I solemnly swear and other such nonsensical things…

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This time of year can be treacherous and terrifying and all together exhilarating, andyear-after-year we dive-in, head first. The holidays are fun, aren’t they? It doesn’t matter whatyou practice, what you believe in (or don’t) or the reasons behind your particular form of celebration, it will end wreaking havoc on our nervous systems. Anxiety and excitement are twosides of the same coin after all, but there’s so much more to it.

It is entirely possible that your holiday, all of our holidays, will contain all of the happy endingsimaginable and we wish that for each and every one, but it’s what happens afterwards which is

what we’re talking about today. As we begin to slow down we have the capacity to notice any nagging emptiness left behind. We could choose to sit with the emptiness, and listen in hopes of identifying its root-cause; our culture though doesn’t support that process. In fact, in our hustle and bustle society our first inclination is to pack our agendas with too much to do. The intention,to fill the void by engaging in pre planned transformation… wait, what – preplanned transformation???

New Year’s resolutions are an attempt at pre planning our personal transformation; I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most, if not all, resolutions fail within the first month. Any guesses as to why? I believe that it’s because transformation happens only after we’ve acknowledged and dealt with our stuff. I’m supremely guilty of this so there is absolutely no judgement if, like me, you an active player in this game of transformation roulette. But, our bodies: physical, mental and emotional, must do the work before we reap the rewards for true transformation.

The problem, the work isn’t about how many calories we can burn in an hour or how many frivolous expenditures we can cut in a month. The truth is that science is beginning to prove what the ancient yogis knew thousands of years ago, our patterns are ingrained in us as a result of our history and experiences and whatever trauma has been left behind in our cells. Known or unknown we have been affected by our experiences and often in a profound way.

Transformation happens as a result of listening, of becoming intimately familiar with our patterns and then taking steps down the journey. But, it is a journey, so this new year consider, rather than resolving to do be better or make drastic changes, come to your mat or draw a picture of what the emptiness feels like. Then, sit with it, make friends with it and then when you know it, send it on its way.