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Simplify: A focus for the year

Each year I take time to turn inward and cultivate a focus for the upcoming year. This endeavour I undertake is not the typical New Year’s resolution or even the sankulpa we use within our Yoga Nidra practice. My focus does have life affirming direction like a resolution, but it is much broader. In other words, it is an intention or a focus that creates both and immediate and long-term opportunities and overall personal growth and happiness. I don’t have to wait and strive to a goal to enjoy the rewards.

This year my focus is to simplify. I will take time to notice the dialog in my head, and to see the simple beauty and uniqueness in all. I will look to inject this focus into much of my day. I will take the time to explore the present senses and experience of mind. I will take time to notice the colours of my food, the expansive sky, the smell of the woods. I will endeavour to not over plan too many activities and I will take time to enjoy a friends’ smile. I will take in the pureness of grief or sorrow in the moment. I will clean my closet and give away what I don’t require. I will look to uncomplicate the disagreements with others that I perceive as a big deal. I will watch my mind move and change as I bring in softness and beauty and simplicity even to things that are hard. At times, will my mind be busy or be dull and dark? Most certainly! With practice and employing my focus throughout each day over the year, it will begin to move to the pureness found of the simplicity of the moment. The pattern in the mind will become trained, little by little.

In a past year, I selected kindness. The year of kindness was a wonderful year. To think and act kindlier was rewarding and the more I practiced the easier it became. When I was kind, others were kind too. Practice does develop competency, and I look forward to the year ahead.

I have a natural curiosity and I do see the beauty in the small moments around me; however, I need a reminder to practice being in the moment and not racing forward. Throughout this pandemic I have often found myself saying “when I can do this or that….”. I do enjoy my days, and many new opportunities have arisen during this difficult time but my world, like most everyone else, has shrunk over the last 2 years. I see fewer people, I participate in less activities, and I miss those experiences. I have noticed that when I focus on the present and the simple, my world feels rich and whole. This is where I will find growth, self-understanding, and happiness in this coming year.

If you want to join me in taking on a focus for the year, you think of something that you can do that makes you feel more together or connected, or more present, more supported as you do it. Think of it like seasoning in your life and it makes your day brighter and more vibrant. Strengthen its power by incorporating into all parts of your life. Perhaps at the end of the year we can gather and talk of our experiences!

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