I think the main reason that FHY exists is because we have a hub for like-minded people to come together and help each other in the act of self-discovery. More than anything this place to me is my home, my tribe, my chosen family. Next week we will turn six and I am feeling very reflective. A lot has changed for me and we as a yoga studio have evolved enormously as well. Last year I did a post about goals and resolutions-ish and corralled a number of community members into sharing what they hoped to achieve in 2016. I asked the same thing of a select number of yogis as we turned to face 2017 and this post is about the answers I received. It isn't so much about the goals though. Rather, it is about turning towards each other as a community and asking for help. Creating statements about our hopes and dreams is about looking for support and accountability from each other as we attempt the bumpy and non-linear experience of personal growth.
For me, 2016 was another very big year. There were many gifts and a lot of insights. Some of them were deeply joyful and moving, but the insights that came wrapped in pain, embarrassment and disappointment are just as important. I hope that I can use the upsets to foster movement and to be grateful for the opportunity to examine my own samskara.
In the past year my relationships to the main hubs in my life have all changed. My personal definition of family continues to evolve as my role within my most initimate relationships grow and shift. That includes where I belong as a partner, as a parent and as my own parent to my inner child. My relationship to yoga became stale and sad and then nearly stalled completely. I found myself taking time away from my personal practice and feeling disconnected from it. I began investing again in my education by returning to school to pursue becoming a trauma renegotiation therapist. It has been hard work and the courses demand far more than my intellect. It has been a place where I am constantly forced to examine my own shadows and the patterns that have been grooved into my physiology and my relationships over my lifetime. It has been ugly and scary. And it has been incredible. Through Somatic Experiencing I have been able to rekindle my own appreciation of a yoga practice as a safe place for me to come into my own physical experience. This year there are even bigger challenges ahead as I continue to find ways to blend my two careers and to walk the path of healing personally with those tools as well. I will need my tribe to hold me to account and to be my refuge at times, too.
I am extremely grateful to have spent another year on this planet learning how to be a good human. I am grateful to the people around me who are the best teachers I could imagine. Here are some of the goals that our tribe have for the coming year. I hope to help support each one and I hope that you will too.
1. One health related goal
*I will keep eating mostly vegetarian, and cook more delicious, plant-based recipes at home. I will learn one new delicious, plant-based recipe a week so that eating this way becomes the natural, satisfying default and I feel great.
*Attempt to be more conscious of my body's needs. I think I've spent years and years existing in my brain and treating my body as some sort of mechanical transport, which is why body has had it with me. So this year is devoted to being more attentive to my body.
*In 2017 I would like to work on finding a consistent homeostasis in my body that helps me loose some unwanted pounds, feel energized and vibrant, strong and resilient. I want to achieve this by practicing care and loving passion for this wonderful and miraculous friend that is my body.
*One health related goal I have for 2017 is to find more balance in my life by making space to explore new ways of expressing myself creatively.
* to stay positive during times of injury!
*Before coming to Canada, I was pretty active but somehow I've let the climate (read: snow) stop me from doing a lot (read: help me make excuses to avoid doing physical activities). So this year, my goal is to complete my first Canadian sprint triathlon this summer.
* To continue a yoga practice 2-3x per week, try to institute a once weekly home practice, and more frequent meditation
*To supplement my regular yoga practice, this year I want to make time for other physical activities like hiking and swimming.
2. One professional goal
*be more active about developing my skills and knowledge as a yoga teacher by reading 5 books on yoga and anatomy this year.
*I would like to find an employment situation that allows me to earn a reasonable living but that also allows me to serve my community through the effort and energy I put into my work.
*I will learn how to apply behavioural science in design and be courageous through my fear of sucking at it. I'll let my heart and gut lead me to my next step and take the leap even if I don't know where it'll lead.
*Publish at least one new solo-authored article of my own.
*to see Somatic Experiencing clients 6-10 hours a week beginning in January. I want to expand my scope of practice and to help more people realize their more centered and self-regulated self through this super cool nervous system renegotiation tool
*One professional goal is to allow myself to focus on a few things and do them really well. It is time to set a new foundation that melds my passions in a sustainable way. I have learned a lot about what I am needing less of in my life. Embracing what I'm building and letting it unfold will lead me there in time.
*Being truthful and asking the same of others.
*To be more present at work. With such a busy schedule I often find myself distracted and preoccupied with other non-work related thoughts making it difficult to stay focused on work tasks.
*This is a tricky one. In hundreds of ways, walking back into my old workplace/kinda old job is wonderful and a real blessing. In other ways, I'm intrigued to see how this time around it will unfold. One of the biggest things I toyed with before accepting the offer this time was if I were going to do this job full time (5 days a week) or part time (4 days a week) as I really want to start working on other things - side projects that will bring others and myself joy. I'm looking to 2017 as the start to finding and establishing *that* other side project...
*set constant research goals and keep track of them on a timeline, by the end of the year have a clear path to graduation
3. One family goal
*To spend more quality time with my family. When our schedules get busy, quality time together is easily overlooked. I would like to have more family dinners, more date nights, and more hikes with the pup.
* take more initiative to enjoy activities and conversations with family members (i.e. be proactive rather than reactive).
*to find compassion for myself in my quest to build a new family. I walked away from some family members in 2016. It was liberating and sad at the same time. I have forgiven to the best of my ability. I have come to accept our differences. I choose to surround myself with those who love and support me. I am grateful for this tribe as well!
*spending more time and connection with elders in the family.
* to spend strictly screen free (for me too i mean) time playing and being present with my kiddo, to spend more time with our expanded tribe and to have a really awesome island camping adventure in July together.
*continue to work towards loving my mom for who she is.
*Plan our nuptials!
*I will nurture my friendships more attentively, be more generous with my time, and be courageous in forging new relationships. I will build relationships with family with humility and forgiveness, focusing on what we could have.
In 2017 I want to build better relationships with my siblings by letting go of past hurts, sibling rivalries and past resentments. I want to build new relationships with both, that is a better reflection of who we all are NOW in the present, as adults, rather than one entrenched in the past based on memories of who we were as children. This will be yet another way to practice loving kindness and compassion
4. One personal development goal
*Curb my negative self-talk. This has gone on long enough and really needs to stop. No one's going to fight in my corner if I can't do it myself, so this year's about focusing to being kind to myself. This also ties into my health-related goal because often my negative self-talk revolves around my body.
*Letting go of things that have gone. Also to learn and practice resilience.
* take a more active role in my sessions with my therapist by clarifying for myself what I'm hoping to achieve from therapy.
* I would like to be more cautious of the impact that I have on the people around me. I would like to save the very best of me for those who are closest to me and always there for me. I would like to listen more, hold space more, be more inclusive, and say no when I don't actually have the capacity for doing my very best.
*pushing myself to be an observer and notice when I'm getting drawn out of my centre
*I will practise self-confidence and joy through regular reflection and gratitude. I will do a YTT in India this spring/summer and I'll let it challenge me to be the best version of myself, even if it's painful.
*I would like to continue to be a more authentic and honest version of myself by doing the work of practicing being kind, honest and compassionate with myself and others, and encouraging and supporting those nearest and dearest to me to do the same. I believe that I can manifest change in my own world by very simple acts of kindness….something as simple as making eye contact with somebody and even simply sometimes saying hello meaningfully can leave an impression. Kindness can also take the form of non reaction, especially to words and thoughtless behaviors that rattle my chains, and this is perhaps my most daunting challenge… who said life was meant to be easy?
*To integrate the things yoga has taught me into other aspects of my life. With the help of my physical, spiritual and mental yoga practices I would like to bring more balance, confidence, and mindfulness to my every day life.
* to speak less and listen more. To allow my words to be clear and meaningful.
5. One community goal
* to embrace my new volunteer role for a local non-profit organization, KW Counselling Services, in order to support this community in a meaningful way.
* be more active about attending classes at FHY taught by as many different teachers as possible--take more classes that I don't usually go to.
*Open our home more to our community and share food, stories and conversation.
*this year I would like to give back to my community by volunteering and continuing to support local businesses.
*volunteer time to veterans and refugees.
*Having received a great deal of strength, solace and support from all of the communities of which I am a member in 2016, in the new year I would like to be in a position in 2017 to reciprocate. Sometimes the community supports me and other times I support my community, and in 2017 I would like to be of service.
6. One thing you would like to continue from 2016
*I will read 12 great books that either help me learn about the world, develop my yoga practise and other interests, or open my eyes to beautiful stories.
*One thing i would like to continue doing from 2016 is following my heart. I walked away from my job and started a new journey to build my new world. It was liberating and rewarding. I'd be lying if I left out terrifying! It is absolutely necessary!
*2016 has been an incredible year for me in terms of learning about myself, starting a new career, and beginning my yoga instructor training. I want to keep building on the things I have learnt and to continue to step out of my comfort zone.
* I would like to stay strong enough not to give into the temptation of numbing T V services.
*pursuing friendships, allowing myself to be vulnerable, making exciting impulsive decisions
Working on building a regular meditation practice along with building new patterns of activity and thought so that I can be flexible and resilient when the next challenges of living manifest.
*I love that I take daily moments to reflect on my self-care to journal, do yoga, deep breathe, take baths, be mindful of my self-talk. I want to continue to worry less about the future, money, health, my mother, my clients. I want to spend more money, laugh more, throw caution to the wind, be more of who I am, less hiding with more engaging in life and connecting with others as there continues to be safety, protection, love, support and my angels around me to catch me every time.
7. One environmental goal
*Doing my part to protect the environment is something very near to my heart. This year I would like to rely less on my car by walking and taking public transit whenever possible.
*find a way to support permaculture initiatives and learn more about it.
*I'm going to steal this from you, Lindsay :). Carrying my coffee cup around sounds like a really simple and easy thing to do to avoid adding more cups to the landfill.
*buy/attain only secondhand clothing this year (with the exception of shoes).
*Limit the purchase of new items
* Look for more opportunities to contribute to Fossil Free WLU's efforts.
*continue to compost and recycle as much as possible! Avoid buying on impulse, be sure I LOVE something before I buy it
*I will keep eating mostly vegetarian while trying not to overthink it too much.
*Having spent some time outside in 2016, I have realized that there is so much peace and solace to be had by spending times outside in the natural world so in 2017 I need to spend more time outdoors….time allowing I might find a hiking or biking club…maybe we could even start one from members of our community…How about it Sunday Brunch clubbers…brunch followed by a hike somewhere?
8. One thing you are super grateful for right this minute
*my discovered sense of self
* My partner and our puppy. Our lives have certainly become more chaotic with a new puppy but I am extremely grateful for the little family we have built together.
*really grateful for tune up balls and star wars!
*I am super grateful for the choices I have available to me, even though they overwhelm me. I am really grateful for the experiences, people and culture I get to enjoy at work, even though sometimes it's stressful and challenging. I am super grateful for the support, playfulness and intelligence of my friends and loved ones who've helped me feel more like myself than ever.
*I am super grateful for the beauty of nature that surrounds us. I love how easily a tree will accept our emotions and an animal might visit to bring a message. It is so amazing, really!
* I guess that strangely enough I would say that I must be glad of the catastrophic setbacks including the most recent ones, which have brought me to this place where I truly am aware that I am fully alive and awake. Despite all, the fear of the unknown, the anxiety, the grief, etc. if not for setback and my willingness to face forward regardless, I would still be living like one of the walking dead. A place where all the life and humanity in me was slowly by degrees, being consistently beaten out and sucked away. I have been, to quote Elizabeth Lesser, broken open by setback and I have come to truly understand that there is a huge difference between feeling broken, and feeling broken open…. there is a huge difference and anyone who has had a similar experience will absolutely know what I am talking about. I am relishing discovering the new potentials that manifest out of the dark soil in this strange place and am SO glad that when I get overwhelmed by it all, there are special emissaries and spirit guides who magically appear to provide me courage, strength and support to keep picking myself up and to continue forward on my journey.
*My tribe. The people that I have around my daily are smart, engaged and hopeful for the future. They are strong and compassionate and I am proud that in this life I have had the opportunity to choose who I name family.