Happy Belated New Years Everyone!
If you are at all like me, you may be feeling some bitter sweetness right about now. The holidays are over and it is time to look forward into this new year. Knowing that the days are getting longer, doesn’t always seem to soothe the cold and the bluster of the short days and longer nights. Snow has wrapped her cocoon around the city and there is a slight hush amidst the rush of activity.
My eldest left her childhood home yesterday for her new exciting life of study and party and freedom. So satisfying to see her spread her wings, and her first long visit home let me know that we are still in the period of holding and releasing.
When I was in Costa Rica in July 2015 I visited the Jaguar Sanctuary where animals are rescued and then released into the wild. They are taken to a safe crated area in the jungle, and the animals have the freedom to find a rhythm of coming into the safety of their safe crate and then going off to explore on their own; their visits back to the crate become shorter and further spaced, until one day they do not return. It feels like this same process is happening with my child.
And like so much with parenting, just as she is going through this growth period, I see my personal growth patterns also reflected. I sent an email that I immediately regretted. And then I spent the day obsessing with how I could be so reckless. Why did I make that mistake yet again? And yet, there was something different there. It isn’t the same email. I was speaking from my heart even if I lacked skill in how I expressed myself. And yes, it is ok if some of those old patterned feelings are coming up. If I didn’t allow myself mistakes, I would just stay put in my safe crate all the time. And where would be the learning and growth in that?
Slow down to come to Awareness is where I am attempting to live my life right now. Allowing feeling. Allowing mistakes. One of my favorite Yoga Teachers, Stephanie Battle; posted on Facebook a fabulous article about the Sanskrit words Sukha and Dukha and the potholes of life:
In a nutshell, Sukha is the sweetness of Life and Dukha is pretty much the opposite. The similarity in the word itself tells us that they are related. One goes with the other. And whether you are a sugar addict like me or not, chances are you may be more drawn to the sweetness. Sukha rocks! But my goal of the month is to keep it slow. To allow. To breathe. To accept. Accept the Dukha in order to fully appreciate and feel the Sukha. It is all about balance. As I said at the start, bittersweet.
The yoga series for the next 6 weeks will be about slowing down. It will be about using our breath to allow us to open and stretch. Notice where Dukha and Sukha embrace you.