who is going to host the new year in you? Will it be your boss? Your kids? Spouse? with it be a hodge-podge of all of them and their conflicting needs?
I want my body, life, and nature itself to be my hosts in the new year. I am sick of my insecurities, my desire for change, and my endless efforts to do it right running the show. They have had their turns. They weren’t very funny.
In order to get my body to be my host, I have to practice how to live in it. I think i’ve written before about learning I could live with my attention outside of my body and in some fantasy future conjuring in the 2nd grade. So, I’ve got this ridiculous amount of practice. It’s like smoking – I smoked for over 30 years. some of those years, i didn’t even like it, i just did it because i was so used to it – too much practice to stop. What a stupid way to go about life.
So, being in my body, get this: is not an intellectual exercise. It does not matter how much I think about how good it is, or how to do it more… I can do that all day and contribute literally nothing to my embodiment. Embodying requires… embodying… and I am, shall we say, under-practiced even still. It is the physical exercise. Breathing. sitting. moving. Fully. I need to practice this multiple times per hour, checking in I always find tension and distraction, so every breath i take this way builds the neuropathways that are as yet still unfamiliar. Keep making those connections with full attention on the physical being. Yep. That’s the practice.
Life is really easy to be my host because it’s literally everything: the universe and planet and water and what happens minute-to-minute. So, yes, Life, the big difference this year is that I’m actually acknowledging it in a new way, and therefore committing to receiving you with the warm receptivity of recognition. Nature, of course, is included as an enormous part of Life, but this specific intelligence of the material plane is exceptionally enticing to me this year and I hope to explore it more physically, mentally and spiritually. Like our 2016 National Parks adventure, Nature is a superlative host and I’m delighted to be turning my new year over to her extremely exciting and diverse natural line-up.
One of the activities I like to do on NYE with my family is the year in review, which is a lot of fun until i bring up what i feel is a very important question: what was the hardest thing this year and how did you deal with it. I got a lot of flack this year. why do we want to think and talk about that – it was hard enough going through it. can we please take this off the list of questions?
I’ve thought about it long and hard and I think i can change the timing of the question, but i think the question is important for a number of reasons. When we tap back into a feeling – it is exactly where we left it. So, if we left it in a sensitive place, it is going to stay there until we bring presence to it. The flack came because sensitive areas were disturbed, and we’d rather our sensitive spots be left alone. But healing comes through relationship (thank you Dr. Kupperberg). Leaving the damage there is literally leaving the damage there. We can clean things up as we go along. Gently. Tenderly. But ignoring it or shunning the discomfort only extends it – keeps you carrying it in an ever-increasingly heavy heart.
I’ve actually had quite an empowering year. I had some health successes and i have a new hip that I’m finally equalizing from receiving. But I also had some really difficult, horrible, sad days, too. I engaged a therapist, did many practices and offered the feelings to my altar literally thousands of times. The sensitive areas are lightening in large part by my ability to sustain presence as I hold the discomfort and also access the mature, resourceful part of me that can help the stuck part release the grip. It’s a process, I know, but it’s a process we need to engage in.
Much like *thinking about* breathing and standing and posture does not practice mindful breathing or standing or physically feeling around the nuances of my posture, *not thinking about* stuff doesn’t solve it. Bravely engaging in the activities of transformation is what transforms things – not ideas about it.
So, that’s an interesting dynamic – one that is SO pertinent to me with all my thinking and real struggle to do the physical practices, and the emotional work.
I want these new hosts of my new year to not be stuck with the last hosts’ jokes. All this crap I’ve carried with me and have spent these many years trying to release (I honestly feel like I’ve revisited every slight i’ve ever felt or inflicted and had to sit peacefully with it -some a dozen or more times over these last 10 years)and maybe, just maybe, the big ball of knotted string I’d tied myself up in just might have loosened up enough that, dare I hope, I might be able to just step out of it and let it fall behind me. Well, hell, I’m going to do that right now just because it feels good. and if i’m fool enough to tie myself back up in that ball of emotions and identities, at least now I know the possibility to step out of it exists.
This is why i want to be checking in to see if we’re moving through our difficulties or storing them. I would like to develop a better ritual for that. I’ll bet my new hosts have some good strategies… (have i mixed too many metaphors? oh well, both concepts were important to me and it’s time for bed)