As we move deeper into fall in upstate NY, I am feeling the cooler air and seeing the beautiful fall leaves slowly drift away. I find myself thinking of winter. Preparing for the icy chill and the passing of another year, I am moving into the reflection time that often calls me at this time of year and asking what I’ve learned in 2018. In particular, asking what has been important for me to wrestle with this year, struggle with and embrace. Of course, as our son gets older, my husband and I are deep in cycles of letting go and embracing the new. The shift from infant to toddler time came fast and what it has called out in us as parents and as partners has required us to go deep in our emotional wells. I am learning, and I realize that as I prepare for my upcoming birthday, I am ready to recommit to the practices that serve me so well and encourage me to nourish myself: dancing, writing, meditating, visioning and praying. These are anchor practices for me. They remind me of who I am and what I am about, when I’m not doing these I find myself feeling adrift and unsure. I feel grateful for the pockets of time that allow me to reconnect and remember through these anchor practices. And I am grateful that I am looking squarely into the end of another beautiful and complex year on this earth and in this body.
Meditating along with short Yoga Nidra practices through my Insight Timer app
Short restorative and yin classes on YogaGlo
Connecting back with daily sun salutations (I did (almost) 10 daily throughout 2014)
Planning dates with my husband and utilizing the great care providers we love to watch our son
Responding to writing prompts in my journal shared from Cosmic Cowgirls' Mary Macdonald:
- This is an exercise that the writer Abigail Thomas gives her students that I LOVE. Take any ten year period in your life and write two pages about it using only 3 word sentences. Then choose a sentence that hums for you and write two pages around that sentence.
- I know I should regret it but I don’t.
- It makes me so angry when….
- It’s hard for me to say what I want because….
- People expect me to….
- I feel most in tune with life and myself when….
- I’m so sorry I….
- Tough times have taught me….
- There are limits and mine….
- This taste reminds me of…
It's December 20th, 2016, one day before we head into winter season here in Ithaca. As this year wraps up, I'm thinking about change and new identities I have been called to embrace. This year brought big changes in where my husband and I live, where we work and the expectation of a new family member. While there is much joy and celebration within those life changes, the newness demands more of us than our regular routines in our old home of Brooklyn, NY. We are building a new life, and within that new life, we have to adapt to how our identities have changed, acknowledge who we have become and who we are becoming. I think change can be so subtle. It can impact my well being in seemingly minor ways until one day I find myself spent: craving pizza, comfies, netflix and down time. These are good signs that I am on the verge of a burn out. Ultimately, I am approaching this winter as an opportunity to listen to my needs, not always easy for me especially during the holidays, and slow down the speed of the changes I have been experiencing. Slow down to try and catch up with myself. Slow down and catch up with all of my many selves.