January 10, 2012

A Six-Step Recipe for Life in 2012.

I confess. It’s taken the better part of a week to embrace 2012.

Frankly, and in retrospect, perhaps I needed this grace period to recover from December 2011.

Window of Opportunity

In choosing to enter the New Year in Ethiopia, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine. Still, I’m basking in its glory. A beautiful country steeped in centuries of history, while I stood atop the hills of Addis Ababa the cool, gentle breeze that brought waves of fresh scented eucalyptus was a sacred gift for my sense of smell. With each inhalation and exhalation, I was awash with deep gratitude for my life which despite its adversities, I’ve managed to successfully carve out.

As the end of the first week of January closed, I felt as though I was re-emerging and ready to face whatever the future may have in store for me.

So looking into this crystal ball of the unknown, what do I envision for myself this year?

It has certainly started with a bang, with the Caribbean Yoga Conference to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 2 to 5 February 2012 just weeks away. In addition to leading sunrise meditations each morning, I will also be co-facilitating a workshop entitled Yoga for Emerging Generations with co-founder of Yoga Youth School, Stacey Shanks. This conference is yet another realization of a lifelong dream, and what better place to see it manifest than in my very home country.

A few mornings ago, it dawned on me that with the aid of some incredible teachers and life lessons, that I’d planted the seeds of compassion, empathy and love, for myself and others during the last few years.

2012 is now the time when I will reap the fruits of my labor and self-witness blossoming from strength to strength.

As I shared in an exchange with Stacey Shanks at the very start of it, I do not believe that this will be an easy year for many of us. For starters, the current global economic crisis remains unresolved, and with no vision in sight as to how we may change it. This said, I also believe that the gift of this daunting time is that it has demanded that as humans we return to the source of who we truly are and what really matters as we journey through life.

Personally, my intention for this year will be to believe in myself more. This is what I saw in my crystal ball a few mornings ago while engaged in a deeply powerful asana or yoga practice on the mat.

Naturally a very driven individual, this year, rather than chasing rainbows, I shall await their treasures of gold with a calm certainty. Already I am seeing gifts and blessings being delivered without any active involvement on my part.

It is one thing to talk the talk, and quite another to actually engage in walking it. When the time comes for us to step with grace onto our paths, it can and does feel scary and at times overwhelming. I’m learning how to appreciate and celebrate these feelings as indications that indeed I am alive and not just unconsciously wading through the motions.

Journeying towards that which we have co-created, by putting our intentions out there, is the ultimate litmus test as it holds us accountable and responsible for our actions, with action being the operative word.

So while I may have no definitive plan as to how this year will unfold in my life, one thing I know for sure is that I stand firm behind my commitment of being a servant to humanity.

Life is like cooking, it’s the love, combined with the [other] ingredients that makes all the difference between an average meal and an exceptional one.

Recipe for 2012

  1. Unlimited amounts of love, faith, courage, hope and compassion.
  2. Vigorously sift through your feelings and remove any sediment that will block your chi or energy from flowing smoothly.
  3. Add laughter daily, especially at one’s self.
  4. Pray, meditate and breathe deeply, especially amidst chaos as this will help to maintain balance and consistency.
  5. Allow your mind and body to rest evenly with proper sleep, diet and exercise.
  6.  Lastly and perhaps most importantly, serve daily, yourself, and then others.

And so it is.

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Nadine McNeil  |  Contribution: 7,500