Who are you becoming in 2017? What’s stirring in you right now? What does it feel like?
This is an exercise in naming your word for 2017. By this, I mean to name the quality that you want to be operative in your body and mind this year. If you’re not sure, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting and journaling about it. Make sure you don’t just ask your head. Ask your heart and body as well. Make sure there is agreement and integration.
To do this, close your eyes. Pause soften and breath. Release the lower half of your body into the support of the earth. Exhale down into your sits bones, your pelvis, your legs and your feet. Feel the earth beneath you. Then inhale, and draw the breath up through the central channel of the body, what yogis call the shushumna nadi. Take the breath all the way up to the crown of your head, toward the sky. Now, spend a few breath cycles moving the energy up and down the length of your spine to clear this channel. After a few rounds of breath, inhale and breath into the front of your body and feel into your individual desire to evolve and move forward in life. Then, exhale and breathe into the back side of your body. Lean back energetically, feeling into the mystery that is the universe. The universe has your back. Create an attitude and inner stance of receptivity and curiosity. Notice how you feel. Notice what is stirring in you. How is that you desire to feel in this next year? Drop that question down into your body and notice how the body responds. Let the answer bubble up without forcing it and take notice of the words that arise.
The word could be:
CLARITY, EMPOWERMENT, EASE, EXPANSION, COMPASSION, COMMUNICATION, CONNECTIVITY, HUMILITY, LEADERSHIP, WISDOM, EMPATHY, STABILITY, GROUNDEDNESS, SELF-CARE, KINDNESS… or..?
What is the word for you? Once you feel it, really feel it. Taste it. Smell it. See it. Touch it. Feel into it from a cellular level. Name it and embrace it. Write it down. Put it in a prominent place where you can see it every day.
Then, create for yourself a plan so that you can make this word truly operative.
It’s January, and I’m full of dreams and ambitions! You may say, “Why bother”, or “It’s too hard to set goals.” To that, I will quote Mary Oliver and say, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
You see, I’m not just along for the ride. I also want to be in the driver’s seat. I want to create cool stuff, cultivate satisfying relationships and design great experiences. Even if I run into obstacles, and I don’t accomplish all that I want to this year, I want to feel satisfied that I put energy into what’s most important to me.
This week, I’m re-reading The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran. It’s a productivity book that I read twice already in 2016. The book is designed to help anyone (you, me) take their goals and put them into actionable steps in a 12 week cycle. As a dreamer and big idea person, it’s not an easy read for me because it is the kind of book asks me to pinpoint and clarify my dreams, to break them down into actionable steps, and to measure my results. I tend to resist this because I’m not a numbers person, and I enjoy day-dreaming. But I know what I want to do with my wild and precious life and I have figured out that dreams take planning. This book makes me show up for myself and put my dreams into action. So, I’m re-reading it and I’m putting together my annual calendar of projects and my 12 week plan for the first quarter of the year.
What will you make come alive in 2017? I'd love to hear your big and audacious goals!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
A NEW YEAR’S RITUAL:
Ever since I was young, I have always loved ringing in the New Year. It has always been a special and potent time for reflecting on my past and envisioning my future. As a kid, I always enjoyed the ritual of writing New Year’s resolutions. As a yogi, this ritual has morphed into what I call Dharma Re-Alignment exercise.
The word dharma comes from Sanskrit, and it refers to your unique purpose and passion in life. The Dharma Re-Alignment Exercise is an opportunity to get clear on who I am, who I am becoming, what I stand for, and where I want to put my time and energy. I created this exercise as an opportunity for me to reflect on the essential nature of my being, a way of owning who I am and who I have become, a means of acknowledging my gifts and challenges, and a way to align to these as I take aim for the New Year. The understanding is that I am not the same as I was twelve months ago. Thank God! Hopefully I have evolved. That is the point! Hopefully I have learned and grown from the past year and have acquired new gifts and skills to take with me into the New Year.
You see, dharma is dynamic. I am and you are in a state of evolution. We are works in progress. Even as I still feel myself to be the same person that I have always been, I have been growing and changing during the last year, and my identity has shifted some. My desire is to be in a co-creative relationship with the Universe. I have come to strongly believe that the Universe has my back and is conspiring for my evolution, and the best thing I can do for myself and for the planet is to cooperate with this and figure out who I am and live this on purpose.
If this resonates with you, then I invite you to join me in a new year's exercise to clarify what is making you come alive in 2017.
Download the written exercise here:
Listen to audio to be guided through this lesson here:
If you like this exercise, share the love!
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.