Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Turn the Page

"2013 was the Year of the Snake, but 2014 will be the Year of the Horse, according to Chinese astrology," one of my students told me recently.

He went on to explain that the Snake represented, for some, the process of transformation and shedding - sometimes painfully. He also explained that the Horse can represent a lot of welcomed work for some of us and for others it may be a wild ride. He told me that he has been following Chinese astrology for several decades now and found it to be somewhat accurate, but that it offered him something to reflect on and work with, in terms of his own personality. The model has proved useful to him in his personal and professional life.

I know that the Chinese New Year is still a month away (Jan 30 or 31, depending on your calendar), but I decided to reflect on these qualities now, as we turn the calendar page to the next year.


The past twelve months have certainly been transformational for me. I am not the same person that began this weekly blog back in January. Education, loss, success and failure have all shaped my character. I see those changes in my personal relations, my teaching and my business planning. As this year comes to a close, I use a mantra to let go of old fears (I actually say the words, "less fear" during my meditations now).

In my business, I have always strived to be useful: Yoga for people with cancer... Tools for teachers who want to teach yoga to people with cancer... Fundraising to build the tools... All these ideas began because I saw them as useful - first to me, then to others. In 2013, the ideas got bigger. The fears grew, too, but my mantra (and my family!) helped me to stay focused on what I could do, in each moment, rather than be overwhelmed by the enormity of need that exists in the world.


When our son was living at a horse ranch last year, we got to ride horses each time we visited him. On one of those rides, the horses decided to race. I'm not an experienced rider, and I felt out of control as the horse took off. But the stride was so much nicer than a trot, and it felt like we were flying, so I soon began to enjoy myself! It wasn't until I thought about stopping that I became afraid.

I don't know what, exactly, the Year of the Horse will bring. It could be a wild, out of control ride. It could be joyful leaps of weightlessness. It will probably be some of both, and the fear will creep in once I think about stopping. In 2014, I've set up some big goals for myself. I'm leading an extensive yoga teacher training by myself for the first time ever. I'm traveling to Africa for the first time ever. I'm organizing a fundraiser with a goal of $25K for the first time ever.

Leap... Leap... Leap...

Welcome, 2014. Welcome Year of the Horse. Welcome life.