December for Yoga Teacher Training meant practicums! Our group of gifted, brave, and driven women laid down our yoga mats to expose and release our fears in a safe space. Calling on confidence, we instructed each other through vinyasa flow sequences that hit every benchmark of a Barre and Soul class. We sat vulnerable afterwards, huddled amongst these new friends, to receive constructive feedback of our time as the teacher. That gave us the gifts of humility, grace, and desire. Humility in knowing we have much to learn, grace in taking feedback with an open heart, and desire to do better the next time around. Thankfully, I have also been given several opportunities at the two schools I work at to practice teaching yoga classes to high school students. A few full 55-minute yoga classes on my own with novice high schoolers: a challenge I was eager to conquer.
Halfway through the month, Yoga Teacher Training took a holiday break. With this newly reacquired free time, we were meant to develop our home practice, which has become a chance to play. This community of women in my class as well as this break is a double blessing because December is a tough month. December brings up stuff. Having a group of women to cheer me on, and having a reprieve to settle and reflect was beyond necessary for me.
Over the past 29 years, I’ve found myself to dislike my birthday and Christmas - which both fall in the month December [Hello skeletons in the closet!]. Perhaps what happens in your childhood creates too deep of an imprint in your current life. Perhaps it is the extreme lack of daylight and bitter cold days. Perhaps I’ve just trained myself to recoil inward and sit underneath a grey cloud during this month. Regardless, December is rough and I don’t usually notice it until I end up crying for no reason, fighting with the ones I love, and questioning everything.
Now that December has come and gone and welcoming 2018 cleared the slate, I’ve taken the time to truly reflect as to why this unfounded cycle occurs, and what is the stuff that comes up. My sensitivity heightens and my normal calm wavers. While I fully embrace my emotions and allow myself to ride every wave that flows over me, I do so with awareness. So when I feel that I am not in tune as to why these emotions are coming on so strongly - whether that is apathy, confusion, exhaustion, frustration, anger, or sadness - it is unnerving. Yet, the wave is never too high or breaks too roughly for me think anything other than, it is December.
Then there are the nights where sleep is out of reach and I’m staring at the ceiling questioning my sense of purpose and direction in life. What are my short-term goals, long-term goals? Do I stay with this career or do something completely different? Shall Blake and I sell everything and travel? How can I help others more? Why haven’t I written my book yet? Of course these answers cannot be found at 1am, or all at once.
This December, in the wake of the waves, the question of ‘what more am I looking for?’ nagged at me. I have unconditional love from my partner, an adorable dog, a terrific job, and steadfast friends. I went to Key West for Christmas as a getaway and got a dose of sun. My blessings are many, yet I still felt unsettled.
Alas, the time of the archer rang loud and clear. Her back arched and bow drawn, taunting me with her eye on the horizon. True Sagittarian nature runs wild during December, flaring the desire to be free and summoning spontaneous thoughts. The New Moon in Sagittarius, a Winter Solstice, and Full Moon in Cancer all called for intention setting, recognizing our impact, and revealing our depths. Powerful and transformative, we’re stripped down at the end of the year to be born again in the new.
As always, I strive for balance. The pendulum swings to both extremes and eventually rests in between. I have accepted either extreme, as I know they do not last. I embrace the gentle pause and soak up the balance bliss.
I can prepare for December. I can prepare for the pendulum’s far reaches by reflection and change.
What do I struggle with?
When do I thrive?
Who do I want to become?
Where do I see my self?
So naturally with the New Year, reflection and goal setting allowed me to figure out what worked and what needs working on. As I said in 2012 and will forever say, I do not need to know all the answers or where my path will take me, but I do need to stay true to myself and try to be better every day.
So for 2018 – a memorable year for me in many ways – will be a year of continued evolution to better serve me and continued release of what no longer does.
Light Heart. Light Body. Light Spirit. Light Mind.