The new year brings with it visions of becoming who we've always wanted to be, dedicating ourselves to new goals, new practices. The idea of a new year is feels like a fresh start, clear, and open for possibilities.
I think we can all agree, the past year has been difficult and anxiety is still high as we turn our focus to the coming months. We've faced a major crisis, regardless of what side of the aisle we reside or how it may have manifested in our individual life. But as I reflect on recent years, I realize that in 2017 I had a major health crisis, in 2018 my family's daily life was severely impacted, in 2019 my work life was in upheaval. I also completed my Masters Degree in 2017, took brave and difficult life altering steps in 2018, and achieved my 300 RYT in 2019, carving out a new path in my story.
Each year brings challenges and celebrations. Some are harder than others. Some years we know we are not alone in our challenges and other years we feel very alone. This last year was different - we all had a individual challenges and celebrations, but we also had inside knowledge that there a common denominator.
I didn't find myself setting goals or visions as I approached this new year. My husband tells me this is because I'm always setting goals and creating my vision. While I like to believe that, I think I'm also tired. We're all tired. We're tired of trying to make it work, making adaptations, digging deeper and deeper for patience and compassion, fearful that one day that well will be dry.
When I was contemplating my theme for this month, I kept coming back to the notion of steady. New Year sounds so fresh and inviting, it is tempting to set exciting goals and look towards high achievements. I took this last week off, the nebulous week between Christmas and New Year's, to rest, to contemplate, and to welcome some inspiration. I rested, I ran, I read, I binged Downton Abbey and chocolate. But I don't feel energized, inspired, and full of vigor for the new year. I found myself feeling low about this, but I've realized, I don't need sparkly, shiny new goals and visions and big ideas. Not right now. What I need right now is to be steady. I need to take care, be balanced, and continuous in my development.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras states this simply about our yoga practice: II:46 Sthira Sukham Asanam - the posture should be steady and easeful. Just as when we are on our mat, our experience doesn't have to be all dancer and handstand, nor does it need to be all child's pose and savasana. We must have tadasana, we must be steady and easeful, like a mountain. And as tadasana informs our other postures, our steadiness informs our complete experience.
"You are not in the mountains, the mountains are in you."