"Every moment of time has enormous energy in it, and we could (can) connect with that," Pema Chödrön - The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness.
Well the year labeled 2022 is coming to a close and as we bid it adieu by letting this question sink in....How Now Are You?
When I began these final thoughts for 2022, I had something different, yet the same prepared. The theme I realized was the same, the direction was different. I want to keep it simple. To end this year not with deep yoga philosophy, but just an ask that as you move between the end of one year and the beginning of another (according to our man-made calendar), that you do so with the one thing that is always at our disposal, and the one thing that truly is living. That one thing is presence.
I have seen many yoga classes, workshops, events focusing on activities like intention setting, goal setting, reflecting, projecting, vision boarding, and resolution making. The one thing I have not seen is an opportunity to be present. An invitation to feel your next inhalation and exhalation and know that life is fickle and that could be your last. A yoga class that is focused on feeling the earth beneath your feet, the air on your skin, and the sounds swirling around as you notice the lingering flavors of what you ate last limping off your tongue.
So that is what I am inviting for you. An opportunity to contemplate the last day of 2022 and think how you might create an experience of ground and presence so complete that when you move away from that experience, you are able to carry that presence fully into the rest of your final day. This could be yoga (I do have a morning class :-)), but it could be a hike, a conversation, dancing, singing, throwing snowballs, anything that feels so present you feel truly alive. All your senses are engaging, and not in that sympathetic nervous system, "fight or flight" way we usually run around our life. Simply an activity that brings you joy, ease, relief, present.
To laugh with abandon, to be fully in conversation with whomever you meet, to feel the earth , beneath your feet, and to notice your heart and what it desires to ring in 2023. Not what you feel you "should" do to please friends, family or your sense of "ought to".
Ring in 2023 with your heart first, clear of what it and your body need. Party it up, stay home, do puzzles, read a good book, or be in nature. There are no wrong answers when you become present and listen to your hearts desire.
Yoga has many benefits and can bring us physical strength and ease, emotional release and awareness, and mental clarity. Pranayama, the practice of breathing with intention, also contains these powers and a very special ability to create true presence through the sound and sensation of its flow. How the breath flows, the mind, and body flow with it.