Healthy Holiday Cookies
December 2, 2017
Practical Patanjali: Yamas & Niyamas
January 3, 2018
Show all

The New Year

It's just a day on a modern calendar, but there is the momentum of an entire world culture behind it. Every day we can choose to view as new. But this is the first month of a whole new year. It’s easier to see possibility from here.
It's evidence of our autopilot tendencies that the first weeks (or months) of the new year we'll spend writing the old date. Our brains are easily susceptible to conditioning and suggestion. We can allow this to be the source of mindless momentum in our lives or we can harness these tendencies to direct our paths.
Everyone is searching for the way to make their lives better; looking for a fresh start. You don't have to look hard for suggestions from people who have an idea on how you can do that. One of the concerns I have as someone who sells wellness (and as one who is susceptible to caring about the opinions of others) is the concept of lifestyle brands. There's something about brand names, isn't there? I find it preposterous when someone who is famous and well off gives advice about how to live.
That doesn't mean there isn't some worth to suggestions of various techniques from various sources of ways to live a mostly happy and relatively successful life. I like to tell myself that's what I give. Ways to ease stress, tension and burden from those who take my classes; a sense of perspective.
But it has to be a choice that works specifically for you. One size does not fit all when it comes to most living techniques packaged for mass consumption. Which can cause inner conflict for those who are trying to do what they see working for others. What happens when someone successful and radiant tells you to do a thing but it doesn’t cause you to be successful and radiant?
This is one of the things we learn as we practice yoga. We learn where our locus of control lies. When we first begin the practice of yoga our locus of control lies out side of ourselves. We are conditioned as children to listen to the “authority”. You follow or you rebel. It’s part of what makes the practice of yoga as it is currently presented successful. We’re used to being convinced we don’t know and need to listen to someone who does. Gradually, as yogic techniques guide you from the external to the internal you start to see how you give your choices away.
As you look to your upcoming year take a look at what you want, expect and need. What are the basis of these for you? What underlies your opinion? What underlies your decisions? I ask my students to sit at the end of class and observe the inner space they have opened up through the course of the class. This calm, steady inner environment is where to make choices for yourself. Clear out what you picked up during the course of interaction with the outside world. Free yourself of old conditioning. Then you’ll be better able to access that guide within you who is not subject to the whims of the outside world, but who knows who you want to be.

*Photo Cred: NASA