A Question of time

greif intention looking back new beginnings new year time twelth night May 15, 2022



So here we are at the beginning of  2022 and I am on my way into central London for my first day of work meetings and a  bit of  skive in waterstones book shop, on Piccadilly. They are playing 30's Jazz and it seems rude not to stay.  

However this picture of Big Ben sums up what how I feel about how living with yoga is. I love that the time is mid day, beautifully captured if I say so my self. It could have  easily being midnight marking the time that we cross over and leave the past behind us.

There is a message here is about time but also about removing the support and revealing what lies beneath. 

New year and new self.

This evening is twelfth night and the first time that my Christmas decorations have stayed up since I moved to my current home eight years ago. 

My move was supposed to mark the start of a new era for me, as I was approaching fifty it was all about me taking big brave steps into a life that I wanted to live. One with carefree abandonment of all responsibilities and where I could roam the world at my leisure. 

How does that pan out, I hear you ask?

Well, it coincided with my brother being diagnosed with terminal cancer, his death was quickly followed by that of my mother. Coupled with sadness and grief came a rich mix of self reflection, depression and hurt and anger. 

It kind of put a hold on my dreams but dark times are just that. Dark, reflective, usually uncomfortable but always enlightening. That is if we can do it. Facing our demons is no easy thing, but sometimes the shit just hits the fan and down we go.

Grief takes some getting used to because festivals and anniversaries  are there to remind us of the good times. Christmas and new year often being the most triggering and pivotal for most of us at sometime or other.

I always pride myself on being able to let go easily and swiftly move on. It’s taken time and practice to get this right, emotions take time to fade.

The first year after my brother Guy passed away the sadness was palpable, the year after that when my mother had passed I was barely functioning. I could do what I had to, but very little of anything else. 

The following year I was still hurt and angry so I got rid of all the Christmas decorations that my mother had given me. In hindsight I should have given all things related to this time to someone else to look after for me, for a time when I would be happy to see them again. However as I have said I am swift at moving on and just have to accept this.

Over the years I have put up decorations for a bit of time, usually taking them down by new years eve. But I have over the years invested in new decorations and over time new traditions have formed with friends.

Since loosing my mother I also lost two best friends very suddenly and unexpected. Lesley was my forever friend, my best buddy from childhood and Pandora was my beautiful quintessential eccentric yoga teacher friend of over two decades. 

Twelfth night was a big event in Pandoras life, she celebrated all festivals but her twelfth night party was legendary. She  said that  it was the only time people were free to meet in the time of advent. It was always lovely to celebrate with friends after putting away Christmas and moving into what can be in the UK a bit of a drab time.

I want to add now something useful about structure and support. There are times when we are undergoing change. This could be due to Illness, injury or the stuff of life. There are times when we need help and perhaps consciously or unconsciously we build a support structure around us to protect us during this process. 

Then comes the time of the great reveal. It might be a slow process as we take down the self imposed barriers but only time will show and tell the journey that we have being on in this time of healing.

The month of January is named after Janus, the Roman God of new beginnings. He is depicted as with two faces, each looking in opposite directions, His image was placed above entrances and archways with the suggestion that we look back as we also look forward.

So here we are at that time of year when we look both and forward at the same time.

It is important to set a formal date to do this and new year eve is proven to be one of great success. It is a time when people do make big decisions and commit to a plan to change.

I have never been a fan of new year resolutions being in January, mainly because the time of year doesn’t support momentum. It’s the middle of winter, the darkness and dampness impedes our desire for change.  Easter is a more natural time for sometime new. Winter though is a time for reflection and to consider our ‘what next’. Planting the seeds of change or rather considering thoughts.

Yoga means union and balance. It’s a practice to help us find harmony in both mind and body. 

Mindfulness though helps us to live beyond the stretch. Yoga is more of a physical practice, Mindfulness is what helps us to eliminate the desire to react to the drama in our lives, the stuff that causes mayhem, stress and discomfort.

We tend to measure success through our relationship with time and productivity. Asking ourselves what have we done rather than how we want to be.

Maybe this year you can ask yourself how you want to be, and imagine how this will feel. 

Think of one change that you can easily make. 

Set a start date and commit socially to this change share your idea with people who will help you to follow through because it really is easier if we have support.

Set aside regular time to reflect and consider your progress. Journalling is good for this. It’s free to do and will be full of gems as you see your thoughts on paper. You will see how far you have come. This could be a better way to achieve any sort of success and also maintain sustainable and lasting change.

Practice gratitude and forgiveness as you put away the seasons baubles and being to move forward with your new gifts and present of time. 


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