you.
The crazy thing is that I was really “loose” going into making my vision board and WOW did it ever make a lot of sense once I had cut out the words and images that spoke to me and it really helped bring things into focus for me. So even if you don’t necessarily “know” what your feeling words are for the year, it’s an awesome exercise for helping you to narrow your focus.
I also think this is a great one to do with a close friend, partner or your children.
3. DEBBIE FORD’S “THE VOW”
One of my yoga teachers first introduced me to The Vow by Debbie Ford back in 2012 and I have been reading it in my classes every year since.
Unfortunately, the online link is no longer active but I’m so glad that I have it documented for myself. Here it is:
~ My life is worth a billion blessings to all those I meet on my journey.
~ I am the heaven and all that exists in the sky above.
~ I am the vastness of my greatest thought and the infinite power that sources and sustains the entire universe.
~ On this day, I will remember who I am, what I am here for and why I choose the experiences that have come into my path this past year.
~ Today, I promise to leave the smallness of my darkest thoughts and melt with open arms into the never-ending, all-powerful love of my highest self.
~ Today, I surrender into the open arms of 2018, allowing each day of the upcoming year to surprise, comfort and nourish my soul’s deepest desires.
~ I vow to return the spark of the divine and use my power to light up the world.
~ This year, I will give to others what I want back for myself.
~ If I want love, I will find ways to love each and every person I come across.
~ If I want peace, I will think peaceful thoughts, say peaceful words and pray for peace for all those who are living in chaos, including myself.
~ If I want success, I will work diligently to help those around me succeed. I will stay focused, do my absolute best and seek excellence in everything I do.
~ If I want respect, I will begin by respecting life and all that comes with it. I will respect those around me and those who work hard to make this planet a better place. I will respect the earth, my body, my past and the gifts that I hold and I will surrender judgement for reverence.
In 2018, I trust that what I give the world will be given back to me.
I wish that I could even begin to explain how much this reading has benefited me. That last sentence of, “I trust that what I give the world will be given back to me” was my guiding force throughout 2017. I was struggling with grief over losing my brother as well as the struggle to conceive a child. I cannot tell you how many times I came back to these lines in my head over and over and over again when I felt triggered by something I saw online or scrolled past on social media or read or watched. “If I want love…if I want peace…if I want success…if I want respect…if I give it, it will come back to me.”
Keeping these words in my heart really helped me through some times where the easier pathway would have been one of judgement towards myself and others as well as self-pity.
4. FIND YOUR FIRE + ESTABLISH YOUR CORE DESIRED FEELINGS
If you’ve never dived into Danielle LaPorte’s work, maybe 2018 is a great time to do so. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND her books The Fire Starter Sessions and The Desire Map for those of you looking to do some deeper work and self-exploration.
The Fire Starter Sessions is mandatory reading for our 200-hour teacher training at the studio. It’s an extremely useful tool for discovering what it is that “lights your fire” and lights you up. It’s a very easy to read and easy to follow book with awesome questionnaire’s designed to help you dive deep into what’s working, what’s not working and how you can harness your strengths to step into your true power and authenticity. I
The Desire Map takes a deeper dive into identifying your “core desired feelings” so that you can make decisions and create goals around how you want to feel versus what you think you “should” be doing, achieving, etc. The book guides you through all the work it takes to peel back the layers to find your core desired feelings. It asks for a lot of honesty and deep reflection but I think it’s totally worth it.
WRAPPING IT UP
I hope you guys find these resources helpful. I wish you a 2018 full of love and growth.