Millions of women are marching today to let their voices of protest be heard. Marching towards a better, more equal future. They are turning towards our political reality and confronting the forces in place. How about your inner reality? What do you want to change that may require a turning towards, perhaps with the determination of a march?
After the Holidays and an energetic turning outwards, it is now January and that pushing energy needs a rest. Again it's the natural time for this - rainy, colder, darker, perfect for slowing down and taking notice of how you are and where your are. Tapping into also what you are hoping for in the future. A turning towards the interior life and body, both of which could probably use a big dose of self care. And the future is now.
How do we do this? Not in the same sense of checking something else off our to do list or even in declaring your New Years resolutions, most of which apparently go unnoticed by February.
It's a determined shift in attitude, or a change in perspective, and setting aside the time to internally check in. It's a time for de-cluttering of home, heart, and mind - time for real conversations, quiet and rest, and time to dig deep below the everyday expectations to find out just how we are and what we want for ourselves this New Year. And as a protest March relies on the supportive group, this interior work too may need some outside support - friends, family, or professional resources.
Taking care of a cold requires lots of orange juice, vitamins, extra rest, all because our bodies tell us that we need extra self care when we get sick. How about stress? At times our bodies too are telling us we are stressed and this needs care as well. I have been known to say "I don't really have much stress in my life." Recently various external situations changed overnight creating a lot of stress and Bingo all of my chronic issues flared up. Issues I was sure were not related to stress but turns out stress is a factor, always a factor. Which is why taking the time to be quiet and honestly turning toward what you really need for yourself is the self care your body has been calling for. And now is the perfect time!
Singhashri, meditation teacher and Breathworks trainer, warns against a brash assessment when turning towards. Encouraging us to turn towards with an appropriate amount of positivity or else risk slipping into self defeatism or doubt. The turning towards, yes is choosing to look at what we typically want to ignore and more important, it is creating a space for something else to happen.
So I'm going to be turning towards a fresh sense of self care and wonderment. How about you - what would you like to turn toward and how will you do it? Just as important how will you remember to do it?
Nothing is more intimate than noticing the breath in the body, meditating with no expectations except for coming home to just who this body is and what it needs. On February 12th the San Francisco Buddhist Center will be offering meditation classes again. I will be co-leading the Mindfulness of Breathing, an age old practice of bringing awareness to your breath and I hope you can join me. Take advantage of this fresh New Year, naturally a reflective time, and turn towards the things that are calling you and important for your body right now.
March On !