On New Year’s Eves past, I have spent my time in all manner of states of inebriation and hard partying. I’ve driven drunk through police barricades around the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, whooped it up with the throng in New York City’s Times Square, gotten so wasted at a concert in the Palladium in New York City that I was in no condition to drive the 40 miles home, but of course, I did. They say God protects fools, babies and drunkards and I suppose I qualified for all three, surviving and living to blog on. This was how I was taught to relax, enjoy and let off steam. In the last little while things have really shifted for me.
Over the past decade or so, I’ve come to approach the new year with great reverence. I really try to reflect on the past year and contemplate how I’d like to form my future. With this sort of thinking in mind, people have given me questions to ponder that helped direct me in my process. They have been a great aid. This year no one has given me directions so far, so I am developing a list of questions of my own. I share it here in the hope that these questions might be useful to you in your process.
What did I learn in the past year?
If I could relive any moments (to re-experience them or do them differently) what would they be?
What new connections did I make that I value?
What old connections did I deepen and how?
If this last year was a book with a title what would that title be? (subtitling allowed)
And in thinking of the New Year
How do I want to grow in the New Year?
What do I hope to let go of?
What do I yearn to embrace?
What new thing or things do I need to learn?
If I could title the coming year I would call it “The Year of __________________”
A lovely way to do this kind of thinking is to spend a day just sitting with these questions, cogitating, journaling, sipping tea, taking naps, doing relaxation practices, like the Five Minutes of Bliss, totally melting into it and sharing with someone or a group of someones. Even spending an hour by yourself doing this can really help to frame what has happened for you and create the kind of future you dream of having.
Those earlier chaotic years now seem to me, to be expressions of how badly I was blocked at the places of reflection. I was programmed to do and think of things a certain way. There was no room for feeling my way through, sensing my desires and then moving toward them, where ever this might lead. There was no meandering. It was all a head long thrust along established paths, some of which were very unhealthy.
Contemporary society does little to encourage lateral movement and god forbid we should back track or spiral or swirl. Those are not the most direct paths to meeting the next deadline. We are trained to constantly be going from A to B. hope in answering your questions you will open yourself to your full potential and every direction it is possible to take. Going from A to B is great if it meets your needs. To know about your needs though, it often requires a bit of meandering.
Get Mushy and Have Fun. Wishing you All the Best for 2012 and Beyond.
Ray has been a yoga practitioner since 1969. An honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, his livelihood has been based on television production, art publishing and now yoga supply manufacturing and sales at YogaLifeStyle.com. Until 1997, Ray only shared his yoga practice with friends and relatives. Then he started teaching a class in his hometown of New Paltz,NY and soon after was offered the opportunity to participate in the inaugural teacher training program of well known master Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra. Ray recieved his certification and his Sanskrit name “Yogeshvara Om”, in September of 2000. In the lineage of Swami Gupta, our main credo is simply, “Be Nice.” According to Ray ” Through love and good intentions, discipline, hard work and faith, progress is assured.” More musings and yoga instruction like this can be found at Ray’s blog Everyday Yoga.