falling in love with 2011, et toi?

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muse for the Tranquil Space newsletter hitting in boxes today . . .

observing the playful wonder of signature style before dinner with friends last night: vintage cowboy boots, 
vintage necklace, TranquiliT leggys, j’adore tee, sparkly tunic, russian h&m hat

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them.
Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.” – Rumi

WelcOMe to January. A new decade, a new year, a fresh start. It’s that special time of the year to take a step back to evaluate where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re heading. Each year I enjoy reflecting on highlights, lessons learned, and dreams for the following year. This process is most cathartic and offers an opportunity to take stock annually to ensure movement in a direction aligned with values.

For yogis this is an important aspect of our practice and it’s called svadyaya – self study – which is one of the moral codes of yoga. I love the above quote by Rumi as it’s the perfect reminder to slow down, reflect, explore, and dig deeper. Pull out your journal, grab a mug of tea (or bottle of pamplemousse rose perrier), and let’s indulge in self-study for a moment.

I began the process via an “End of Year Review” weekend at Kripalu with Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life mid-December and my experience is detailed here on my blog. The post includes additional links to find out more on the process in case you, too, would like to dive deeper into exploration. I also posted a video blog on my end of year review sharing highlights from my planner and art journal. All in all, 2010 was a challenging and blessed year all rolled into one. What are your highlights? Can you bring them together in visual form? Collage, doodle, or simply list them.

Lessons learned: (and continue to relearn – as Pema Chodron reminds us, the same challenges keep reappearing until we’ve learned the lesson they have come to teach us) ask for what you need, find wonder in the simple things, speak with compassion (highly recommend nonviolent communication), keep working with word of the year “spaciousness” and remember it when over-scheduling, simplify. What lessons are you taking away from your experiences this year? Is there a theme that emerged?

Now it’s time to look forward. What do you dream for 2011? For me, it is strategic use of time and energy. Since I oversee five organizations including two yoga studios, volunteer, have a 16-hour/week internship at N Street Village, design and ship TranquiliT eco-collection, “mother” three furry creatures, and am pursuing a Master’s in Social Work, this is more important than ever. A few more of my 2011 dreams include: Daily meditation (join me on Thursdays for my new *mindfulness meditation* class). Travel to Paris and Tokyo. Create (and sustain) morning and evening routines. Do more for the animals. Read 2 books (in addition to school books) each month. Live these zen habits. Indulge in an art retreat (scenes from my 2010 indulgence). Daily sun salutations. Craft inspiring You Tube videos and e-courses. Offer more Tranquil Teens programs through Tranquil Space Foundation. Dance. When you ponder what you want your life to look like December 31, 2011, what do you see? Take a moment to collage, draw, dream, pen, or paint it.

As we cross the threshold into a brand new decade, I wish you oodles of tranquility. Raise a glass to 2010. Honor your efforts. Choose a word or mantra to focus on in 2011. Toast your practice of lokah samasta sukino bhavantu – thoughts, words, and actions contributing to the happiness and freedom of others.

During a recent silent meditation retreat we were told, “you are perfect as you are, you just need a little work.” What a great reminder as we journey into this new year! I like to think that we can simply add dashes of enhancements – like the boosts we add to our smoothies at a juice bar – through practices of self-study and adherence to the above mantra. Always choose compassion.

May you bask in the wonder of 2011. Happiest of new years to you. You are beautiful. And you are full of potential. Relish in being uniquely, fabulously you this year.


Now dashing off to New York for the day: tea time, yoga, raw food dining, and writing. Photos to cOMe. Bisous.