You don't need a New Year to will good things into your lifeJan 04, 2021
At the start of a brand new year, we can become overwhelmed with pressure for making resolutions. Promises to ourselves - or others - of positive changes that will make us a better person, make us fitter, slimmer or the sole protector of the planet.
Over the past I don’t know how many years, this practice has increasingly narked me off because I for one, don’t need the extra pressure to feel as though I’m ‘less than’ or not good enough. I can do that all on my own, thank you very much.
Perhaps you are rightly incensed and passionate about environmental issues. It’s a sad state of affairs that no one person, as powerful as their personal intention may be, can clean up the mess that we humans have all made of the planet, no one person made the mess, but breaking it down into smaller chunks means that every person CAN make a positive impact and if every person undertook to make small changes, what a big difference that would make.
Body shape is a biggie with New Year resolutions, isn’t it?
“Quick, eat all the Quality Street, Christmas cake, and gingerbread - the diet starts in a couple of days.” How many people end up feeling sugar-coma because of this mentality and then rush out to buy up all the kale, celery, and broccoli that they can carry. (How much of that stuff gets eaten with the same enthusiasm?? 🤔)
I’m using diet just as an example, replace the word ‘diet’ with any other word or activity you like. You get my gist.
(I am not a nutritionist nor a dietician, but beautiful Eva is. Check out The Wholefood Warrior if you need any support with your nutritional plans to support your health.)
I’m going to push the boat out and say that actually,
YOU ARE PERFECT, EXACTLY THE WAY THAT YOU ARE
Living in this Human Experience, as we all do, it’s nice when we reap the results of positive intentions but it shouldn’t be to the detriment of your mental wellbeing nor should it cause you undue worry
A CLEAN SLATE
There’s something very nice about starting afresh and with a clean slate. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a New Year, does it?
We would have to wait a whole 365 days if we only took positive steps as a New Year’s Resolution.
Our calendars are divided up into smaller chunks of 7 days, and I think that is just great. Some challenges can be cast to the wayside if they seem unmanageable, don’t you think? Some tasks or changes feel just too big to commit to a long period of time.
I’ll give you an example; as a self-confessed coffee junkie, I know that I drink too much of the delicious, piping hot stuff. A declaration of, “I’m not drinking coffee for the whole year” as well-intended as that might be, is a bit outside of my caffeine-free commitment. I know this.
If I declare, “I’m not drinking coffee for the whole week”, or “the day” - it’s slightly more do-able.
For me, I have to break challenges and goals down into digestible chunks.
A while ago, I attended a presentation with the very beautiful Anika Vassell, and a lot of her words stayed with me. This lovely lady was talking very expertly about teenage behaviour and how it can be more beneficial not to take things away, but to add more stuff in. She used the example of sweet foods - not to take sweet foods away, but to introduce more of the healthy snacks that the young adult enjoys.
So using Anika’s theory, if I take my coffee away, I will feel lack. However, if I promise that I will add in more fresh clean water to hydrate myself, therefore reducing my coffee intake, it is infinitely more do-able. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Sometimes for the tasks that feel big, why not break them down into smaller periods of time. Maybe I will reduce my coffee for today. Or maybe I will only drink water in the afternoon.
In my mind, I am making sense, but if I happen to have jumbled up or lost you somewhere between kale and coffee - let me know!! 😄
SETTING INTENTIONS IN A POSITIVE WAY
Let’s flip the switch on new year’s resolutions (I’m even taking away its capital letters by way of protest!) and positive changes that can be overwhelming or detrimental to our health.
Let’s add in more of the good stuff.
Within yogic philosophy, the Niyama, Tapas, encourages us to know that perseverance during periods of discomfort or challenging situations can be rewarding and a great source of personal growth.
Within every experience, there is a lesson and life has a way of presenting the lessons over and over in different guises until we learn the lesson. The golden egg is to be able to recognise what that lesson is and when we do, we can say thank you and let it go.
We don’t have to wait for the next new year to let go of things that don’t serve us or to welcome in new things. Fortunately for us, the energy of the lunar cycles can help us do just that.
If you read my last blog - and others - you’ll know that I’m quite into the Moon and the energy around the lunar cycles. If the sky is clear enough, here’s nothing quite so wonderful and mystical about looking up to the night sky and seeing the full moon’s magical light.
To me, it always feels quite special and awe-inspiring. It really does remind me that we are part of something far greater than ourselves and far from being small and insignificant, we all have an important part to play in this thing called life and in this amazing universe.
I do not profess to be an astrological expert. I’m interested and the more I find out, the more I see there is to learn, so I enjoy what I enjoy and I learn as my experiences and my years afford me the wisdom. Or something that resembles wisdom 🤷🏼♀️
In short, there are four phases of the moon and we can the energies relating to the cycles of the moon for our benefit.
THE DARK MOON / NEW MOON
This is where we see no light reflected from the moon, and it’s a time for self-consideration and rest. With this rest comes insight and creation so it’s the perfect time for thinking of the good things you will into your life. It’s wonderful that there is a New Moon at the beginning of 2021.
THE WAXING MOON
Also known as the First Quarter Moon. The light we see reflected from the moon is starting to grow in the sky and is the perfect time to set intentions or to set a Sankalpa or an affirmation.
THE FULL MOON
Vibrant, abundant, and full in the sky. A teacher of mine asserts that this is a time that the moon starts to illuminate our shadows - and our shadows are not to be afraid of! Think of things that have been troubling you and lay them to rest or set them to one side. You might notice vivid dreams around this time, disturbances to your sleeping pattern, or just general crazy or bizarre things happening.
THE WANING MOON
The fullness of the moon decreases and this is also known as the Third Quarter Moon. We may feel the need for getting reading to retreat ourselves after the period of fullness and abundance of the Full Moon. A time for perhaps readying your nest for a period of introspection when the Dark Moon occurs again soon.
Perhaps you’ve been doing your lunar homework, and you might have noticed that there is indeed a Dark Moon approaching.
As I mentioned - I don’t class myself as an expert in this field. Sometimes, I invite others to my practice to share my personal rituals in the form of yoga classes or workshops.
CAN I HELP YOU FEEL GREAT ABOUT YOUR COMING WEEKS AND MONTHS?
If you would like to come along to my New Moon practice, you would be so welcome - whatever your level of experience of yoga and from wherever you are in the world!!
We will meet online at 6:00pm GMT on Wednesday 13th January 2021 - follow this link to book your space.
From the comfort of your own home, let me help you create a beautiful ritual for yourselves which you can share virtually with people you know or with friends you just haven’t met yet. I like for these events to be intimate and close. Follow the link to book your space and I will email some details and a worksheet to you with the invitation to the online session. To prepare your space ahead of the gathering, check out my recent blog post about How to get the most out of your online yoga.
If you are a member of my virtual studio, you don’t even need to book - just download the workbook and click on the button at the start of the practice. Simples. (Of course, if you don’t find it ‘simples’ please let me know and I’ll make the tweaks that I need to make.)
If when you’re reading this, the practice has already passed, you would be very welcome to join my mailing list so I can keep you updated with news of forthcoming workshops. If you happen to be a member of my virtual yoga and wellness studio - these practices are included within the library. (Don’t forget, you can use the search bar function; there are hundreds of hours of classes in the library, so save yourself some time!)