So, this past New Year's Eve, in the quiet closing hours of 2010, I sat in silence and for a long while reflected back on the year that had past. It was a challenging year on many fronts to be sure; at times scary, tiring, and soul searching. But it was also a year of love, light, prosperity, amazing personal growth, change and clarity (talk about Yin and Yang!).
2010 started out with uncertainty. Someone I love more than anything suffered from complete mental exhaustion and mental breakdown. I don't know if you've ever experienced such a thing, but all I can say is that other than the loss of my parents, it was perhaps one of the saddest, scariest and most challenging things I have ever come up against. The months that followed consisted of a slow process of healing, rebuilding and awakening to a new way of life (an ongoing process we are told). Much has changed as a result-in the best of ways-and out of the darkness of those first few months came incredible, transformation and light (in yoga we call this "tapas", the burning away of impurities, baby!) I am truly thankful for it.
Just as things were beginning to settle down, I had a major health crisis that took the wind out of my sails physically, mentally and spiritually. With the help of John (my wonderful husband), my friends and an amazing Ayurvedic practitioner (Vishnu rocks!), my condition stabilized. Thanks to my yoga practice I am strengthening my body and getting my stamina back. It's been a slow, humbling process, but I'm feeling better and stronger every day. Because of my meditation practice I have refreshed my mind and renewed my spirit. Taking the time to sit and meditate each day will change your life!
What really astounded me was watching how the support of my meditation and yoga practices continued on without pause. Even during the most difficult moments, even during the times when it felt as though I were getting kicked while I was down, the inner stillness was felt with profound clarity. Daily practice kept me afloat and present with what was happening. Yoga and meditation saves me everyday and enriches my life in more ways than I can possibly articulate. This isn't to say that I didn't have my moments of despair or self-pity, I'm human! But daily practice allowed me to see and observe that those not-so-nice thoughts were impermanent.
When I started to get back on my feet towards the end of autumn, a little light started to flicker in me and grow brighter and brighter. In my life "B.Y." (Before Yoga) I worked as an artist and jewelry designer. From the time I was small I was always creating something: paper dolls with my mother, castles made of cardboard, "cars" for our cats made out of discarded boxes, you name it. When I got older the medium of collage resonated with me and it took off from there.
The 365 Journal Project is a project born out of my meditations. I set an intention in my journal on New Year's Eve to work on some sort of artwork everyday. This is what emerged:
The next day I found myself pulling out my paper bits, glue, etc and turning the page in the journal for the next entry, and here I am 16 days later and still going! It is my intention to document a full 365 days of visual mediations. I don't start out with an idea or theme. I simply let the images choose me. I weave them together and when I'm through, the images reveal to me a deeper meaning, a doorway into my inner world, a mirror.
It is my hope to share with you what manifests.
In the meantime, I encourage you to get on your yoga mat and stretch, move, and breathe! Sit in silence for 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes a day. Ask questions of your spirit but don't wait for an answer. Just listen with your heart.