This has been one hell of a year.
A year ago I had just offered to lead a 30 day sadhana with no thought of running an online yoga course. I hadn’t yet taught an Off the Mat course. I had a blog but not a website. I was working on my manuscript but didn’t have an editor. I dreamed of supporting myself through human rights contract work but hadn’t yet made any moves towards getting that kind of work.
In the past twelve months I have:
- created, revised and lovingly perfected the 30 Days of Yoga online course;
- led more than 500 people through the course over five sessions;
- launched this website;
- written more than 100 articles for this site;
- launched Off the Mat, Into the World in New Zealand;
- led three live Off the Mat, Into the World events including two seven week courses;
- signed with a literary agent;
- revised my manuscript five times (and cried during a long anticipated lunch with my agent in New York);
- created a special yoga practice for writers as part of Bindu Wiles wonderful 21.5.800;
- taught my regular weekly yoga classes, continued to co-ordinate the Yoga Sangha community donation classes and offered a series of restorative yoga workshops over winter;
- written dozens of guest posts and interviews;
- contributed chapters to three other books or book proposals;
- raised almost $20,000 for HIV/AIDS projects in South Africa;
- established my independent consultancy doing human rights and development work and worked solidly ever since, including interviewing 45 people with disabilities for a report on the positive contribution to New Zealand communities from unpaid work done by disabled people;
- spoken at development conferences and summits in New Zealand and abroad;
- visited schools throughout New Zealand to talk about Afghanistan, compassion and the power of stories and to encourage New Zealand children to read by ‘breaking the cycle of booklessness':
- been an attendant at weddings, hosted surprise 40th birthday parties, visited friends and family in New Zealand, the US and Europe and moved house three times.
It has been a big year.
I’ve discovered how my unusual mix of passions, skills and experiences can be of real service. (Would you like a side of yoga with that panel presentation on the impact of increasing military engagement in humanitarian work?) I’ve even begun to work out how to support myself to live in this material world while doing what I love, on my own terms.
I’ve said yes more often and I’ve experimented with overwhelm.
I’ve been overwhelmed.
I’ve been exhausted. And I’ve been so excited that I found more than enough energy to keep going in the midst of the exhaustion.
I’ve made new friends and deepened my connection to old friends. I’ve lost contact with people who I once thought I couldn’t live without. I’ve accepted help more often and extended my hand in an offer of support whenever I could.
I’ve explored my limits. And I’ve put it all on the line.
Now it is time to rest. It is time to practice what I preach. To nourish myself so that I can keep serving you all up the very best I have to give.
It is time to retreat for a little while.
So from 24 December until 2 January I will be off-line. I’ll be celebrating Christmas with family and friends, dancing the New Year into being, gardening, walking on the beach and lying on the couch reading.
I’ll be marinating in the juices of all that has happened this year, gathering up my best yoga juju for the January 30 days of yoga course (there is still room if you want to join us) and allowing 2011 to come to life in it’s own good time.
And although I have lots of ideas bubbling up at the moment, my writing tank is running low on fuel. I may have to coast to the end of the year on chocolate and restorative yoga and save some of those brilliant posts for the New Year.
This week however I do have one last change-maker interview and live Twitter chat for 2010. I’ll be talking to the amazing Letha Sandison who founded Wrap Up Africa and whose approach to sustainable development and cancer has captured the attention of the Live Strong Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. Letha inspires me and I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to her.
I also have a couple of really great giveaways for people on my mailing list – a place in a writing course with Sara Blackthorne or a place in a photography course with Irene Nam. If you want to have a chance to win then you’ll need to sign up to my VIP list, choose the “All this and more” option.
May you be well in every way.