Transformation. Affirmation. Integration.

In every yoga class I teach I highlight the pause after savasana (final relaxation pose) as transitional space. I encourage students to go slow as they reawaken the body, to be mindful and allow for a gentle shift from one experience and way of being, before rapidly moving into the next experience or state of being. This started when I taught in juvenile jails where the girls were always restless and distracted during class but managed to relax in savasana. I began to slow the shift from savasana back to closing circle to help them anchor the sensations and shifts in their body in a more direct way, inviting the possibility that such a pause could invite reflection and a conscious choice as to how they wanted to next respond to themselves, each other, or the day itself.

The time frame from Winter Solstice until now has felt like this transitional space of class. I’ve been consciously reflecting upon the year, the highs and lows, the takeaways, the themes and common threads, the lessons that have become the stepping stones that will lead me into a new year.  This period has been nourishing and insightful, filling me with gratitude for the magic and mystery of this unpredictable journey we all sign up for and the magnificent ways our paths manifest before us.

Transformation, Affirmation, and Integration are the strongest currents that shaped my experience of 2012.

Transformation…. The dramatic alchemical shifting in form and function through a process of intensity, contraction, surrender and expansion.

This year has surely been a journey of shedding skins. I’ve felt incredibly overwhelmed and uncomfortably and even impatiently unsure of myself and my path. From losing my way, to feeling fearful and down right messy, all the way to new opportunities and experiences, eventually leading to DEEP appreciation for untold blessings, I managed to make my way through intensity and contraction into surrender and expansion.

Affirmation… The reflection and acknowledgement of Self, the willingness to clearly see and be Seen, learning to Trust.

I started to see my reflection in others, little glimmers of recognition guiding me back to my path, cheering me onward when I felt astray. I started to feel this resonance within, a deeper intuitive Knowing, and even though I didn’t fully understand it I began to follow its guidance. I could feel myself Trusting, from that trust I was able to see myself more completely and let myself actually be seen. Eventually I felt the world around me was responding bit by bit…. My life was beginning to blossom.

Integration… Coming together into wholeness, taking full responsibility, coming to life with Inspiration.

I started to get a feeling, while reading or hearing something – some idea, quote or theory that I had read or heard maybe a thousand times before – where I didn’t just understand it as a principal, I Knew it from the inside out. I could feel its truth and meaning alive in me.  Something has begun to awaken and come together from the inside out affirming Truth and embodied knowing. Recognition of this deeper wisdom and wholeness has allowed me to not only acknowledge myself and the great Love that is both in me and surrounding me, but to also take responsibility for it and move with Inspiration as I explore ways to share it with the world around me.

With so much focus on winter solstice as the ‘end of the world’ and the obvious intensity that implied, I had never really considered this year as a kind of rebirth, not for myself personally anyway. I could feel the world around me shifting, to be sure… and I knew that I was growing and learning, most definitely. However, it wasn’t until this period of transition, this deep conscious reflection on all that has moved across my path this year, that I was able to see what a truly transformational, deeply affirming, and profoundly integrative year it has been.

In these last hours of the year I find myself curious about where your reflections have taken you… has this also been a year of rebirth for you? Or maybe you are still in the process of clearing the way and setting the stage for the birth to come….

I invite you to consider and explore for yourselves…

What has transformed?

What skins have you shed?

Where/what have you surrendered?

How have you been affirmed and acknowledged?

By your self? By others?

In what ways have you begun to feel more whole?

What is your heart asking you to dream awake?

Maybe journaling will take you deeper, maybe some kind of ritual is in order, maybe a conversation with someone close to your heart is calling, whatever path toward deepening your reflections feels right to you, follow it and see what insights you discover. I keep hearing we are living in powerful times, it might just serve us well to look to the power within our own path, choices, lessons, hearts…. and let that guide us forward with refreshed intentions for a New Year, in what many are calling a New World.

A few weeks before winter solstice I had a deep conversation with a dear friend where I felt such a significant sense of calm and an unwavering trust in whatever the universe had in store. I again feel that now as I pull myself up from this transitional space at the end of the year and posture myself into an open and receptive meditation for the coming of 2013. There is peace and calm and extreme gratitude within me as I acknowledge our individual and collective capacity to learn, love and evolve. I keep looking in and finding, sometimes unexpectedly, new ways to shine out. I continue to offer whatever sense of center, love, & growth I can find within myself as a viable possibility for anyone willing to courageously dive in themselves.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for being a light in my life, for cheering me on when I needed it, for supporting me in growing and achieving seemingly impossible dreams. I couldn’t do what I do without you. I pray that we may all find what our souls are seeking, that our hearts be willing to openly express and receive generous amounts of love, and that we may be living examples of the kind of world we are seeking. New Year Blessings to you all!