Hello and Happy New Year! Yes - Happy New Year!
We're halfway through February, I've just returned from a magnificently restorative week in Mexico, and I'm finally feeling motivated to dive into some of the larger "resolutions" and goals I made mental notes of at the end of last year. While I look forward to the start-fresh feelings that come with events like the New Year or birthdays, it seems there's usually always a period of settling in or gaining the confidence to really begin enacting what we've envisioned.
In my classes during the month of January we explored attention to the transitions in our movement, sometimes with open curiosity and sometimes with more intentional experimentation. It reminded me that sometimes the best thing we can do during transitions is to go slow, be curious, and expect things like confusion or stress, and of course many other surprises. It's only normal for our systems to feel dysregulated or even on guard, resistant to change because safety comes with predictability and, yes, a sense of control. On the other side of change is often both relief and perspective. We almost certainly cannot experience change without changing.
My business has had to change, many times over. Before I was a therapist (and before I went back to school to be a therapist) I was teaching yoga basically full time, which is to say at very random times of the day! This gave me a lot of in-between time to work on "passion projects," so to speak and I maintained a blog where I interviewed friends, mentors, and my students on their practices and general relationship to self-care. Eventually school, and then a 9-5 job, and then private practice, took over. Not wanting to give up my down time I had to adapt; I learned to say No and made hard decisions about what responsibilities I needed to let go of.
I’ve learned a lot in recent years about how I enjoy spending my time, and how the way I spend my time makes me feel. It’s easy for many of us to be driven by our goals or the skills we’re trying to build, or whatever it may be. This is absolutely fine and necessary in life, but a practice for me has been thinking about how I can infuse more of the what I really enjoy doing moment-to-moment instead of what I think I should be doing in order to achieve X goal.
I’ve been pushing myself to write more, remembering how writing can offer a container for processing that’s different than what I do during the rest of my day. And, I’ve been feeling the pull toward something creative and am remembering how much I enjoyed the interviews I conducted three, four, five years ago. To me, yoga, movement, and healing is best supported with community perspective and support, though I definitely have my phases of practicing in isolation.
When I was in Mexico, something about the ocean really struck me. I grew up near the Great Lakes, never traveling to an ocean until I was an adult and not really really swimming in one until this trip. What’s different about the tide in the ocean is how rapidly it seems to change. I’m used to the depth of the water in Lake Michigan staying pretty consistent during the times between the larger waves. Standing in the ocean, though, you almost feel like the ocean floor is moving up and down beneath you. One has to hold on to their hat, or in my case my sunglasses, which were swept away in the Carribean Sea.
The changes we experience, the transitions we go through are inevitable and inevitably unpredictable, just like the waves. But with openness, and curiosity, and support from others, and self-nurturance we can ride these waves. Sometimes, this means welcoming the different limitations that accompany each wave as much as we welcome their possibilities.
Right now, I’m riding a wave of inspiration. I’ll be reposting the interviews from the past (previously on my old Wordpress site) over the next couple hours, days, or month (riding the wave and taking my time), and hope to have something new to share with you by the end of March! I’m not exactly sure where it’s going to take me, or us, but I hope you’ll enjoy the wisdom of the voices I’ll share and the tidbits of my own musings in between.