The Theme of 2009: Align

img_10611I almost hesitated to write about my chosen word of the year for 2009 because everybody else is doing it. Then I remembered how many great things I have missed out on because I’ve felt the need to be a rebel and refused to follow healthy collective wisdom.

It is also possible that I didn’t want to air my intentions in this town square because I didn’t want anything to hold me to this alternative sort of resolution in case I decided to take a detour off this road to consciousness and bury myself in some unenlightened misery for a spell.

(Am I the only contrary minded creature out there who wants to keep all of her options open – even those options that are all about limitations and hibernation and go against all of my better judgment? I doubt it. Oh, how we cling to those terrible ties that bind us!)

At any rate, inspiration struck today and I finally settled on my word, my guiding concept for 2009:

align

Maybe it came from too much time on the chiropractor’s table yesterday, somehow this word seems to be strong enough to carry me through all of the lessons I want to learn in the next year.

  • Align with my soul’s purpose.
  • Align with truth.
  • Align intention and action.
  • Align body, mind, and spirit.
  • Align the energy that swirls in my chakras.
  • Align with the positive energies of community.
  • Align the dueling parts of myself.

img_1069“Align” feels stronger than “balance” (holding space for all those opposites forces) and more immediate than “integrate” (folding the energies into my being), though both of these ideas are certainly vital parts of this intention.

I trust that I will be able to move through life with greater sensitivity, beauty, and wisdom when I can draw my power into one column of life affirming strength.

The physical body functions at its best when the spine is in alignment. The energy system functions at its best when all channels are lined up and open so that things can flow freely. Yoga teaches us to pull in toward the mid-line to find stability in our limbs. I will align even the most disparate seeming parts of myself as I work on finding the secret of wholeness.

In the same ways that the stars seem to align to bring forth the great events in life, I align self and soul to greet the potential greatness of the new year.

What will your theme for 2009 be? Please send along your ideas and links and plans and schemes along so the collective wisdom can continue to build!

A Moment to Experience Stillness

Cat, East German Castle

I’m overloaded with knowledge and weariness and unbelievable energy from my healing arts class, but I wanted to share just one slip of wisdom that I gathered today.

Without stillness, we cannot reap what we sow.

Maybe this is just stating the obvious, but when my teacher said it I found my pen scratching furiously across the page.

It is only by resting between yoga postures or during final savasana that we integrate the work performed by the moving body. The slumber of winter is necessary to rest the fields so that all of that reaping and sowing is possible. Only a quiet mind can make sense of the barrage of information that assaults it every day.

Stillness is one of those precious paradoxes. We know that we need it, but as soon as we give in to our desire to describe it, it vanishes like an unrealized, unrealizable dream. So many people skip though the years without ever pausing to assimilate the stuff that makes up their lives. It is more than possible to tumult through time at breakneck speed indefinitely, but what sort of shape are they in – mind, body, and soul – when they finally reach the end of their frantic race?

How do we cultivate stillness so that all the work we do as spiritual seekers, as healers, as people of compassion actually roots into the deepest levels of our true selves? Where do we find the space for stillness between doing our jobs and loving our families and recording our thoughts in all of these glorious words?

Before we can tackle the daily “how” it is important to first to come to terms with the fact that stillness is necessary at all. I do not believe that anyone else can convince you of that, but experiencing it just might give you an idea of why this crazy idea of doing nothing may just work.

  • Try to sit and listen to that every day symphony and cacophony that dances inside your head .
  • Give it time to play for a few maddened minutes, and then just let all of the extraneous sounds fall away. Focus on your breath, on the way you are settled into your seat, on the dark infinity behind your own eyelids.
  • When all that noise fades, notice what it is like to sit in peace, just for a moment.

Letting things just fall away may not be easy at first, and it may be scary if you think that silence in your mind means that you are sitting in some sort of void, but when you are really still, the mind is the safest place you will ever know.

I am hoping that a glimpse of the bliss that is stillness will be enough to convince us all that we just might be able to consider finding a few moments each day during which we can simply stop, we can simply be.

I just need to quit typing long enough to find it!