It is January 2, 2012. I’ve awoken to a clean house, courtesy of the January 1st purging my husband and I took on. I feel fresh and full of possibilities. I feel rich in this moment - full and grateful.
Over the last few days I have heard so many people say how glad they will be to have 2011 behind them. I understand the sentiment, but I can’t lump myself in that crowd. As I reflect on this New Year and what lies ahead, I am moved by the bounty of 2011 and I bring that fullness forward.
Certainly, 2011 began for me with some big trials. A year ago today I was still lying on my couch, broken leg barely bound in a splint, unable to see a physician for another day. I was worried about how I could support my growing business from the couch, and how on earth I was going to run our inaugural Teacher Training program without the ability to demonstrate a single pose.
Not only did all of this work out, but in truth the year turned out to be one of the fullest years of my life. Being forced to literally, physically stop was an incredible gift in my life, bringing me to appreciate to a deep awareness and gratitude for two aspects of my life I often take for granted: 1) Relationships & 2) the beauty inherent in the most mundane of life’s rituals.
Relationships. Ahhhh. The most fundamental element of being human, and yet, something I take for granted each day. When I think back, I’m blown away by the people who stepped up to support me a year ago. From my family (father-in-law and mother in particular), to my surgeon and physical therapist, to the team at Be Luminous Yoga including Scott, Jill, Elizabeth and Tina, not to mention the friends who brought me food throughout the ordeal, I am blown away. So many people reached out, supported me and helped take care of me. But more than simply being taken care of, what I felt and learned on a deep cellular level was how simple it can be to help another human being. Certainly, some folks went out of their way to support me, and yet others, with the simple willingness to open a door for me as I struggled, hands full of bags while riding a scooter, opened me to experience of kindness.
I am such a “do-it-myself” kind of girl, learned from years of growing up with a strong single mother. And yet, last year brought the gift of life’s fullness I can experience when I let others help me. Simple, yet very real lesson in my life.
Perhaps even more profound was the relationship I got to develop with myself. I found almost instantly that my image of myself under crisis (you know that person you hope you will be when catastrophe strikes) was real. I smiled for almost an entire month from the moment I broke my leg. And no, I wasn’t faking it. I simply made the choice to enjoy the experience and be ok with where I was.
Perhaps feeling “broken” opened me to more gratitude than I have ever felt before. Gratitude for others. Gratitude even for myself and what I am capable of. This kind of gratitude, in turn, made me fee like the luckiest woman in the world, even in what looked from the outside like a time of trial.
And this brings me to the second element of this whole experience: the beauty inherent in the mundane rituals of life. Every day, I wake up and move through the rituals of being a human being in a wealthy nation. I put the coffee on, let the dog out, feed the dog, brush my teeth, make breakfast, read the paper… In the yoga world we hear time and time and again how precious these moments are and I genuinely believe that. Over the last year, though I have gotten a deeper taste of this beauty and bounty.
When taking a shower becomes a project – going down the stairs on my butt with one leg lifted, packaging myself up in a garbage bad and sitting in the shower the shower with my leg in the air – all of a sudden things come into a whole new focus. How grateful I was that I had the flexibly and agility, physically and mentally, to take on this acrobatic shower. How full I felt, that I could even enjoy sitting in the warmth of the shower.
I won’t pretend that these lessons stick with me in every moment. As I move back into a pace of life that is faster and I have obligations to fulfill, I often forget to attend to my relationships and I get hung up in what is not done, rather than seeing the loveliness of being in the mundane. And yet, something in me has profoundly shifted. I as I sat to think of my intentions for 2012, some measurable goals naturally floated to the surface, but the biggest goal I have to 2012 is to enjoy it, paying attention paying close attention as I make the coffee, walk my dog and check my email. There is magic in these moments, and I want to be available to be transformed by them, rather than manipulate them to serve my preconceived goals. I know great things are in store for me if I will choose to experience and express the fullness of life in each moment, showing gratitude for my relationships and witnessing the richness of the mundane.
Here’s to a year of richness for all of us in 2012!