Three years ago I was living in Afghanistan, struggling with a form of depression that grew out of the shock and trauma of losing my hope for a better world. I knew that I would eventually find my way back out of that vortex of doom and despair, but I couldn't find a foothold.
At some point, without even really understanding why, I decided that more stillness was what I needed. I decided to try meditation.
I'd read somewhere that if you do something for 21 days in a row, then you've set a new habit in place. So I decided to sit and meditate for at least ten minutes every morning for 21 days.
It worked. I formed a new habit that stuck for many months after the 21 days had passed (although not forever and I've had to return to the cushion after periods of absence more than once since then). Meditation practice also helped with my despair. More on that on other posts.
For now, I am remembering the power of those 21 days. Actually, I don't think there is anything magical about the number 21. I think that it was the belief that I was setting up a new habit that made it happen. I could have done it in 15 days or 30 days, as long as I really believed it.
Right now there are areas of my life crying out for a little bit of tender, loving attention. I've been pushing through some pain to 'get things done' and that's not the foot on which I want to start 2010. I'm going to start the year as I mean to go on, by choosing wholeness and well-being and joy.
So in the first moon cycle of 2010 (starting 15 January) I'm going to give myself this gift. I'll spend some time paying attention to what I need more of, whether that be rest or movement, and I'll design a specific set of practices (yoga and other) to meet those needs. Then I'll give myself the gift of following those practices for 30 days.
I'm in the process of creating some special packages for anyone who wants to join me on this journey. More on that in the next few days but it will be a customised process. We'll work together to identify where you are at and what you need more of (more energy, more rest, more ease in your movements, more space in your breath, more power in your body) and then I'll help you design a simple yoga-based practice that you can follow for 30 days. So if you are ready to start 2010 with some serious self-love and care, stay tuned!