By Amber Young
As we transition into this new year ahead, it’s important to take time to integrate. When we gathered for a restorative class on the afternoon of New Years Eve, rather than setting intentions for the year ahead, we took some time in nurturing postures to breathe and integrate all our experiences of the year and even further, the decade, before we move forward. 2019 was a year that held alot for people, plain and simple. Alot of joy, laughter, and personal growth, but also alot of pain, challenges, conflict (internally and externally), heartache and death. It’s important to take time to allow yourself to integrate in whatever way makes the most sense for you: the silence of your practice, though mantra meditation, journaling, time in nature is one of my favorite ways to integrate. Your life offers you so many opportunities to grow, we tend to move through something pivotal and don’t always allow ourselves the time to contemplate on all that has been offered in every experience, honoring the positive and the negative, allowing yourself to grow.
We often suggest in class that you “set an intention for your practice” and sometimes that can change from when we tune in to when we seal our practice. The intention is something to serve as a personal anchor, to help keep you focused, and to take you deeper into your self.
This year, we invite you to perhaps consider setting a larger, more complete intention: one to hold you through the whole year.
Can you carve out a little window of time for yourself as we ease into a new year to sit in silence, perhaps lighting a candle to honor yourself and the experience, without expectation, but asking what quality would best support and serve you for 2020. Allow a word or a quality you want to cultivate more of in yourself and imagine yourself living that intention in every word, every decision you make this year, every movement of your body . Maybe your intention is as simple as breath connection or calm.
Allow your intention, to come from a heart centered place of self compassion, perhaps that’s a new way of giving yourself permission to set goals – from a place of self compassion, in alignment with ways you can care for and create more happiness and ease in your own life to better serve the world, that’s why we set intentions to help keep us on track.
Gratitude is a beautiful foundation to set your intentions on. Reflecting on challenges and experiences that pertain to your intention – can you hold them in gratitude? Gratitude is a multiplier, so whatever it is that you feel grateful for will continue to manifest in your life, focus on the gifts. Sit in stillness and tap into the energy of your heart, 2020 ( a 4 year) is a year of heart centered relationships, communication, and actions. Allow yourself to actually FEEL the energy that flows from your heart as you move into this beautiful new year ahead.
I would like to leave you with this precious New Year’s Prayer, from John O’Donohue
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind
Work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
(from Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year by John O’Donohue)