New Year, New You. Open yourself to new possibilities.
A few nights ago, I had a version of a dream that I have had before. I dreamed that I found a new room in my house, a room I had never seen before. I was delighted to find this room. The room itself was quite lovely with a window looking out to water. I couldn’t believe I had never encountered it before. Maybe you’ve had this kind of dream. It’s not uncommon. According to dream analysts, the symbolism of the new room can relate to areas of our lives where we are discovering new skills, abilities or strengths within ourselves. The new room serves as an invitation to open our minds to new possibilities and potentials. I love that I had this dream at this time, at this juncture between the old year and the new.
The New Year, a time for self-study and dharma alignment.
The New Year is a new beginning, a time for contemplating, reviewing, re-prioritizing and re-aligning one’s life. In yoga, this type of exercise falls under the category of svadhyaya, broadly defined as the “study of the self.”
Dharma, from the yoga tradition, refers to one's vocation and sacred purpose. The yoga tradition teaches that each person has a unique dharma or sva dharma, one's personal dharma, or unique calling in the world. But this particular life purpose or calling isn't fixed or static. Every human being is in a process of evolution, and thus, each person's dharma is dynamic. Your actions and experiences have led you to where you are today. Yet, you are ever changing; therefore, the actions you take in the New Year should reflect the person you are becoming and the person you wish to become.
I invite you to join me this month, as I unpack this concept of svadhyaya and dharma and ask the BIG questions for us all to consider.
Over the years, I developed a worksheet with svadhyaya and dharma questions that I like to consider at the New Year. These serve as both reflection and planning. To use this worksheet, I would suggest setting aside a little time each day. You may choose to work on it for a week or even for the entire month of January.
Download New Year's Alignment and Dharma Exercise here
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.