‘Use Your Words’ is the name of a book I received last Christmas. It was to encourage my intention to write more in 2019, perhaps even start a book. Looking back now, I discover that I fell way short of this intention! I could give myself a hard time, or not let that ‘bully’ part of myself win over! I’m choosing the latter.
In this way I discovered that in fact ‘words’ were an important part of my 2019. Notwithstanding, all of my days are supported by my commitment to regular practice, sadhana. However these three words held and guided my focus this year.
What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful. Brene Brown
Staying vulnerable, open to uncertainty, criticism and rebuffs, for many is a most uncomfortable experience. For me it means showing up for who I am, letting down my guard, being open to personal growth and change. Facilitating Swami Asokananda’s inaugural tour here in January left me in this space continuously. It was simultaneously frightening and exhilarating. I truly cannot believe I managed through it (with a lot of chocolate!) to tell a most wonderful story of the experience and people’s learnings. Whenever I now begin to move into unchartered waters, this ‘word’ stays with me, with all the cutaneous sensations of Swami’s visit, to support me.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Billy Ocean
Oh yes, but I like to get going right out of there! Creating an online platform in 2019 was a big commitment to remaining steady with a course of action despite many difficulties, setbacks, disappointments. My plan for this platform came just before I broke my heel in 2018. In addition to that setback, creating online therapeutic yoga gave me yet another opportunity to hold ‘lightly’ the bigger picture and keep going. I’m still uncomfortable in this new grey space, aiming not to seek black and white solutions or outcomes. I don’t have all the answers, I just keep putting one foot forward….
Put your whole heart into something while keeping your trying soft. Swami Asokananda
In a world that seems to promote more push, trying harder, doing more, rarely do I witness real ‘softness’. For me, trying hard is a much more familiar place, almost my default setting. Persistent and often unbearable back pain in 2019, gave me no choice than to surrender with softness. The harder I tried to understand it, to ‘fix’ it, the worse it got. Softness for me is not an indifference to the situation, or not caring about my efforts. It means having my ego in the right place and understanding my limited control! Believing that things happen as they must is still hard for me to accept. But, trying soft is bringing unexpected insight and opportunities, that come with ease and peace.
Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh, A.A.Milne
If you prefer at the end of year to reflect on your achievements, this blog Summer reflections may support you.