With Deepavali (The Festival of Lights) on Sunday and YTT 200 graduation taking place today at the Ashram, it’s time to CELEBRATE!
Diwali means ‘row of lights’, and is celebrated on the new moon at the end of the harvest. It marks a time of new beginning and celebrants clean house, buy new clothes and share sweets and a meal with family and friends to express gratitude for those relationships and bring them into the year to come. Traditionally the lights and celebration are said to have welcomed Rama and Sita back to Ayodhya, the lamps (diyas) helping to guide their way through the darkness. Deepavali is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness. What a great way to celebrate all of our efforts in yoga practice, meditation, karma yoga, commitment to family and friends, essentially, everything we’ve worked hard at all year that may not have a particular end marker or way for us to honour all of these soft accomplishments.
Akhanda YTT Graduation is also a time of joy, dance and good cheer not only because a month of intensive work and getting a professional certification deserves acknowledgment, but because joyful completion sends the message to our nervous system that we can relax, let go and bask in the feeling that, for this moment, there is nothing to do or accomplish.
Final relaxation at the end of each Yoga class evokes this same reward. Yogrishi Vishvketu says:
“If you skip your savasana, it is like climbing a mango tree, reaching for the fruit, climbing back down with your basket and then not eating the fruit. You give up the pleasure and satisfaction of the journey.”
Of course we savour or dive into the joys and challenges of each part of the journey as we’re experiencing them, but why not take that same attentive approach to completion.
In some ways, we shy away from endings. They bring us toward the unknown. The experience you’ve had is coming to a close. But remember, that even after completion and departure, our experiences are forever a part of us and we re-join home in a whole new way and from a whole new place of being.
But first, before just launching forward into whatever is next for us in the new year that is coming, let us pause and be here for a while, whether at the end of a training, or at the end of a fruitful season or year. Wherever you are in your life, give yourself permission to let your hair down, relax fully and celebrate the accomplishment of today!
I’d like to invite you to take this time now, this weekend to:
- Reflect on all that you’ve done and put time and attention to this year.
- Take pause and write a few of those efforts on pieces of paper.
- On Sunday light a candle on a window ledge or at your ritual space with put each slip of paper beneath each candle.
- Find a way to acknowledge and honour yourself and celebrate. Perhaps have friends over to share reflections on how far you’ve journeyed this year. Put on some music or make music and even if you’re alone, have a personal dance party! This is super popular with the kids at home. Raise your arms, move, shake, hop, hoot! Get ready to mark the end of a decade.
- Plan to hold this space of acknowledgement and celebration until the end of 2019, when we’ll be moving forward and seeing intentions for 2020.