New Year's Ritual:
Blessings of Thanks and Intentions for the New Year
Dear Yoga Friends,
Last year I began a New Year's Ritual in which I make two lists: one is a gratitude list with the people, events, opportunities and challenges that have blessed and shaped my year. The second is a list of Intentions: my goals, desires and plans for the upcoming year. I keep these lists close at hand, usually near where I practice as reminders of who and what is important and how I should spend my time and energy.
Recently, I read my lists from last new year, and was delighted to see all the ways in which I had grown and expanded. 2009 was a year of beautiful unfolding opportunities. My intention last January was to expand my yoga teaching to new areas. Over the past year, I expanded my teaching to 4 new locations. I give thanks for the many students who began with me at The Evergreen State College and who have followed me to new locations. I give thanks to all the new students who have found me this year at my new locations. I give thanks to the studio owners who have granted me the space to teach. It is truly my delight to share the gift of yoga with all of you!
2010 will be full of new opportunities as well. From now through mid March, I will continue to offer classes at my current locations. (See schedule below.) In late March, my family will travel to Peru for 4 months with my husband Steve's TESC teaching position for an exciting long-dreamed of adventure. Who knows what opportunities beckon us there?! We will return in August and I will resume my teaching schedule, although class locations and times may change. In the midst of all this, I will be participating in a year long study course with Yoga and Tantric scholar and meditation teacher Paul Muller Ortega.
My intentions for this year are to be wide open to the rich opportunities coming my way, to be present for these and for the people in my life and to continue to integrate these into my deepening yoga practice and life.
May 2010 be a fabulous year for you! May you be open to receive the blessings of the people and events around you and may you create ever expanding and enriching opportunities for yourself!
In Light and Love,
Notes on the Journey: Gratitude
Gratitude. Gratitude is the true and simple recognition of Grace in our lives. Often considered the greatest of all virtues, gratitude is the parent of all the others for gratitude is the doorway through which we experience the expansive states of joy, equanimity, ease, happiness and bliss.
At any moment in life, there is always something to be grateful for. Consider the friend of beloved who is ever there to support and uplift you, the dear teacher or mentor who has kindled your passion and helped to reveal your talents and gifts, the child who makes you giggle, the natural beauty of the tree in your backyard, the "luck" of running into an old friend, or the challenging situation or experience that has ultimately paved the way for personal growth and transformation in your life. Gratitude for these people, things and experiences brings about a spacious ease and lightness of being. It is the blossoming of Grace. Make it a daily practice to express gratitude for the beings and experiences to whom and for which you are grateful, and may you watch the fullness of your life unfold with luminosity.
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play, and the pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melodie Beattie
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.