I did things a little differently this year.
I was on the warm island of Koh Phangan, Thailand, wearing flipflops and a cotton dress, for one. But the main difference was that I really listened to what I really needed, and what’s more, I acted on it. And so, instead of greeting the new year with a blur of hugs and equally blurry renditions of Auld Lang Syne, I welcomed 2014 alone on the balcony of my bungalow, meditating, reflecting, gazing out at the invisible jungle and feeling immensely grateful for 2013 and quietly excited to meet and greet and intimately get to know whatever 2014 has in store for me.
This return trip to Koh Phangan after a five year separation has been an amazing mirror with some unexpected reflections. I found myself in similar situations, responding completely differently – more grounded, confident, aligned with what I believe in and am willing to stand up for. I realised that whereas before I had been searching out healing from every poster on the West of the island (the spiritual seeker’s playground) and feeling pretty lost, this time I was offering healing, teaching yoga, and feeling very at home wherever my sandy feet chose to pause.
Five years ago I had no idea I would be a yoga teacher, have my own theatre company and be working creatively, in line with my passions, values and purpose. The realisation that most of the amazing things that now exist in my life did not come from planning, but from exploring and uncovering what makes me feel most alive, and following that, because I had no choice, because my soul yearned for it and filled my dreams with it – was just the realisation I needed. (Sure, I had to take steps to fulfill many of these dreams, but the steps came so naturally when it was time for them to be taken, without pushing or grasping.) It meant that at the Winter’s Solstice, when I was at a wonderful celebration of the turning of the year from darkness to light, and was invited to set intentions… I didn’t have any. It was the most relieving feeling. I felt completely present, grateful, and trusting that all I need to do is keep walking this path, following my intuition, checking in with myself and trusted guides from time to time to make sure I haven’t wandered… And if I have, perhaps allowing space for a bit of sightseeing along the winding way… Who knows, perhaps our paths will cross in ways unimaginable when you’re only looking straight ahead.
For now, I wish you a year of newness, as well as the comforting blanket of the old when you need it. May you experience all your moments fully, with as much reverence and wonder as we place on these first moments of the year, when all is fresh with possibility – as it truly always is.