You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level. – Thomas Merton
The other day, I asked a young woman what brought her to yoga and to yoga teacher training. We all have our reasons for finding our way to the mat. She expressed that it was an investment in her health, a logical choice to divert money into something life-changing rather than life-destroying, which to the point of that decision, was smoking. But first, she said, for this change to make sense to her, she needed to explore why she took up smoking to begin with. She took me through her past, a brief glimpse at her early family life, into her young adult life, and finally what she learned about herself and really wanted for herself. I admired her strength, courage, and resolve. Secretly, I wished I shared her firm resolve. That’s what New Years is all about, right? Looking back, taking stock, taking note of the changes you’d like to manifest into being? Creating a plan! Resolution.
Maybe I can assume she faced challenges on her path to wellness, it wasn’t discussed. It would be a rare thing to square up with ourselves and not be challenged in some way. And if we’re really doing the work of identifying and resolving past hurts, past mistakes, past harm we’ve created to ourselves and/or to others, we will be challenged. Greatly. This young woman provided the key to her own opening, though. She said something to the effect of, “I had to be ready.” Yes, indeed.
Do we need this reminder? Haven’t we heard that for transformation to be lasting and effective the hero in the journey must be truly ready to take the first step? It bears repeating. Let us also remember from our hero’s tale that the hero needn’t travel far from home to discover what they most wished for was at their doorstep all along.
This year, I’m resolving to be more open to cultivating peace toward myself. When I’m feeling lousy, I’ll invite my senses to simply surrender to wonder. Extend a hand of friendship to the self that isn’t so hot. Because when I spend more time in this place of peace and wonder, I’m more apt to recognize when others are doing the same and compassion flows its way more readily into the sacred heart of healing for us both. Creativity finds its way back home and I’m able to meet the gift in body, mind, and soul with profound gratitude. What a wonderful space in which to dwell.
This New Year, I wish you peace toward yourselves. I wish you wonder. I wish you a safe and loving journey home.
Amen. Namaste. Blessed be.