This week, I’ve done my best to avoid the theme of letting go of what doesn’t serve me or making New Year’s Resolutions. But it seems every email, social media update, or blog post I’ve seen in the last several days is about charting a new course in one way or another. So I’ll stop avoiding it. It is natural to think about new beginnings when a new year begins.
I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions years ago. In fact, now that I think of it, I stopped shortly after I returned to yoga in 2007. After a few months of practice, I remembered yoga teaches us to continually let go and reinvent ourselves. As yogis, we strive to always be in the moment, and that means (ideally) we’re as apt to figure out what we need and don’t need in the middle of May as we are at the beginning of January.
What to Consider When Charting a New Course
This morning, at my first yoga class of 2018, my teacher (naturally) spoke about charting a new course. She asked us to think of something that doesn’t serve us and “just let it go.”
Yes, of course, we know how easy that is to do!
I resisted because…well, I’m not sure why. I can think of things that don’t serve me. I suppose I’m just resisting the idea that this is the ideal time to let go, and there must be something to let of go of simply because a new year just started.
So I thought about it. The first thing I thought of is I’m not as interested in what serves me as I am in what I’m here to do. In other words, I’d rather figure out how to embrace service (like Hanuman).
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve spent a lot of time working on letting go. The whole point of letting go of what doesn’t serve us is it empowers us to be of service. We can’t serve if we spend our energy on things that don’t inspire us or help us grow.
Then my yoga teacher asked us to choose three words—single words—that describe where we’d like to be on December 31, 2018. I love these kinds of questions! So, I began to chose words, decide they weren’t quite right, and think of other words. I even thought of a couple of phrases and then realized they were more than one word, and then…
What pose were we doing?
The idea was probably to think of the words and then move on to the next pose. Or maybe think of the words later. So, that’s what I did.
My Three Words for Charting a New Course
The three words I finally settled on are healthy, transcendent, and useful.
Healthy is an obvious choice, at least for me. Without good physical, mental, and emotion health, we’re limited. Of course, we don’t always have a choice, but I want to continue to do what I can to stay well.
I’m not sure why I chose transcendent. What I’m after is a healthy detachment from the noise and nonsense that keeps me from my goal of…well, of transcendence. Ever since I was a child, the only thing that has really mattered to me was seeking truth, knowing God, and in doing both of those things, overcoming a lot of fear! (Yes, fear.)
So, maybe the word I should have picked is fearless. In a sense I did, though, because the opposite of fear is love. Love is truth, so I guess transcendent and fearless are close enough to the same thing! (Don’t worry if you didn’t follow that. I’m not sure I do either, but it was fun to think about.)
That brings me to useful. That word is especially important to me this year. Why spend time on this planet if I’m not going to contribute something? I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t feel the same way on some level.
My specific, concrete goal, of course, is to breathe life into the project I’ve had incubating for a few years. That project, I hope you guessed, is Yoga Circles. My goal isn’t simply to sell books—the book is only a tool—but to create community.
I’ll admit, I’m not sure how to go about this, but I have faith that charting a new course can start simply with an intention. I also know I can’t do it alone. So, my dear yogi friends, if you have any ideas about creating community and would like to help, I’d be thrilled to hear from you!
Meanwhile, I’ll keep putting it out there however way I can and hope the universe is listening. Thankfully, I still have almost a full year to figure it out!
Where Will You Go This Year?
Now it’s your turn! Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Are there things you need to release or goals you want to set? Please share in the comments. Sometimes just putting it out there can make a difference!
Would you like to explore more yoga topics in depth—perhaps with a group of yoga friends? Get your copy of Yoga Circles, A Guide to Creating Community off the Mat. You’ll find lots of topics and activities for living the yoga lifestyle and enjoying time with like-minded yogis! Click here to order!
Hi, I’m Maria. I created Yoga Circles for you if you want to delve more deeply into the philosophy, practice, and life-changing effects of yoga. I’m also a writer and editor who helps small business owners, wellness professionals, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and connect with readers, clients, and students. Visit my website (link below) for more about that. I’d love to hear from you!