A Theme for the New Year

Welcome to 2014!  Can you believe it's 14 years PAST the year 2000?  Unbelievable to me, but, here we are. This year I've started working with the idea, suggested by Racheal Cook of The Yogipreneur, of a Theme rather than a resolution.  Just a day or so before the end of 2013 I asked my husband if he could at all remember his resolution for 2013 - and of course - he couldn't, and neither could I.  So this year perhaps a theme or an intention would help us keep some forward progress.

As I neared the end of 2013 I looked around myself and realized I'd let some of my relationships fall off a bit. People I wanted to keep connections with were a little further outside my circle than I'd like them to be and others were in outer space.  I realize I've spent the last 9.5 months nurturing the brand new and incredibly important relationship with my little son, but I don't want to lose those closest to me.

So this year's theme is:  Quality Relationships.  The Quality part is especially important because I'm a person who keeps only a small number of close friends and all I want is to stay feeling intimate and connected to them.  I am realizing finally that I don't need "more friends" as I often seem to think I do... I just need to keep up the quality of the relationship with the ones I actually have.  Which means continuously reaching out, sharing, and being seen.

In the last week and half of working with this I've come to see something pretty important for me.  I seem to have a  pattern of focusing on the task at hand so strongly that I miss MANY MANY opportunities to connect.  It might be washing the dishes while my husband tells me about his day but instead of looking him in the eye I keep my head down and only give the smallest 'uh-huh' of acknowledgement.  It might be rushing out the door at preschool pick-up instead of stopping to chat with the other moms.  It might be rushing through poses that I'm teaching to get to the important pinnacle pose rather than slowing down and giving each student specific attention. Or even rushing through the pose I'm practicing and missing opportunities to deepen my relationship to myself and to Shakti-Ma.  It's a pretty darn chronic and all-pervasive habit.  And it makes my life totally task driven and not so much fun.

But luckily, with awareness, habits can change.  Two days ago as I made my way through the grocery store line I chatted even more than usual and found out my cashier was a retired yoga teacher of many years.  That was interesting and something I'd never have found out if I'd kept things at my usual smile and 'Thank you so much' routine.  And my daughter particularly loves it when I stop and listen and look her in the eye while she tells me a story instead of slamming the car door in her face while she's talking because we're on the edge of being late to preschool.

This simple practice of allowing the connection to unfold while letting the task be in the background might just shift all of my relationships this year.  I'm not saying it's going to be an easy feat for me.  I'm just saying, it COULD happen.  We'll see.  I'm just hoping that by the time 2015 rolls around I'm not scratching my head and wondering what on Earth my intention was this year.

Here's to moving forward in Heart.

Do you have a theme or resolution this year? If so, leave it in the comments below so I can cheer you on too!