5 STEPS TO ENJOY THE FESTIVE SEASON

… and end the year with clarity, ready for 2017!

Do you want to enjoy the last few weeks of 2016, rather than wishing the year to be gone?  Do you want to finish the year on your terms and keep your equilibrium instead of being dictated what to do and letting everyone’s frazzledness & craziness drain you?  Do you feel the need to come to positive terms with 2016 so you can start 2017 with a clean slate?  Then allow yourself to incorporate any or all of those five steps into your December.  These are simply steps that have worked for me personally and that have proven valuable to those who seek my services.  See & feel what resonates with you.  Be curious & notice what happens.

Reflect.

Reflection is a marvellous tool.  Allow yourself to reflect back on the year and let the good times, and the bad or not so easy times roll back past your minds’ eye.  Do this systematically month by month, quarter by quarter, season by season, or semester by semester, choose what timeframe works for you.  Or simply let the most grabbing moments randomly come back to your mind.  And then feel them, feel the good times, and feel the bad times.  Celebrate the victories, successes and rainbows again, really celebrate.  Pat yourself on the back and say well done you.  Do the same with the ugly, hard and overly challenging times.  Let them be felt, cry, scream, shout, sob, and then see if you can let them simply be.  If you reflect on your yoga journey, ask what has become a little easier, a little more effortless?  Where have you noticed most benefits?  Were they physical, mental or emotional or even spiritual?  Of course you can go further and analyse and learn from the challenging times –what can you do differently next time.  Same with the good times – what can you do again and/or more of?  But for now, simply reflect, relive and let it be.  Awareness is the first step to healing.  Now celebrate that you made it to the end of 2016.  Celebrate.

Journal.

Journaling or writing is another brilliant tool for allowing the year to come to an end in a lighter way.  Simply use your journal for the above exercise OR write down everything you can remember about 2016, the good events, the highlights, the low moments, all your feelings & emotions associated with the events.  Simply let the words come out of you.  Write everything down what you can remember about 2016, without any censoring.  Let it all be as it was and as it is for you.  This is not an exercise in creative writing.  Use words that come easy.  Let the thoughts, feelings and happenings spill out of your mind and onto paper.  If you need help to get you started, simply ask yourself, what have been the highlights and lowlights of 2016, what are you proud of, and what can you do better in 2016.  You can stop here, or you can write down all the emotions & thoughts attached to each event.  Let it all come out onto paper.  Then let it go.  Let it be as it was.  Close your journal.  Smile.  Celebrate.

Set a sankalpa.

Ask yourself, “what is my heart’s deepest desire?”.  What is it I truly long for?  This is different to a goal, which comes out of your intellect.  A sankalpa is your heart’s deepest desire. If you’d like to read more about what a sankalpa is, here is a whole blog post about it.  Write your sankalpa down.  Keep it close.  Put it in your diary, on your screensaver, or simply remind yourself of such each morning or night.  Make it into a ritual.  Mention it to yourself first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed; or last thing at night.  Or simply during the day when a particular event, emotion or time arises.  A sankalpa does not need to be complicated.  It could simply be that you are longing for more connection to your partner, or to your children.  Perhaps you long for more spare time, perhaps for more freedom, more space or less pain.  Take the time to become aware of what it is you deeply desire.  And then notice what happens.

Do something from your happy list.

Do you have a happy list?  I suggest you get your journal or a piece of paper out now.  Write down five (5) things that make you happy. Boom, here’s your Happy List.  On it could be sunshine, chocolate, cuddles, yoga practice J, walk on the beach, hanging with my mates, dancing, knitting, kissing, sleeping in, eating cake, new shoes, lippie, jocks, etc.  You got the idea.  And then do something from your happy list.  Yes, choose one thing and then do it.  Repeat.  Either daily, weekly or whenever YOU choose to.  Ah, feels good, doesn’t it.  Learning the art of selfcare and selfrespect.  It does start with you.

Meditate on your senses.

Don’t freak out, simply because you think I will ask you to “sit still and empty your mind”.  I’ll never ever do that.  If you’ve attended our meditation workshops or yoga retreats, you know I have a very permissive way of practicing meditation, and yoga for that matter.  This meditation here, takes only a couple of minutes to complete, and allows you to come into the present moment – that’s where life happens -, and it fosters an appreciation of your environment.

Wherever you are, name two things you can see, really see them.

Then name two things you can hear, really hear them.

Then name two things you can smell or taste, really smell or taste them.

Lastly, two things you can touch, really feel them.

Notice your state of mind now.  Notice to what degree you have become calmer, and to what degree your thinking is now clearer.  Perhaps you’ll notice physical changes too.  Repeat.  Whenever. Wherever.  The doing is the practice.  Enjoy!

I’m grateful you’ve read until the end.  Please take from this what resonates with you and let me know how you found these suggestions.  And if you have any questions or requests, let me know too.  I hope you can make peace with 2016 and welcome in the New Year 2017 with excitement and positive anticipation.

See you on the mat.

Enjoy this festive season.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

May 2017 bring you what you deeply desire, and much health & love.

With love and gratitude.

Bettina