Happy New Year!
It’s the time we reassess how we’re doing in life or take on new projects. It’s the same for me, as I’ve been working on a project I’m planning for late February. (I’m excited and hope you will be too. If you want to be sure to hear about it, sign up for updates!) In my yoga classes, I’m also designing a class for beginners that weaves in larger, helpful concepts beyond the yoga poses. To begin, I’m starting with the foundation. (Imagine that.) And that got me thinking about yoga reflects life. It relates to you even if you don’t do yoga (yet).
In yoga, your feet act as your foundation. They’re where your body meets the ground, and your feet do the job of creating a supportive structure impacting your legs, hips, and torso. There are 26 bones in the feet and many different structures and ligaments that act as a support for the rest of our body. Despite their importance and intricacy, we usually neglect our feet.
We neglect our foundation in life as well.
One of the things about yoga that I love is that when you work on the body, it translates to life. There is a dynamic connection between mind and body, and yoga gives us the space to explore that connection. It makes a huge difference in how you understand your own wellness and energy, but also how you engage with the world and the people around you. (And you may have noticed that your energy impacts your children as well.)
Question: What makes up your foundation in life?
You can look at this a few different ways. To start, think about what supports you in living the life you want to live. What gives you energy, joy, and love? I’d argue that it’s all about relationships. The first and most important relationship is with ourselves. The one that gets neglected the most.
Your foundation in life is your relationship with your Self.
In yoga, we’re encouraged to massage our feet, articulate the toes, and shift weight in different poses to build awareness of and connect with our foundation. In life, we forget to play or give attention to ourselves. And in the forgetting, we get lost.
We believe our foundation is something else: our role as a parent, our relationship with a partner, or our work. Those things are outside of ourselves, however. Here’s the kicker: Everything improves when you make your relationship to yourself the foundation of your attention.
Everything improves (for everyone) when you make self care your foundation.
It’s said that what you pay attention to grows. When you give yourself attention, how does it feel? Is it positive or negative? When is the last time you paid attention to what made you feel vibrant, energetic, and joyful? How often do you notice your self talk?
My challenge to you is threefold.
First to play with your feet. Give the toes a wiggle and a squeeze. (You’ll feel silly and that’s ok. It’s part of the process.) Let it be a reminder to also let yourself play and enjoy other areas of life.
Second, do something JUST FOR YOU that has no relation to any other person or role in life. Simply because it sounds fun or restful or interesting.
Third, take stock of the self talk that swims throughout your consciousness. How can you shift to be kinder, more playful with yourself?
How can you take yourself a little less seriously?
That might sound harsh, but when you’re dealing with hard stuff and emotional issues (and who isn’t really), it’s easy to carry the weight of the world every thought, decision, and action. It’s something that I have always had to remind myself. If you haven’t chosen a word for 2019 yet, perhaps join me in choosing JOY (and we can take ourselves less seriously together.)
To a year of joyful surprises,