Reverb 2011: Reflections & Intentions

I said I was going to post some of my reflections and intentions from Reverb 2011 and here's a taste:
December 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

My word for 2011 was “inspired.” The first part of the year I did my best to align my life with doing any and everything that inspired me. And then around June 22, 2011 my world took a bit of a turn and I lost the woman I was the closest to. I drowned in grief and the tornado of emotional flux that accompanies death. 
I plugged onward. 

Still taking action (continued with voice lessons, started running - again, got a membership at a gym, took very good care of myself, got back on a juicing program, took a trip in California with some of my best girlfriends BUT it really seemed that even though I had set the best intention for an INSPIRED year, I didn’t really feel it on the inside. This is very counter-intuitive to my usual M.O. as I’m very much of the ilk to put energy into what you want to attract and manifest in your life. When the mojo isn’t within, go get it without. It didn’t work. However, even though I was going through the actions of living an INSPIRED life, I really didn’t feel all that inspired. Funny how that worked out.
So, my word to encapsulate 2011: space. Or maybe perspective.
I took space from my usual high rhythm of go, go, go and replaced it with a spaciousness that still allowed me the freedom to do what I do (teach yoga internationally, travel, write). Without the stress of being constantly scheduled and committed, the spontaneity of life’s organic rhythm snared me in its grasp. 
I was able to gain perspective that I can chill the fuck out have a much greater sense of ease in my life and still go gangbuster. That there is freedom and possibility with space, with letting go. I never had this sort of perspective before. 
The greatest eye-opening change of perspective was losing my grandmother. I have never lost anyone close to me before. I have never been with someone through the process of dying. I have never sat in a room when suddenly there was one less person there. I have never sat in the company of a dead body. 
This experience really put into perspective that the older I get, the smaller the world becomes and the shorter life gets. Death is a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life. And while life is a very sacred thing indeed, perhaps we need not take it so seriously. 
The word I would like to encapsulate 2012 - well, a few come to mind:
live authentically
art brilliant

I'll keep you posted.
December 2 - Alignment.
Where did 2011 begin? How did this year’s accomplishment line up with last year’s goals? What did you accomplish?

2011 began in a deLUX home in Joshua Tree with a great group of friends. We hot tubbed under a sparkling night sky that was equal to the sparkling champagne (a whole case!) consumed that night. 
It began with a word: inspired. 
I, ironically, had no such goals. It was my goal not to have any goals. I have been in the groove of goal setting and action planning and this last year was more of an homage to the first principle of Anusara yoga: open to grace. To take the time to soften, to let the beauty in. I wanted - and needed - to be spacious. Like a sponge I wanted to absorb my surroundings, to heal, to take a step back and observe. 
December 3 - Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

The one moment that stands out the most where I felt most alive this year was when my grandmother died. I have not ever felt heart ache like that in my life. A physical ache buried deep into my chest that took my breath away....
December 5 - Party.
What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2011? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, and shenanigans.

The Oscars 2011 rocked my socks off! Kim Wilson and Krista McKeachie and AmyLu all flew in because we won tickets to Oprah’s after the Oscar party at the Kodak Theatre. It was a dream come true to see Oprah!
It was a long night saturated with champagne and a very cold morning snaking our way through the lineups but well worth it!
I wore a green frock that I actually bought for my trip to Hawaii because green is Oprah’s favorite color, or so I've heard. That morning, I went with Amy and NIna to Julian Walker’s yoga class, the Ivy for brunch (Andrew and Elysia joined us), a quick shop and then somehow we scored a table at the Roosevelt for the Oscar’s. 
The Oprah show had the stars from a King’s Speech (Jeffory Rush, Colin Firth and others), Anne Hathaway, the guy from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Melissa Leo (best supporting actress) and ended with Katie Perry busting out Firework and LIVE fireworks inside the theatre. Magic!
December 7 - Wisdom.
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
The wisest decision I made was to get on the earliest plane to see my Grandmother. Luckily, I had a few hours with my grandmother before she went into a coma and eventually passed on.
This was the wisest decision because in a moment of fear, panic and stress I tapped into my intuition (with a helpful phone call to my mom) and did whatever I needed to get to my grandmother as soon as possible. I am so grateful I did. 

Intuition never fails.

December 12 - Friendship.
How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
A friend for years, the majority of my life has offered profound insight into my world, my inner life. His worldly experience is a gift and one I am so grateful for in my life. His karma to overcome difficulty has transpired into a great source of wisdom that has been bestowed onto others. Lucky me. 
He reminded me about the workings of my mind, of what it is to be human and how to take the higher path and to evolve to become a greater human being and how to use our obstacles as opportunities for this spiritual evolution.  
December 13 - Lesson Learned.
What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
The best thing I learned this past year is the power of Intuition. Through my grandmother’s process of dying there was a moment where everyone was asked to leave the room and there was an overwhelming, cementing feeling in my body to remain in the room. I’m glad I did. Within a short period of time, she was gone. Forever.
Lesson learned: never doubt my inner voice. 

December 15 - Chapters.
If you divided your life into chapters what would you call them? What chapter are you in now? What chapter is next?

Chapter 1: karma 
Chapter 2: divine be-ing 
Chapter 3: before
Chapter 4: after 
Chapter 5: cosmic connections 
Chapter 6: unearthing 
Chapter 7: ever after 
Chapter 8: a new beginning
December 16 - Travel.
How did you travel in 2011? Where did you visit? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? What does traveling mean to you?
Joshua Tree
San Francisco (Dancing with the Diving with John Friend. AMAZING!)
Skiing at Mammoth Resort 
New Orleans 
Las Vegas
San Diego (road trip with the girls!!!)
Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Perfume Pagoda, Saigon)
Cambodia (Siem Rep, Phenom Penh, Angkor Wat).
As for next year: 
Las Vegas
Traveling is about connection with the human experience. Meeting people from around the world and catching a glimpse into how they live (languages they speak, food they eat, how they relate to the earth) is really grounding for me. Keeps it real.

Traveling also lends a different perspective on life. When I adventure into another place the space from where I live gives me a different perspective on things. It’s like doing handstands: changes your perspective so that you can see things in a different way.
December 17 - Beyond Avoidance.
What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)
Running a half marathon. 

December 20 - Impact.
Where did you leave a mark?
I would like to think that I made a mark in Yoga Teacher Training July 2011. I co-taught with Rachel Scott I’d like to think that we both impacted the students by way of holding space for their learning, growth and transformation on all levels.

December 22 - Ordinary Joy.
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
Lying on the beach and looking up at the mountains and out into the ocean wondering how lucky and blessed I am to be me.
Another was a pizza night with Larry munching on gourmet pizza, drinking wine, laughing and loving. I love that man!

December 24 - Time
If you had 3 more hours in the day what would you do with them?  How do you want to spend your time in 2012?
If I had three more hours in the day, I would use them for more meditation and exercise. Mental clarity and mind focus are a good, good thing. 
December 25 - Expectation
What is an expectation you fiercely held for 2011 that you wish to let go of before 2012? What steps are required to putting it to rest?

I’ve come to a very clear understanding that everyone else may not show up how I want them to. What’s required to put this to rest: Let. It. Go. Let. It. Be.
December 28 - Change.
What changes of this past year were in your control? What changes weren’t? How have you faced unexpected developments and opportunities?

While there were numerous decisions over the past year, choices that I consciously made - choices towards evolving into a better person and creating a better life for myself and my husband - I’m only in control of my response to the outcome of these choices. Sometimes these choices don’t always turn out how they were initially intended and it’s important to roll with it. Or make a new choice.
The penultimate moment of change in 2011 that was beyond my control was my grandmothers death. Through my yoga practice I’ve been working on the capacity to learn how to respond to intensity with grace. The important thing to emphasize is that it is a practice. 

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