Yes, you read the title right. It’s not, “New Year, New You!” with the promise that my words will spark a decision to lose the weight, quit the job, say the things you always wanted to say, leave the negative people in your life in the dust, and so on. This is not meant to end up in the pages of a popular magazine, with the title set to catch your eye in a bold colorful font on the glossy front page at the local Target as you buy your deodorant, milk, and the ten things you didn’t go into Target for, but are coming home with you anyway.
I am here to tell you this year – you do not have to become someone other than you already are. What I hope the new year brings for you is the discovery of everything you already are, the rightness and perfection of that, instead of what you feel is wrong somehow, and how brilliant every facet of your being is when you share it with the world.
Of course, that being said, there will be a journey you will have to take to get there – to be more of you and less of what others want you to be, or what you think they want you to be. And when you take this journey you will find yourself letting go of the extra pounds that weigh you down, physically and emotionally, leaving the job that makes you miserable no matter how much they may be paying you, saying things that need to be said and once said, finding yourself surrounded by different people that also say the things that need to be said and support your wish to be everything you can be in this lifetime.
Every journey is different. There are many paths that lead up the same mountain. I simply hope you start on the path. For me the path was diving into A Course in Miracles over a decade ago and stumbling upon a sign lit up with blue and orange flames surrounding the words, “Bikram Yoga,” that beckoned me into the heat with its promise of crazy intensity, playing into the fierce determination and never-give-up-of-course-I-can-do-it-attitude that echoes into every corner of my life. The workbook of the Course changed the way I thought of the world and my relationships with others, as well as, myself as I practiced each lesson and meditation over the year and a half it took me to complete it. The yoga made me look at my body and not hate it, but appreciate it as the wonderful gift that it is for the first time in my life.
And since it had such a profound impact on my life I hope you at least try to get to a yoga studio and see if it’s for you. If you have never tried Bikram Yoga and have always wanted to try it, the beginning of the year is the best time to start. If you have tried Bikram Yoga and fell out of the practice, now is also the best time to come back to the practice. Roll up your mat, guzzle some water, get the capris on and get to class. Here is why:
- This is the busiest time of year at the studios. You will not be the only 1st time student in class. There will probably be at least 3 of you and you will get through the sweaty, drippy session together.
- It’s cold outside and the heat feels so, so good. At least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. You actually get to feel your fingers, toes, and the tip of your nose in January in Chicago. If you know anything about Chicago, you probably know that winters are unpredictable, but always icy, chilly, cold, cold, cold.
- You will be surrounding yourself with fun, positive people. Yoga has a couple of side effects: positivity, non-judgment of yourself and others, and a healthy glow, just to name a few. Surround yourself by what you want to cultivate in your life. If you want to be more you this year, these are the people to hang out with. They will accept you on your worst days and celebrate with you your best days.
- Detox from the holiday season. You know you ate too much sugar and drank a little too much wine in the last few weeks. It was fun, but you want to start this year getting healthy. There are only 3 ways to detox the body: going to the bathroom, breathing, and sweating. You will sweat like never before in a Bikram Yoga class, learn how to breathe properly maybe for the first time ever, and improve your digestive system with a regular practice. Let the detox start today!
- Yoga is more than a workout. Sure, it’s a great workout too, but things are going to come up in your practice that you will never guess at in the beginnings. You will learn to let go of what’s not serving you and move forward with your life in a new way. You don’t have to understand what I’m talking about right now. Go experience it. One class will not be enough. Get to the studio, take 3 classes within 3 days and get the ball rolling. Commit to a regular weekly practice and watch your life unfold.
I still find each year challenging, learning new lessons about myself and hopefully spreading a little light where I can. There are plenty of people who dislike me I’m sure, but I’m also pretty sure there are more people out there that love me for who I am and am not expecting me to change to fit their mold of who they would like me to be. You can find this too, you simply have to make the brave decision to start. Whatever is calling to you, go after it. If it’s yoga, or ACIM – great! If it’s something else that is great too. Follow your heart and become the glorious, quirky, fun, weird person you came to this world to be. We’ve been waiting for you…
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