In yoga teacher training, we’re currently focusing on the manipura chakra (third or solar plexus chakra) and brahmacharya (one of the five yama). The manipura chakra is associated with our sense of self, our sense of power, our relationships with others, our ability to be in harmony with the flow of the Universe, and our digestive system, among other things. Brahmacharya refers to acting with fidelity, responsibility, mastery of the senses, and moderation. As I look back on the past year, it seems I’ve been working on both of these areas without knowing the context of the yama or chakras I was working within.
This New Year marked the second in which I made no resolutions, only set an intention. In reflecting on 2019, it was clear the theme of last year for me was living more intuitively – of being more accepting of things as they are, and choosing the response that felt right, rather than the response I thought was right. That’s not to say I intentionally made choices I knew were illogical, rather that I let my heart do the leading.
Not surprisingly, this has made for some substantial changes in my day-to-day awareness of my inner self – the intuiter. I thought this shift would lead toward better alignment of work, life, and values, and it did. I took a meditation teacher training course and now teach a weekly class where I work. I committed to yoga teacher training and will be a yoga teacher by the end of this year! My personal practice is deeper, more open to possibility, and more consistent. What I didn’t expect; though, was both the manner in which, and how substantially and quickly it would impact my day to day interactions with others. I feel more creative in my work, and find that the projects that feel right seem to fall into place relatively easily. On multiple occasions I’ve been mulling over a new idea and planning to contact someone to discuss it, only to run into them in person at just the right time. And being more in touch with what feels like the right thing has given me more confidence to set boundaries around work that doesn’t feel right – or right for right now. I’ve also come a long way this year in terms of more fully letting go of diet culture mentality and eating more intuitively, and I feel the difference in my body. I know when I’m hungry and when I’m not (an awareness I’d completely lost as a result of my two decade long series of diets), and most of the time, I eat what I want when I want (even when I’m not hungry) without guilt. And my digestive system is healthier now that it’s no longer trying to accommodate a constant diet/binge cycle.
As I contemplated the year to come, it became clear that my intention for this year would be greater awareness – greater mindfulness. While I’ve come a very long way in my awareness over the last several years, there are often long periods of time in my day in which I either get hyper-focused on work to the detriment of self-care, or periods of free time when I zone out on mindless internet window shopping or games, wasting time that would be more nourishing if spent on creative work or taking care of our home. Knowing how much my mindfulness practice and increased reliance on intuition impacted me in 2019, I know cultivating even more consistent awareness in 2020 will bring even greater opportunities to do good and fulfilling work, and greater happiness.
I am here. Now.
Happy New Year!