2011: What will help you stay on track?

A birthday present wrapped in butterfly paper... A card with a butterfly stone enclosed. Christmas brought butterfly notecards and an Ipad with a butterfly screen saver!

I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s reflections on 2010 and intentions for 2011.  While everyone has such different processes and perspectives, we’re all going to need some help to stay on track.  What will be your go-to source?

Yoga (and a story about butterflies) will be mine, as they have been for years. I must have really needed help this past year because I immersed myself even more than normal. I went to two yoga retreats. One was in Mexico, one in El Salvador, one with teaching in mind, one with learning in mind, one was powerful, one was graceful. Both were transformational.

I don’t expect you to do yoga.  I respect your way and by no means want to force mine on you.  I just hope you have a go-to source that will remind you that you’re good enough, special enough and smart enough to have every single thing on your New Year’s list. In fact, you’re probably selling yourself short. You’re probably special enough to receive more than you’d ever imagine putting on that list.

The physical poses of yoga (asana) is really just one part of a system, or set of tools designed to help us get through this life as gracefully and happily as possible. Another part (svadhyaya) is filling your mind with words, music, movies – whatever meaningful “content” works for you, whatever is powerful enough to replace the thoughts, perceptions and beliefs that might stop you from checking off everything on that list.

So, while you’re contemplating getting on the mat (I can hope, can’t I?), I’ll share a little svadhyaya with you. One of my dearest yoga teachers, Diana Christinson, gave me this story about butterflies years ago and re-introduced it at her El Salvador retreat. It truly helped me begin trusting “what within me was beginning to awaken.”

According to the story, the universe turns caterpillars into butterflies… Do you really think it has anything less in store for you?

I went into 2010 wide open to possibility. I paid attention. 2011 is about continuing with the things that connected, the things that when I think of letting them go, my heart hurts. To me, that’s a sign to keep going.

You see, butterflies are never born on the ground. The tiny caterpillar has to go through a lot of effort. They have to climb a very big tree and crawl onto the scariest branch before transformation happens.

Ever since I started reading this again in El Salvador, I’ve been bombarded with butterflies… I received a birthday present wrapped in butterfly paper, a card with a butterfly stone enclosed… This may not mean anything, but I’m taking it as a sign to keep going. I hope you’ll do the same.


The Tao turns the tides

and changes caterpillars into butterflies.

Do you truly believe that it has less magic,

mystery or meaning in store for you?

Pay attention to what within you is beginning to awaken.

The caterpillar can feel the essence of the butterfly

even before it begins to emerge.

Remember, butterflies are never born on the ground.

This type of total transformation occurs only after

an arduous climb up the trunk of the tree

and a perilous trip out onto the barest branch.

Risk is the cost of attaining anything of real value.

Create your own chrysalis of consciousness;

A protective cocoon in which you realize yourself more wholly.

Dawning as a radiant light,

awakening others in the same way.

– Tao de Ching, 78th passage, as translated by Dorien Israel

What will be your go-to source, your protective cocoon that helps you stay on track this year?