2013 was a big year for me.
Of course at this time last year, I had no idea it would be.
I remember making two “resolutions:”
In 2013 I will do more yoga. In 2013 I will write more. (Well, start writing again is more accurate.)
These weren’t resolutions I shared publicly. They were just for me—things I wanted to do. It might even be more accurate to say: I set an intention. In 2013 I intend to do more yoga. I intend to write more.
The past couple years, the same thing always happened in December. I let my yoga practice fall by the wayside. Always so caught up in shopping for gifts, planning, and worrying about upcoming Christmas, that there wasn’t any time to practice. Instead of going to my regular lunch break yoga classes, I skipped them and did some power shopping during lunchtime instead. Other days, I told myself I was too tired to go.
Somehow, the whole month of December went by without any time on the mat. That didn’t feel good.
So, after having played hooky from yoga for whole month (two years in a row, ugh) I told myself that I wanted a stronger practice. A more consistent practice. A practice that did not include a month-long hiatus come the holiday season. So, as 2013 began, I set that intention and held it securely in my heart.
With the New Year before me, I continued to muse and I acknowledged that I also really missed writing. I used to write quite a bit, but lately not so much. I knew what I wanted for myself in 2013—more yoga and more writing. I didn’t know if it would really happen, but my intention was there, and I resolved to try.
2013 started out rough; I got sick straightaway in January. Then I felt better about a week and I got sick again. Then my son got the flu. Next my husband caught it, and then I did. We were all sick and miserable. It was a bad flu. The kind where you lay shivering beneath the covers in that horrible pins and needles kind of pain, desperate for a drink of water, but with your body aching way too much to attempt to get out of bed.
When I finally recovered from illness, I returned to work just in time to witness mass company lay-offs. Apparently the company had been doing very poorly financially, and the only way to stay afloat was to let several employees go, and without severance packages. Even someone who had worked for nearly 20 years was let go without any severance. Talk about rough!
I was fortunate enough to be kept on, and I was extremely grateful for that. However, I was nervous. Clearly, things weren’t going well. That’s when I began to seriously consider yoga teacher training. It was something that I had fantasized about, but never thought would become a reality. But now I thought—what if I got laid off? What if they let more people go in another month or two and I don’t make the cut? Sure, I could just start sprucing up my resume, but as I considered the possibilities I thought—do I want to stay in this field? What do I really want to do? What do I really love?
So I looked into the training. Somehow the planets aligned, and by the end of summer I had completed a 200 hour training. I was a certified yoga teacher! I even started teaching classes in the fall.
I sure didn’t see that coming back in January!
It feels so surreal in many ways. Yoga teacher training was so much more than learning Sanskrit and refining the physical postures. It was a journey. A journey that peeled layer upon layer of grief, insecurity and fear away from me. Peeling these layers away allowed my heart to open and let the light inside me spill out. I began to feel more like me…again. I found a piece of myself I had lost, somewhere along the way.
It made me feel like anything is possible.
I had the courage to finally put thoughts in my head down on paper again. If my fantasy, my daydream of becoming a yoga teacher could actually become a reality, anything is possible, right? Instead of succumbing to insecurities and fear of failure, I was able to let go. To just try. So I wrote some words down. Then I submitted them for someone else to read, and someone liked it enough to publish my words! I was beyond elated.
My voice has just been reawakened and there’s much room for improvement; I’m aware of this. But just to have a voice again, to be able to reach out with it and touch others and release myself from the self-doubt of my own mind— it’s an incredible feeling.
It’s all love surrounding me, allowing my spirit to shine, and accepting all the gifts the universe has to offer.
2013 was a big year for me; not because of resolutions I made; not because I became a yoga teacher—not even because I’ve been writing again.
It was a big year for me because something inside me changed. I learned let go…to surrender…to find peace.
This potential is inside each of us—the potential to let go and be whoever we want to be.
Let fear melt away, like an old skin you have outgrown and take a chance. Accept your gifts and let love surround you.
What is your intention? 2014 is your year!
Sat Nam and Namaste.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Main photo: elephant archives; second image: courtesy of the author