Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 9:49AM

I plan to completely possess 2013. Gracefully. And naked.

Some definitions of Grace: elegance; politeness; generosity of spirit; gift of God; pleasing quality; freedom from sin…..A good framework for this year don’t you think?

Like a good wine, my yoga has blossomed and matured with age. Rather than leading me up a staircase of wisdom, exalted to bliss, better than those around me, yoga has stripped me bare. For me, the work has become about finding the courage to peel away all the layers of expectation, ego, vanity, and façade and stand naked and vulnerable, honestly but humbly acknowledging all that I am—including the power-- and OWNING IT (without taking credit for it). This is harder than you think.  And more rewarding, too I imagine.

I’ve noticed that even with all my yogic lessons, in 2012 I still didn’t master true grace. I admit it--I still don’t fully embrace all that I am. If I’m being really honest, I didn’t go many days without mascara! If I can’t even embrace my naked face, how can I embrace my naked soul? I still worry too much about the reactions of those around me—that my choices, words, appearance, lifestyle, opinions will offend, intimidate, or disappoint another person in my life. It is still a struggle not to criticize those who favor phoniness, gossiping, or manipulation. And that darn self-judgment and doubt still quietly, desperately hang on the very tip of the precarious cliff off the mountain of confidence I’ve built. That is…until this year. This year I have a mantra:

I bravely embrace all experiences and relationships and radiate fully the light of my truth, vulnerability, and strength.

In 2013, my approach is to take responsibility for everything. To own it all, with grace. I intend to make everything about me—not selfishly, but in a way that allows me to (gratefully and gracefully) take responsibility for the actions, words, emotions I put into my experience here on earth. In doing this, I free that part of myself that questions the intentions of those around me. I release my need to understand anyone else’s choices (opinions, lifestyle, etc) along with my need for their happiness. In turn, I release you from that need too--you don't need to understand me to love me.

I know it will take courage but I am resolved to stand before each of you, stripped clean and raw, and to generously let the light from my heart radiate through my eyes into your eyes and down into your heart. I am resolved to embrace the power I have and to then embrace all the good that stems from it.

This ain't no sham...I am what I am (thank you Mumford and Popeye for that bit of wisdom!) and my actions are the foundation on which I stand.

I will own this fact too--I hope to inspire you. What if we no longer rely on the myriad excuses that we are not alike but instead repeatedly remember (and then increase and use) those precious bits that link us together? Here's my promise--I'll show you mine if you show me yours. I acknowledge and honor the light in you! lets share and relish in our many, many blessings this year. beyond that, let's acknowlege our role in drawing those things into our lives. 

in 2013, my naked eyes (mascara-ed or not) will reveal my naked soul. gracefully.

“What will your destiny be? It depends on you, or more accurately, on the resolutions to which you are most committed. The vows and promises you hold dear, when you are deeply committed to them, speak directly to the universe, compelling it to act on your behalf. When such conviction is linked to dharma, the aspiration to become the best you can be, you will be led to a life of joyous fulfillment and accomplishment. Strengthened by your resolution, you will eventually learn to see how all things, all experiences—even those that are challenging or might first appear to be obstacles in the path of achieving your desire—are actually helping to guide you toward the fruits of your intention.”
Rod Stryker