Pivotal lessons from the last 12 months (& 13 moon cycles)
Lessons from the last 12 months (& 13 moon cycles)
Here we are March 2021 and it feels to me that the actual New Year is now, exactly 12 months after the start of the pandemic and us watching the world changing before our eyes. Wild! On March 2020 I was in Thailand and I remember arriving home to Portugal just a couple of days before borders were closed. The country declared state of emergency (we never heard that before) and we thought in a few weeks all is back to normal just in time for Easter. Well ...here we are, still at home, still in a "state of emergency" and it might seem that we are still in the same place but in my experience ... we are not! and maybe we shouldn´t! We live in a different world today than we did 1 year ago, which requires a new version of ourselves. I personally feel that has been a year of intense internal growth, resilience and adaptation.
This is the first time (in more than a decade) that I spent a whole year, including winter, in the same place. I watched all the seasons, moons, ebbs and flows from the same point of observation and it has been so revelatory. No matter what´s going on, Nature is still following her course of action, which inspires me to follow mine too.
I learned, re-learned and unlearned some pivotal lessons this year, I wrote them on my diary and normally I keep these things to myself but I thought I would share it with you, with the intention of inviting some aspect of ritual and reflection of what was these last 12 months were also for you. Here´s some of my personal reflections:
- It´s good to stay informed but choosing where that information is coming from is key. Early on I was bombarded with so many conspiracy theories (somehow in the wellness and yoga scene, there´s a huge tendency to create and believe in an alternative reality that defies common sense) so one of my strategies was to shut it down quickly. I watched 1 documentary and it affected my mental stability for days. Trying to find alternative narratives of what´s going on is a common stress response. These narratives were full of fear and very little facts, so I got rid of it quick. The lesson here is your mind is very precious so you need to protect from narratives that incite fear, hopelessness and confusion. I consumed a lot of media in this period but mostly in the form of story telling, documentaries and basic information on the current affairs. This choice might seem radical to a lot of people, but it was my strategy to protect my exposure to too much information.
- My real flexibility lies in my ability to assimilate a new situation and change direction according to what´s happening and not according to my will. Will can mean also rigidity and the practice is to find that balance between personal will and allowing life to move through you, a.k.a. the FLOW! I´m still in awe how I taught 2 trainings via my computer in semi amateurish fashion. In the meantime I learned some new things about video editing, audio quality and how to transmit energy via the screen:)
- It´s important to have an anchor around your day/cycle, otherwise things can get out of hand really quickly, your wake up time becomes your lunch time and your lunch time well who know when that is. Yoga, cooking, meditation and embodiment practices are that anchor for me and that it was so clear!
- I honestly love being a student, I went back and studied my past courses again, revisited old practices and dedicated a lot of time to the study of yoga, from philosophy to the more practical practices like asana or pranayama. I also been studying about creative writing and emotional intelligence and leadership. Has been wonderful to reconnect to that part of myself. The gifts of the past still so useful in the now. I´m grateful for that!
- I´m very movement and travel dependent, so some of the work this year was in examining that need and work with it by getting familiar with boredom as a state of mind and nothing else. Instead of running to the next best thing I really sat with it and my take on it is this: it´s just a state of mind, if you allow it to pass, it will and in a moment the landscape of your mind shifts. This approach is useful especially when clouds of negativity, doubt and anxiety take over and linger around.
- My community of family and friends (half present, half spread around the world) are so important to my wellbeing Maintaining and developing these connections takes time and dedication. This year was such a great one to see who´s your tribe! The truth is I know a lot of people, and while i love everyone, I feel choosing quality over quantity is essential. On that note was a great time to say bye bye to those connections that somehow only bring you down and don´t add anything to your life. If you feel you´re just convenience on someone else´s life, drop it like it´s hot(with love of course), you´re doing both a service. Life is too short for inauthentic relating!
- Even if the world had to be reminded that black lives matter and I am indeed a woman of colour, I´m fully aware that I live a privileged life and I don´t take it for granted. I have a huge responsibility in how I use that privilege and I´m committed to keep finding ways of sharing that are even more inclusive and inspire growth potential in our yoga community.
I felt that collectively we were all left with what we have been cultivating in the last years or maybe even our whole lives. It was a real chance for all of us to examine our own creation (our lives) and see what are you happy about and what would you feel needs change. It feels like it´s an essential time to reflect on what do we need for this new chapter of our lives and what we need to leave behind of ourselves in order to thrive in this different web of life that is being created as we speak!
There are difficult days, there are bright days, there´s days that I´m hopeful for the changes that come out of this and there´s days that I wonder if we lost our chances as humanity but what is certain is that wheels of time (and karma) are on the move, so are you moving with it or resisting?
If a word could describe this year for me I would dare to choose STARTLING (check out the dictionary). What about you? What have you learned from the last 12 months and do you have a word?
To a beautiful ending & beginning of the cycle which keeps turning!