A Mindful Moment

A Reminder to Rest

As we reach the end of this year and prepare for the new one ahead, I want to remind you take some time to rest, reflect, and to go easy on yourself. 

Here's some helpful end of year advice from Dennis Merrit Jones:

"Be gentle with yourself when you fall down, backslide, or metaphorically go unconscious and take a snooze. The practice is not to beat yourself up; it’s getting back up and continue moving in the direction you wish to go, one step at a time."

I am one of those who loves a New Year and all the different ways to think about making resolutions - like having a theme for the coming year or having one or two big plans or maybe a shift in perspective.  If you have New Years rituals and you are willing to share - please do!!  What do you usually do to prepare for a New Year - and what are you doing differently this year?

 In some ways, the end of the year also reminds me of Savasana, the final resting pose at the end of a yoga practice.  It feels good to lie down and rest, but sometimes I feel like I don't need it and I just want to move on with the day (shhh!).  I am feeling a bit of both at the end of 2020 - like I could use the rest, but I am also ready to move on.

Actually, Savasana is more than a simple relaxation.  A yoga teacher told me, years ago, that if I skip it, I might as well have not practiced yoga that day.  The stillness of this pose gives the mind and body a chance to absorb and integrate the benefits of the practice, but only if we allow ourselves the space.  

I have thought about this a lot in the context of life.  I often rush from one thing to the next, without taking time to absorb what I am learning or consider how I want to shift directions or what matters most.  Taking time to pause and reflect is like having Savasana - allowing ourselves the time to integrate our experiences.  A dear friend reminded me recently that I once said to her, "Maybe you need more Savasana in your life?"  And, she pointed out that maybe that's true for me now -  she's right. I will take time at the end of this year to pause, rest, and allow myself to absorb and reflect, before moving forward again.

Let's remind each other to take time in all of our transitions -  throughout the day and throughout our journey in life.  It may make all the difference to allow ourselves a little stillness. 
A moment for inspiration:

"In our busy world, we tend to overlook the capacity we have to allow the mind to settle down and rest, to become deeply silent and peaceful.  This stillness is a great power...and through it we can learn to listen more fully to the world around us and to the wisdom of our own heart....We can feel as if the whole world had suddenly stopped moving...That which was hidden becomes seen; that which was overturned becomes upright.  We can live our lives in harmony, with a greatness of heart and a clear mind, and come to know peace."

- From Seeking the Heart of Wisdom by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield
I hope you enjoy this mindful moment!
Thank you for sharing what's been inspiring you, including:
time, nature, cooking with the kids, the forest, books, connecting with friends, driving to the shoreline, taking walks (sometime with a horse), and gratitude for students and friends and kids - I loved most, the inspiration of sitting under a weeping cherry blossom tree to regain energy like a Samurai

"The opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of depression is purpose."
- Cathy Heller
I have been thinking a lot about purpose and what matters most to me as we prepare for the year ahead. What gives you the greatest sense of purpose? 
As I set my goals for the year ahead, I am reminded that the point is not to measure whether I end up doing what I set out to do - but rather to focus on who I become in the process.

"Once we begin to understand that how we show up in one area of our lives is how we show up in all areas of our lives, then we can begin working toward a more holistic and integrated state of purpose, success, and happiness." 
- Cathy Heller

Finally, here is Rick Hanson's guidance on finding your North Star.  I am really interested in your thoughts on purpose  - does any of this resonate with you? 

Here are some of the things that have been inspiring me, please keep sharing, what is inspiring you?

- Marshall Rosenberg developed Non-Violent Communication with the insight that everything we say and do is an expression of a need.  I found this 
Free 30-day Course on Non-Violent Communication from NVC Academy really inspiring.  

- I also watched a motivating film on the possibility for non-violence to address social problems.  If you're interested, you can see it here:  The Third Harmony, a film by Michael Nagler.

- My dear friend Anelise has finally launched an Etsy shop to offer her beautiful handmade ceramics to the world (her bowls have been treasures in our household for years).  In case you would like some inspiring pottery for your home, you can visit Humble Spin Ceramics here.

- I just finished the book Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, I highly recommend it if you haven't already read it.

As part of the Community Mindfulness Project (a non profit organization that offers secular mindfulness sessions every day of the week), I am hosting a free 30-minute mindfulness practice (on Zoom), on Tuesdays at 8 PM (EST).  Everyone is welcome, so feel free to share this with anyone you think may be interested.  Find the details hereor write to me and I'll send you the link.

The six-week series I offered on building a home practice is coming to a close - and it's been a fun journey to share yoga fundamentals and practice tips.  I am planning to offer a new series to inspire your yoga practice with short videos and instructions on a self-paced online platform. If you are interested in beta-testing it, please reach out and let me know!
Practices to Live Your Most Inspired Life
With Love, Asha
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