*The irony of hope is that it lacks focus and intention.
To conclude 2010 and to create the space necessary for 2011’s promises to emerge, my kindred yogi spirit and I chose to engage in a fire ritual and sunset meditation on December 31st.
Our chosen location for this sacred commune was the magical and aptly named Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Reverently we sat, facing the sea, committed to a meditation that would focus on letting go of all that which no longer served our greater good.
With eyes gently closed, I was humbly surprised to discover that this release which we’d spoken of throughout the day had caught me in a quagmire of paradox–knowing that I must let go, yet struggling against it. This was apparent from the depths of my inhalations and exhalations.
Clearly, my victim and saboteur had joined forces and were threatening to reduce me to one pathetic mess. Upon reflection, I realize that in this moment, I was being confronted by my lower self. Despite it being crystal clear that certain outmoded ‘things’–guilt, for example, one that lurks especially around this particular holiday season–had the potential to limit my ability to lead a full life, here I sat, still struggling with the notion of ‘simply’ letting go.
Confronting reality served to remind me that the path of Life is just that: a meandering flow with occasional (and oftentimes unexpected) twists and turns that demands we transmute as It does. Watching that blazing orange Sun submerging almost too quickly into the awaiting waters of the Caribbean Sea, I was awash with relief as gradually and gracefully, I bid 2010 a releasing farewell.
The human tendency when left unconscious is to lament the past about which we can do nothing–to a large extent. However as we awaken we come to learn that, in fact, our past experiences are potentially our present teachers, shaping the lives that we wish to lead into the future. All that is required from us is active, constant and vigilant observation, without attachment to any particular outcome.
The act of releasing frightens us because in the moment of surrender, we are taking a leap of faith in the firm [un]knowing that all will manifest as is divinely intended. This means that we must blindly trust ourselves and the process that we choose to call release. To trust ourselves means that we must take responsibility for our actions and their subsequent outcomes, including–especially–the possibility of failure–a lesson in and of itself.
In a year end yoga class that I led, I invited the students to consider the meaning of commitment and how it translated into their own lives. Unlike resolutions that are passively laced with *hope, commitments compel us to act with focus and intent. It is the passivity of resolutions, the lack of planning that sets us up for their invariable failure.
Commitment is an active, daily, focused, attainable exercise that emerges from the heart. It is only through our deliberate action that we are capable of manifesting our desires. The key ingredient to commitment is discipline.
Humanity’s present existence is ironic insofar as it is our right-brained, intuitive actions that are likely to yield success, yet simultaneously we require left brain discipline to fuel our actions and intentions. In between both of these spheres, our transformation is born.
So then, what can we expect from 2011? Having released a whole bunch of “stuff” through our fire ritual and then cleansed in Mother Earth’s waters, I am also letting go of any expectation as to how this year will unfold. What I do know is that I have narrowed the focus of my commitments so that I may fuel my potent energy toward them, such that they are realized as is Divinely intended. With prayer and meditation, I set my intentions. Remember, the Universe reads emotion and intent. When these are in alignment, our desires happen more swiftly and easily.
I invite you to avail of this promising time of year, to inquire into your commitments and take the necessary steps to propel them into action. With You as their driving force, it will be the most awe empowering thing that you could ever possibly engage in–for yourself as well as your world around you.
Oh, one more thing: drink plenty of water. It is a vital part of the release and commitment ritual.
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012. How I Raise My Dying Son.