Intention Setting Ceremony - Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020! favorite_border

Conversations from the Heart - December 27th 2019

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Intention Setting

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Do you struggle with setting clear goals for the coming year?

In the last episode of 2019, Rachel shares a powerful practice designed to get you super clear, focused and centered around what you need to release from 2019 so you can call in your hearts true longing in 2020.

You will need a quiet space, a journal, a pen, and anything else that will support you in this sacred practice.

Rachel will guide you through a series of exercises designed to get clarity in all areas in your life from 2019 by using helpful questions as writing prompts to feel into your heart space. Then you will clearly define your intentions for 2020.

What do you want to manifest? What are you looking to create? This is a potent practice that will support you in defining the lessons and blessings of 2019 so you can manifest an absolutely amazing 2020!

Yoga Girl 019173-min


[01:15] Hi and welcome to a brand new episode of the Yoga Girl Podcast: Conversations From The Heart. This is not only a brand new episode of this show, it’s also the very last episode of the year. What?! I honestly can’t believe it! We’ve made it to this point, sitting here recording the last podcast of 2019. I just had a little dance party here in my bedroom, just to really get into the body. I feel so excited to share this episode with you, feeling a lot of energy moving through my body right now, feeling totally present, ready to go. Here we are.

[01:56] I would like to start off by just saying a massive thank you, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you, for listening to this podcast this year. This episode that we’re going to dive into right now for me is a really exciting one to record, because we are going to do … I do this at the end of every year. We are going to do a big intention setting ceremony so that we can really release anything that’s been holding us back, anything we don’t want to bring with us from 2019, and choose to decide a really frickin’ fantastic 2020.

[02:35] So, this podcast is not only a podcast to listen to casually, it’s really an actionable show. So, it means we’re going to do this practice together. You’re going to need a couple of things so that you can really immerse yourself fully in this ritual. I would love for you to be able to sit down in quiet somewhere, so some place where you’re not going to be distracted, where you won’t have people pulling at you, really carving out some time so that you can do this properly. The practice of setting our intentions for the new year is a really really important one. It’s not just one of those things where you set a resolution to do something or to not do something, and then two weeks later you’ve forgotten about it. No. This is a sacred, sacred practice. To decide what we consciously want to create for the next big cycle of the next coming year we have to get really present and conscious with what 2019 actually brought us. So, this podcast is going to be a chance for you to, with action, go over all the major things that happened to you this year, the lessons you’ve learned, the hardships you’ve faced, the things you accomplished, things you’re grateful for. We’re going to get really detailed so that you can get super present around what was this year, right? We’re not going to just have this year blow over and then dive into the next, but we’re going to consciously get present with what we want to bring with us from 2019. What were those important lessons? What are those qualities that we have that are great? And what are the things that we really want to leave behind, and how can we consciously let them out of our system, right? We’re not going to bring anything with us into the new year that doesn’t serve us anymore.

[04:13] So, to do this you need a quiet space, somewhere you’re undisturbed. You can definitely do this with a friend or a family member, your kids if they’re old enough. You are going to need a notebook and a pen, most importantly. And I also love to set up a really sacred space to do this kind of practice. So, for me that means I bring my favorite crystals, crystals that represent releasing the old and inviting the new. I have lit my favorite scented candle right now, I’m using some essential oils to really put my body in the vibration of this creation here, now.

[04:49] Once you have that set up – little altar, sacred gems, notebook, pen, if you want to bring some tea, some water, of course do that – we’re going to do something really important right now. Before we sit down to meditate, to feel into the body and to really go over 2019, we are going to move. And this part is really important. We’re going to move. I’m not going to say we’re going to go do a 90-minute yoga class or go for a run or something crazy, but we’re going to have a three-minute dance party right now, wherever you are. Literally wherever you are. If you’re out for a walk somewhere listening to this on your headphones, you’re going to have a little dance party out on your walk. A three-minute dance party where you put on a favorite song, a high tempo, intense dance party kind of song, and you close your eyes and you let your body go. So, shaking your body loose, dancing like a maniac, channel your inner child, your inner toddler, and just go all out wild, dancing crazily for the length of that song. Or just three minutes is enough. What this does is it will bring you from that level of the mind, where we’re trying to consciously, or intellectually I guess, think about the things that have come our way. It will bring us right into the body, right into the heart where we can feel the truth of everything that’s actually transpired this year.

[06:15] So, getting into the body really is the doorway into that silent space of meditation and contemplation. So, important part. We’re going to do it all together right here, right now. I have a favorite dance party song that I come back to often, just because it’s, for me, the perfect one to shake things loose. The song that I’m going to dance to is called “White Lies,” and it’s by Max Frost. But whatever song you want, go ahead and pick it right now. You can turn it on on your phone, your computer, sound system, whatever you have in your house. Let’s do this! Are you ready? Have your three-minute dance party commence in three … two … one. Let’s go!

[dance and commercial break]

[08:50] And we’re back! Whoo! Let’s … [laugh] take a moment to catch our breath, everyone. So, finding a comfortable place to sit, wherever you are, right away dropping in, closing your eyes. You can place your hands to your heart center and listen. I don't know about you, but I can feel my heart beating inside of my chest. I immediately have a big smile on my face. I found myself just shaking it loose, just now, laughing out loud. That feeling of being totally alive, right? That feeling of being here in this body, here, now. Not thinking about this body, not thinking about this moment, not judging anything, but just being here. Let yourself feel into that place. Then get really, really present with everything that’s moving inside of you right here, right now. You’re feeling the beating of your heart, listening to the sound of your breath, and noticing the sensation of aliveness pulsing through your system in this moment. Capturing this energy here now by feeling into your heart space.

[10:26] What was 2019 like for you? What was this year like for you? And instead of trying to answer that question from the place of your mind, just listening to what your heart is telling you, feeling into whatever emotion is evoked by asking yourself that question. What was 2019 like for you? Feeling into that place.

[11:00] I still have a smile on my face from that dance party. But as soon as I ask myself that question, I can feel a big wave of emotion coming from the center of my heart, just a big wave of emotion where I immediately feel some sadness there. I can feel the tiredness of this year. How overwhelmed I was. How exhausted I was, at times. How hard this year actually was for me. And I can just feel the feeling of that. In the midst of this feeling of being very alive and very much here in the body, I can also sense that wave of, “Ugh, 2019 was a lot.” What is the feeling that you’re experiencing in your chest right now? Perhaps this year brought you tons of joy. Maybe lots of excitement, many beautiful things came your way. The feeling you’re feeling in your chest right now is warm and fuzzy and exciting. Or maybe 2019 was really fucking hard, right? Perhaps the feeling you’re sitting with inside of your chest right now is a challenging one, a heavy one. Maybe you had more challenges than you had blessings this year. Whatever feeling is there, allow it. This practice, this ritual we’re dropping into right now, there’s nothing you have to hide, right? There’s nothing shameful about anything you’re feeling. There’s no expectation that we have to meet about having to be grateful for something, or having to feel a certain thing around any kind of scenario. Or having to meet this idea that we have about how we should be feeling around things that have transpired in our lives. No. It’s just listening for the actual truth that sits there inside of your heart in this moment. So no judgment. You don’t have to hide anything, change anything. Nothing has to be fixed right now. Just let yourself be here.

[13:20] Let’s take a really deep breath in, so let your next inhale be pulled all the way down past your heart, down into the low belly, full, full, full breath in … open the mouth and let it go. And now again, feeling into the heart, into this moment, noticing if there’s a longing inside of your heart right now for something that you know you would like to feel, something you would like to embody, connect to for 2020. And then again, try to not answer that from that place of your mind, but just feeling for that, that there’s a longing inside of your heart, perhaps for something to be different next year. Something you want to create. Maybe there’s something you want to release and not carry with you into 2020. But going for the feeling of what’s there instead of thinking of what makes sense, just that longing inside of your heart.

[14:34] The moment I place my hand to my heart and I feel into that longing for something that I would like to be different, I immediately can sense my heart feeling with this feeling of hope, of opportunity. Knowing that next year is a big, blank canvas, and I absolutely have some control when it comes to what I want to consciously manifest and create for myself in the coming year. There’s something exciting about not knowing about that blank slate, but just feeling what that emotion is that’s evoked inside of your heart when you feel into what next year might have in store for you. Let’s take another deep breath, down past the heart, all the way into the low belly once more … and opening the mouth, let it out.

[15:35] Let’s go ahead and blink our eyes open. Hi! So, let’s go ahead and grab our notebooks and our pens. What I have planned for this ceremony right now, for this ritual, I have some very specific inquiries that you can write down and either actually practice in this moment here now, or you can write them down, you can open up that line of inquiry, and then you can continue it after this podcast, if you want to give yourself even more space and more time. But using your notebook and using your pen while you’re listening to this podcast is a really important one so you won’t have to rewind and look back for certain things, right?

[16:21] The first thing we’re going to do right now I call “2019 at a Glance.” So the year at a glance. And if you think about it, 12 months that just passed, it’s a long time, right? We’ve had 260 days, I think, almost exactly, of really of things coming our way, of big experiences, mundane things, maybe you’ve traveled, maybe you’ve had big milestones met, maybe it felt like a boring year and nothing happened. Stuff has transpired this year. So, 2019 at a Glance. I want you to put that at the very top of your page so that we can get into what happened this year. Where did you go? Did you travel somewhere? What were some highlights that stood out? So if you were, just in your mind right now, go through month by month, right? Where were you this year? What did you do this year? Almost like a calendar, what was 2019 for you?

[17:21] I just did this practice for myself and I always, at the end of every year when I go over, okay, what was this year that just passed? I am always in awe of how many big things transpired. This goes for every year, even for years that I feel are boring or slow, like I didn’t do much, so many things come our way, but we tend to forget those big things, big moments, big feelings that we had, hard things that came our way, beautiful things that came our way. It’s a really important practice to slow down, write these things down, and then take a moment to actually absorb the, “Wow, man! That’s what this year brought me.”

[18:03] For me, for example, so while you journal on your own, for me I started the year going to New York City with my best friend Olivia, which is a trip that I have completely forgotten about, that I started this year with a girls’ trip with her that was full of joy, full of excitement, one of the best trips we’ve ever had. It was so amazing, but I’ve completely forgotten that it happened. [laugh] We haven’t’ spoken about it all year. It was just this amazing trip we had, and now it’s, like, gone. So for me to remember that and then go, “Oh man, yeah, I did start the year with something really fun! Something really exciting. Something I did to nourish myself.” That’s an important thing that I acknowledge, just to really hold onto that piece of, “Yeah, I did start this year off with something really beautiful for myself.” That’s an important highlight for me this year that I had forgotten about.

[18:57] I went to Sweden for another really close friend of mine, Daniela, she got married. Another trip that kind of blew by, that was a beautiful moment for me to relive. Also remembering how hectic that was, to fly across the whole world to make sure I was there. It was only for two days; it was one of those really crazy trips. But I did that. And I had this idea, one I’ve been contemplating this year, things that I feel, areas I feel that maybe I haven’t done so well in? One of those areas was the area of friendship, for me, that actually came up. And then that I should have been more present with my friends. That was a feeling that I had. Next year that’s something I really want to do. I want to be more present and more time with my friends and cultivate the friendships that I have. And then when I did this Year at a Glance, the first two things that I did this year were two big things that I did for my friends.

[19:55] So sometimes the idea we have of the areas in our lives where we are failing, we’re actually trying really hard! And the stories that we tell ourselves in our minds are really powerful, and they can actually overshadow the good things that we’re already working on, the time we’re already spending and the energy we’re already putting into these areas of our lives. So, those are two really good examples of why doing this year at a glance is really important, because it reminds us of what was actually true this year.

[20:27] So what is this year at a glance for you? I’ll continue. I went to Envision Festival in Costa Rica at the end of February. Lea Luna turned two in March, that was of course a huge milestone. Dennis and I, as a couple, went to Colombia in April. This year I did two trauma healing retreats, which for me were big highlights, things I’ve been dreaming to do for years. I actually go to pull off and create and manifest this year two trauma healing retreats. I did two other kinds of yoga retreats, a writing retreat. I graduated 104 students from the Yoga Girl teacher training, which is unbelievable. Something else that really stood out for me this year, we closed our café at the studio. We had to let go of four people, which was so, so hard. I published a book, To Love and Let Go. I recorded an audiobook. I had two book tours in ten cities across the U.S. I celebrated my 31st birthday with a live podcast in New York. What? I’ve almost forgotten that that happened. I have recorded 52 episodes of the Yoga Girl Podcast. I also launched Yoga Girl daily and have recorded 100 … it’s crazy that it’s exactly 100 episodes of the Yoga Girl Daily show this year.

[21:47] What!? These are things I don’t think about, right? They’ve just been accumulating throughout the year. These are big things! Big accomplishments that I would have just blown by without actually giving them a lot of thought at all if I didn’t do this practice just now. What else are some highlights of this year at a glance? We launched the new version of, so the 2.0 version of the website, which was over a year and a half of work. I designed and released a line of jewelry this year. I taught classes in a bunch of places across the world. We kicked off the work that Yoga Girl Foundation is doing, helping women and children. I released an ebook [laugh], “Your Guide to Yoga.” Also recorded a music video that was a lot of fun. I worked with the New York Times for this major article around #MeToo and a documentary around #MeToo in the yoga world. Went to Mexico for Dennis’ Ironman. I started therapy. What? That’s a massive one. And I just said goodbye to my guru, my teacher Ram Dass. These were the things that stood out for me in terms of this year. I feel just looking at this list, right, the year at a glance, almost brings me to my knees in awe of everything that happened this year. And, of course, I think in terms of traveling and in terms of big things, like publishing a book and things like that, those are big things that usually don’t happen to everybody every year, right? I had a big year in that sense. But I also have a very intense mind that tells me the story of not doing enough [laugh], or the fact that I’m not enough, that I should be doing more, I should be accomplishing more, I should be better. And whatever that limiting belief that you might have about yourselves, of course we all have different beliefs and different things, that inner critical voice in the back of our head has different stories to tell each of us.

[23:52] But what’s really beautiful about this practice, putting down your highlights of the year is that sometimes it completely contradicts that voice in the back of your head. So for me that voice that tells me that I am never enough, I don’t do enough, I don’t accomplish enough, and then I get to look at this list, black on white, of, “Oh my god, it’s crazy that I have this thought, this idea looping in the back of my head that I should be doing more. This list is so long, so big, so massive I could cut it in half. If I did a fifth of these of these things in one year I should be feeling accomplished and good about the year that I had. So, it’s a really cool way to actually get a little bit of perspective around, “Man, that story that we tell ourselves is really powerful, and it’s very rarely actually in line with what reality is, of what reality was.

[24:52] So, give yourself some space, some time to get really clear on what 2019 brought you. Write down the calendar, 2019 at a glance, all of those big moments, highlights, travels, trips, accomplishments. Things that stand out that you remember. You can go month by month and see how much you can put down on paper covering all the way until this moment right here, right now.

[25:17] From there we’re going to move on to our Four Focus Areas. This is really important. Of course we can narrow down way more areas of focus in our lives, areas where we prioritize our time or our energy. I think these four areas that I’m going to share with you right now, for me at least, are the most important ones. You can get even more detailed if you want. You can separate them into further categories if you want, if you really have a lot of time here. But for me, the four areas that I focus on every time I set my intentions, or when I review my year, is Home, Mind, Body, and Spirit. And under Home, that area of life is everything relating to your family. Is everything around your home, your kids, your partner, your spouse, your family life, your home life, your pets, everything that you feel fits into the area of Family and Home, right?

[26:11] The second area I call Mind, which is everything relating to work. Everything relating to your studies, if you’re studying. Your career, your intellect, your finances. Your working life, right? The part of our lives that usually transpires from our mind, that intellectual side of our financial lives, of our careers or work. That area there is a really important one.

[26:36] The third area is Body. Around Body, of course, everything relating to health or illness, your body, wellness, fitness, how are you feeling in your body, and how did you feel in your body this year?

[26:48] The fourth and final focus area I call Spirit, and that one embodies everything relating to your spirit and your heart. Your emotions, your feelings, your spirituality, your personal development. For me is a really important area.

[27:05] So let’s go through these four focus areas one by one, beginning with Home. So, when I think of Home immediately, of course, my husband, my daughter, our family unit of the three of us, that’s my core Home, my core Family. But then attaching to that of course is the extended family that comes around it as well. So, my mom, my dad, my siblings, my grandparents, all of my family, and connected to this area of life as well is friendship, for me. So my friends, friendship. People that are family outside of family, right? That have become family in your life. So take a moment to close your eyes, just to feel into your heart a little bit this area of Home. Your family, your kids, your partner, your friends, the people in your life that mean the absolute most to you. And then contemplating how was this area of your life in 2019? Did you spend a lot of time and energy focused on this area of your life? Where in this area did you do really well? Perhaps you had one or a few relationships there where you feel like, “Man, I really had a connection there with a special person.” Perhaps you feel like this year parenthood or motherhood was something you really did well in. Or maybe you feel like, “Man, I worked a lot this year. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend at home with my kids. I feel … something else there. Maybe some sadness, or maybe some resentment. Any kind of emotion that’s evoked when we think about our home and family life. Give it a little bit of space. Especially if that feeling is challenging or hard or feels heavy, or even if you feel a little numb or confused, or you don’t feel much at all. Give that a little bit of space.

[28:56] Was there an area around your home and family life where you felt really challenged in 2019? Where were you stuck? Where did you grow? Did you have a highlight, something amazing that happened, a big high? And did you have a low? Yeah, something really hard, something that … man, that part, something that you almost don’t want to remember. Give yourself a little bit of space just to feel into the area of Home, Family, Friendships. What’s there, and what came your way in 2019? Let’s take a really deep breath in … open the mouth and let it go. You can blink your eyes open.

[29:41] So let’s journal on this right now. You can put at the top of a blank page, “Home,” and then what does this area mean to you? Right? Maybe the biggest piece of Home for you is your friendships, then right about that. Where did you do well? Where did you get challenged? Where were you stuck? Where did you grow? What was a high? What was a low? For me, I can feel 2019 definitely the highlight around my home and family life has been motherhood. Every moment spent with my baby girl, my daughter. This year, she turned two in March. It has been amazing. Amazing. It’s been so much fun. We’ve had, of course, challenges and some tantrums and some difficult things as well. But overall it’s been just such a joy. It’s been really easy to be her mom this year. The first year she was born, so two years ago, 2017, man. When I did this practice at the end of that year, that was hard. It was so overwhelming. It was of course filled with love and joy, but it was so overwhelming, and I had a lot of fear around motherhood that year. This year, this age, going from two to three has been a breeze, actually. Really when I feel into this year, how many beautiful moments I had with her, how every day she’s put a smile on my face. Every day she has put me in touch with my heart. To have that, the blessing of her being in my life, that blessing of motherhood, it’s … I could cry right now because it’s so big, so impactful, so utterly life-changing. And it really is the most important thing.

[31:23] So in this area, definitely for me motherhood has been a huge highlight. And then I can also sense that there are moments where I felt like I wanted to be more present with her. There was a lot of traveling, and the tour around the book that I released, and teacher trainings and retreats where I had to separate from her, where I had to go be somewhere else, that’s been a challenging part around this area of Home, for me, is the moments I couldn’t be with her. And I can also sense some guilt there, a little bit of mom guilt around this idea that I shouldn’t have worked so much this year. But I think the last couple of months I’ve done a lot of work around this area, and I feel more free, more spacious. I’ve done my best. Really, I’ve done my best. In terms of motherhood, of being Lea Luna’s mom, 2019, I’ve done a really good job.

[32:18] That feels good. It feels good to say that. It feels good to write that down. It feels good to acknowledge that for myself, yeah. So what about you? If you’re a mom or a dad, what was that like this year? If you’re not, if you don’t have kids, what does home mean for you? What is that area of your life? What’s your relationship been like with your parents this year? Do you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, a spouse, partner? What’s that been like? I can sense in one area of Home, for me, my relationship with Dennis this year, we’ve had a lot of struggles, especially around me feeling overwhelmed and being sick. We have definitely hit up against some hard moments in 2019. It’s also propelled us on this big path of healing. So, looking at it now, sitting here at the end of December, all of the challenging moments we had with each other this year, it hasn’t been bad at all. It’s actually been really really good. Because we’re in a place now where we are much closer, I think, than we were at the beginning of the year, and where we are all, or both of us, doing our own work in our own way. So that feels really good. Give yourself a few moments here just to get really clear on this area of your life.

[33:38] And then, of course, friendships for me, I was sharing that I feel I didn’t do so well in that area in 2019, I was too busy, too overwhelmed, too tired, too sick. But then when I did my 2019 at a Glance I realized that, hey, I did put a lot of effort in for my friends this year. It’s just that I tell myself it doesn’t count. But it counts! It was a hard year for me. I tried really hard. I really did. The learning I can sense from that is I would love to have more space to continue to cultivate my most important friendships, to nourish my most important friendships, to continue to bring energy in that area of my life, and to not forsake or forget or de-prioritize friends, because I do that fairly easily.

[34:27] So take another few moments to really journal on, get into, meditate on, contemplate this area of your life. You can, of course, at any moment of this podcast pause the podcast to give yourself much more space to write. Let’s take a full deep breath in … open your mouth, and let it go.

[34:50] Okay, so let’s move on to the second area, which I call Mind. So, if you want you can close your eyes, and just to feel into the body right now. With Mind I mean everything relating to work. Right? Your work life, your career. If you’re studying, your studies of course. Your level of abundance in life. How has your financial situation been in 2019? If you’ve been studying, what have you learned? In your working life, do you feel like you’ve been motivated this year? Have you had some growth this year? Did you work hard? Did you feel lazy? Did you have a loss in that area of your life this year? Did you feel like you didn’t accomplish what you set out to accomplish? Just take a few moments to not just think about your work life, your career, your studies, your financial situation of 2019, but to feel what that response inside of your heart is when you focus on this area of your life. Just noticing immediately what comes up. Perhaps you had a great year work wise and it’s been easy, you had flow, you had lots of abundance, it’s been great. Notice that, what feeling is evoked just sitting here right now? Perhaps you felt like this year no matter how hard you worked, you could never catch up. Maybe no matter how hard you worked, it was never enough. Maybe you felt totally overwhelmed. Maybe work was where you put most of your energy this year. And just give yourself a couple of moments to first feel into that. Let’s take a big breath in. Open the mouth, let it out.

[36:43] Let’s start a fresh page so you can journal on Mind. Work. Career. Studies. Finances. What has this area of your life been like in 2019? Where in your working life did you do well? Where in your working life were you challenged, were you stuck? Did you have a big lesson around that area of your life this year? Did you grow? What was a high? A big thing that was actually good in your work life that happened this year? And what was a low, something you’ll remember as, man … I wouldn’t want to do that again. Give yourself a bit of space to really journal on this and see how deep you can go. For me this year my work life definitely has had that bulk of my energy, the bulk of my attention, the bulk of my time has been spent in this area of my life. And when I feel into this area of my life and what it was like in 2019, the immediate feeling I get is it was too much. Way too much. Way too much. And I recognized this already at the end of 2018, but it was already planned, I was already on this big freight train moving 200 miles an hour, and this year I couldn’t slow it down. I did the very best I could with what I had this year. That feeling of being overwhelmed, of being overworked, of the feeling of not having a choice, that was a feeling I had a lot around my work area, my area of Mind this year. Of course, when I say Mind, it means from our intellectual mind, the work we put in. Or if you’re … whatever your work life looks like, that idea of, “This is my work, my career.” Of course it also connects us to our body and spirit and our hearts, all of these areas connect in our home life too.

[38:40] For me when I put too much effort into this part of my life, I can also sense that the other focus areas, they start to slip. I compromise them by working too much and too hard. And that feeling of not having a choice, it’s a really big one. Having had commitments and big things already planned, already committed to. And then when I got tired, when I got sick, when I felt overwhelmed, when I felt burnt out, that not having the choice to say no, that’s a feeling I had almost all year. That I just had to soldier on. I had to keep going. And I think that’s a huge, huge, huge piece that I’m taking with me to 2020 is not repeating that. Making sure that I give myself space in 2020. Making sure that I give myself the freedom I need to choose what’s best for me in that moment. That’s a huge one.

[39:38] So, at the same time, especially when I look at 2019 at a Glance, I think 95% of that whole list was work-related. Even though I had such a hard 2019, I didn’t cancel a single thing. That, I think, should go at the top of my list of accomplishments of 2019. I didn’t cancel anything. I didn’t, at least to my knowledge, disappoint anybody. I fulfilled all of my commitments, did all the things I set out to do, and I did them really well. Even in the moments where I felt super tired, exhausted, sick, I did it and I did a good job. So it’s almost like this practice gives me permission to pat myself on the back a little bit, of, “Yeah, good job. Look at that.” So I can … hopefully we can take the lessons from the hardships that 2019 brought and we can bring into 2020 the blessings that come from learning those blessings, so we don’t have to repeat any of the things that were really hard that came our way this year.

[40:47] And that’s the point, right? That’s why we are challenged. It’s why we’re faced with super hard moments, super hard things in our lives, so that we can learn from them. So that we can continue to grow and continue to become better people, happier people, feel more at peace so that we don’t stay stagnant and stuck. So I think this practice is super important.

[41:08] Give yourself a couple more moments to journal on your work life, your career. Especially at the bottom there, listing a high and a low, that’s a really important one. Let’s take a really deep breath in … open the mouth and let it out.

[41:32] Moving on to our third focus area right now, which is Body. This, of course, is a big one. Super super super important one. So let’s close our eyes and again feel into the body, feeling into your home, your actual home, this place where you reside every moment of every day. Your physical shape, this temple that is your body. And this area of our lives includes our health. How was your health in 2019? How did you feel in your body in 2019? What was your level of wellness, of fitness? How have you moved your body this year? What have you been eating? Have you been taking care of your body this year or have you not? Have you been super healthy or have you been ill, have you been sick? Have you had any pain in the body this year? Have you had recurring themes of illness or disease or pain? Or what about your energy levels? If you could just feel into what was my body like? What did it feel like to be in this body in 2019? Did you have a lot of energy? Or was 2019 a year where you felt pretty tired? And was anything manifested through the body as a result, perhaps, of decisions you made in the other areas of your life.

[42:56] So, for instance, if you put a lot of energy, or if you exerted yourself a lot in your work area of your life, how did your body respond to that? Give yourself a moment just to feel into the body right here, right now. Sometimes while just contemplating that we can sense in the body a special kind of response. Perhaps a certain area of your body that gets a little warm or starts to tingle a little bit. You might feel energy moving in one specific area of the body, or your heart beating a little faster, or a temperature change, or just a feeling of something somewhere. How did you take care of your body and your health this year? Let’s take another big breath in … open the mouth … and blink your eyes open.

[43:56] So starting a fresh page, putting at the top of that page, “Body.” And then beginning to journal on how you took care of your body in 2019, how you felt in your body in 2019. So when it came to living in this vessel, right? Did you have any special challenges around your health in this year? Did you perhaps feel really good in your body? Did you have a really good year health-wise? Did you do something special this year to take care of your health? Did you make any changes in terms of how you move your body, or what you’re putting into your body this year? Let’s see how far we get journaling on this. Did you have an area where you were really challenged? And did it force you to grow? What was a highlight for you when it comes to your health this year? And do you have any moments that felt really low and that were really hard?

[44:58] As you journal on that, for me this year of the body, wow. 2019 was the first year of my life where my body said, “No.” Immediately I get emotional just saying that. I could cry right now. 2019 really was the first year of my life where my body said, “No more.” And that’s new for me. I’ve never in my life not been able to keep up physically. Of course I’ve had moments where I’ve been unwell and had pain and all of these things, but 2019 really was the year my body said, “I don’t want to do it this way anymore.” So all of my big learnings, ALL of them this year came through the body, from my body speaking to me really really loudly. I know I have been pushing myself hard for so many years in a row, exerting myself. I’ve had my output be much higher than my input. For a really long time. I’ve been used to being able to push my body hard. I haven’t had to actually learn the true meaning of rest, because my body has been able to always keep going. I have a lot of fire inside. And 2019 was the year my body said, “Uh uh. Let’s learn how to rest now. Let’s learn the true meaning of slowing down.” I was sick this year. I was sick for sooo many months in a row. Super, super ill. I had the cold that never ended. I had a cold that lasted for almost six months. I made a lot of changes in terms of how I treat my body this year. I had months without any caffeine, without any alcohol, without any sugar. I tried different kinds of things in terms of things that I was hoping would improve my health, my well-being, to keep me from being ill. I did celery juice for months, I did raw food for a long time, tried cutting out certain things from my diet, tried adding other things to my diet. Took a lot of vitamins, got a new water filter. [laugh] In terms of health, there was a lot of things that I kind of went round and round in circles to try to make my body feel better when actually the only thing I really had to do was slow down. I think the big lesson for me in terms of body was that all of my ailments, I mean, 99% of all of my ailments, all of my illnesses, all the pain, all the struggles that I felt in terms of my health came from me burning the candle at both ends. So it doesn’t really matter, at least for me personally, how much I focus on eating perfect things, or being super healthy, or cutting out things that are “not great” from my diet, which is a whole concept that I don’t really believe in, actually. All of those things, they were just scratching at the surface when for as long as I continued to keep the pace that I was keeping, not listening to what my body was telling me which was, “Stop! Stop, stop.” All of those things I did and tried so hard to do, it was barely making a difference. And it wasn’t until I actually stopped, right? Took a breath, slowed down. Really made that change in my life. Then immediately everything else started easing up.

[48:30] So for me the challenges around health this year were too many to count. But the lessons were as many. And if it’s something I really want to bring with me from that learning of 2019 it’s to get better at listening to the body and not just listening to the body when it starts to hurt. Which is how I’ve done it in the past. But catching those really subtle nuances of day-to-day knowing when, “Okay, I need a little more rest right now. I need to go to bed a little earlier so I have more hours of sleep right now. Perhaps I’ve taken on too much, let’s say no to something so I’m not so overwhelmed.” That daily, every day, constant tuning in and then acting accordingly, that’s something that I am going to take so seriously next year, so so so seriously in 2020. Taking good care of my health. Without our health, you don’t have much. It’s one of those things that we take for granted until suddenly we don’t feel well. So give yourself a couple of moments there to really see what 2019 brought you in terms of body, of health, of wellness or illness. What was a high? What was a low? What was a lesson? What was a growth? Let’s take a big breath in … open the mouth and let go.

[49:56] We’ve made it to the fourth and final focus area, which is Spirit. Let’s again close our eyes, and if you want to place your hands to your heart for this one, just so you can increase that connection between your mind, your body, and your heart, your emotional heart. Feeling into this area of your life. And this is an area, I think, for a lot of these kinds of year in review, there’s a lot of ways of going about this. This is one area that people really often overlook. People usually focus a lot on work life and maybe hobbies and goals met and things like that. For me this area is the most important one. They’re all connected, but this one is … make sure you don’t miss contemplating this area of your life.

[50:43] So with Spirit I mean your emotional well-being. Your heart. Your feelings. Your personal development. The steps you’ve taken in your life to learn more about yourself. That self-inquiry, that contemplation, meditation, therapy, sharings, journaling, this kind of work that for me plays such a central role in my own life. Feeling into the body, how did you take care of your heart in 2019? What did you learn about yourself in 2019? In all those other areas of your life, that body, that mind, that home, what did that teach you in terms of what’s actually true for who you are? And this is the cool part, because this part of our life, this is the area that can change everything. Focusing more time and more energy around feeling our feelings, and around learning about our triggers and what actually sends us down these spirals of drama in our relationships, or this idea we have about who we are, or that feeling of not being good enough. All of this relates to our emotional well-being. So what sort of steps did you take to nurture yourself in 2019? Overall, what was that feeling of the year? Where did you do well? Where were you super challenged? Maybe you felt stuck in this area of your life all year. Were you connected to your heart this year? Did you give yourself space to feel, even if that feeling was hard or sad or frustrated or angry? Or did you cut yourself off from your feelings this year? Did you talk about your feelings with someone this year? Did you have that practice of opening up, of sharing? Or did you keep all of those hard things to yourself? Overall, this area of your life is what’s going to determine did you feel like you grew? Did you feel like you could really give yourself that loving awareness? Did you allow yourself to be the way you are this year? Or did you bend over backwards trying to please other people? Did you balance your giving with your receiving? What did you learn about who you are? Let’s take a big full breath in … open the mouth, and let something go. You can blink your eyes open.

[53:22] One more time, finding a brand new page, at the top of the page put Spirit and start journaling on all things heart, emotion related. Personal development. These areas of our lives that are so important. Perhaps you had some special tools this year that you used for your personal development. What were they? Maybe this podcast was one of them. Maybe you’ve read special books that have really helped you on this path. Perhaps you had a teacher or a mentor or a friend or a therapist or a psychologist or someone that helped guide you this year. Or maybe you didn’t, yeah? Maybe you felt like you didn’t have enough resources. Maybe you felt all alone. Whatever the truth of this area was for you in your life this year, write it down. And get really detailed if you can. Where did you do well? Where did you grow? What was a high? And where were you challenged? Where did you feel totally stuck, like, “Man, I can’t figure this out!” What was a big low this year?

[54:26] For me, I can … I feel really good and really bad [laugh] when it comes to this area of my life this year. The reason I feel really good is because I think 2019 was the year I contemplated my emotional well-being more than I have in a long long time. That’s the cool thing about having a hard year is that it forces you to look at everything that isn’t working. When we have a super easy year and everything is easy-going, then we’re not going to feel as propelled to continue to grow either. If everything is butterflies and rainbows, chances are we’re probably not going to evolve much either. So, hard years make us grow as human beings, which is great.

[55:12] This year I … a huge high in this area of my life is I’ve started therapy. [laugh] I have talked a lot about this on this podcast and how much it’s helped me in such a short time. I feel really proud of myself that I started therapy, that I’ve committed to therapy, that I continue my sessions every single week. Not only in the weeks where I feel like things are hard, but also in the weeks where I feel like, “Man, I don’t have anything to say this week.” And what I’ve come to find is that there is always something there. There’s always something there. And I’m still just scratching at the surface of figuring out all of those things that have transpired in my past that led me to be the type of person that I am today. Figuring out what’s in the way, figuring out what is the way. So I feel good in a sense of I did a lot of work in this area of my life this year. I feel like I have grown a ton. I feel like I … I don’t want to say I’m a bigger person. I feel like I am a kinder person to myself thanks to the work I’ve done in this area in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time through this podcast, through retreats, through trainings guiding other people into their hearts, and every time I do that I guide myself into that same place as well. So that also feels good, like a high. Like I spend a lot of time practicing that.

[56:35] The low of this year, I think, is just that overall feeling of the year being really hard. I had a lot of tears shed this year. I had a lot of pain felt this year. I had a lot of moments of despair this year, for the first time in my life really, I experience panic attacks, anxiety in a way I never ever had. A kind of physical response of feeling totally trapped in my body in a way I never have my whole life. So all of that, of course, feels like a low of the year. But contemplating it now, it’s almost like, “Man, did I learn to touch all the facets of my emotional self this year? That’s kind of cool.” It’s a cool thing to be able to sit with that kind of sadness. It’s really interesting, fascinating thing to get to know anxiety, to feel that part of myself that, yeah, okay, that’s a part of me too. It’s not just something that’s for other people, but yeah, there’s a part of me that gets anxious, that feels stress, that feels sad, that feels angry. So I think part of this process of having those experiences this year, or being forced into those areas of myself this year means I’ve gotten to know myself in a way I never have before. So even the low of this focus or this area of my life is part of the high, if that makes sense.

[58:05] So give yourself a couple more moments to really feel into that emotional heart, your personal development, your feelings of the year, you know? Your highs, your lows, your spirit, your heart. Let’s take one more full breath in … open the mouth and let go.

[58:35] All right! So, good job! We’ve completed our four focus areas of our lives, so our Home, Mind, Body, and Spirit. Of course if you feel like there is one of those areas where you really want to deepen, where you feel like you just opened up that inquiry, you can of course pause this podcast whenever you need to just to deepen and continue a little bit further. Really important that you get to that place in your heart where you feel like this area of your life, of 2019, feels settled. But if there is a lesson to learn that you can really write that down and get super clear around what it was, right? If there’s an area where you feel super confused, or man, there’s something there but I still can’t really get to the heart of it, what was I supposed to learn? Then sit with that a little longer. Perhaps just write that question down, “Why can’t I figure this out?” So that you know, “I have an area of life that I want to continue to inquire into next year as well.”

[59:33] So now that we’ve felt into these focus areas of our lives, of course we have other areas of our lives as well, but for now I want us to get into the overarching themes, the overarching feeling of everything that was 2019. So, without focusing on one specific area of your life, but overall, as 2019, the way it was, what was your biggest challenge of the year? And this is an important one. What was your absolute biggest, number one challenge of 2019? Perhaps you had a situation that came your way, one experience that was super hard, super challenging in your life. Perhaps you had a relationship that imploded. Maybe you had someone in your life pass away. Perhaps you went through grief this year. Maybe the challenge wasn’t something that happened to you or something that came your way, but perhaps it was a pattern of something, something that recurred again and again and again, and it was that overarching feeling of, “Man, that was a challenge that came back.” Maybe your biggest challenge of 2019 was something inside of yourself, right? Maybe you’re self-sabotaging or not treating yourself well. Take a moment to write: My biggest challenge of 2019 was … and get really clear. My biggest challenge of 2019 was …

[61:01] For me it’s … I could write too many things to count, because I felt like I had so many challenges this year, but they all relate to the same thing, which is I burnt out. I was overworked. 2019 I worked too hard. I did not have enough space. I didn’t have enough freedom. I had thing after thing after thing after thing. 2019 my biggest challenge was I burnt out. I didn’t have enough energy. I didn’t … couldn’t catch up no matter how hard I tried. Really 2019 was, man, I was overwhelmed. That was my challenge, my biggest challenge of 2019 is I was overwhelmed, and I continued to be overwhelmed all throughout the year. I tried really hard to not be overwhelmed, to slow down, but it came back and it came back and it came back. It was definitely a recurring theme of challenges.

[61:58] A really interesting question to pose after that, so my biggest challenge of 2019 was … you know, was that a recurring theme? And how did this challenge help you grow? So you can write in your journal, “Thanks to this challenge I learned …” For me it’s a really easy answer, actually, because I’ve been over this for so long now [laugh], but thanks to me being overworked, thanks to me being overwhelmed, thanks to me getting totally burnt out in 2019, I feel like I am actually learning the true meaning of slowing down. Really learning it. Learning it in my bones, in my soul. Not just the idea in my mind of, “This is what self-care means. I just need to do more yoga. I need to take more baths.” No no no. That cellular shift in side of my being where I really learn that no, I can’t continue this way anymore. So I’m getting to a place, I’m not 100% grateful yet, because I’m still processing this year, but I’m getting to that place where I can so clearly see that, okay, it had to be this way. It sucks that I’ve been this burnt out, that I’ve been this sick, that I’ve been this low. It sucks. But I made it happen. I created that. I set my own schedule. I did all of this. I am the one who has kept this pace. And I am also the one in charge of changing something, of slowing down. So already I feel wonderful about the fact that 2020 I have one single retreat, end of February, and come end of February I’m going to have one whole year, 12 solid months until February of 2021 without a single group, without a single training, without a single retreat, without any big pressure things. I’m not going to do a tour or big classes or any of the things that normally bring about any feeling of stress, or like I really have to exert myself to hold something together. None of that! And that’s a strange thing for me. That’s a completely different, 180-degree shift of what my years normally look like. 2020, I’m going to have space. What?! So that’s how the challenge of 2019 helped me grow, because I learned that, I made a massive change.

[64:22] So what about you? Get really clear on this challenge. Get really clear on how it helped you grow, what you learned from this challenge, and (extra important) what from that challenge, from that learning can you bring with you into 2020? That’s a really important one to journal on.

[64:40] Our next question is, of course we’re going to flip this into the positive as well, what was your biggest accomplishment of 2019? What was your biggest accomplishment of 2019? You can write on a fresh page if you want. My biggest accomplishment of 2019 was … And feel into that. And let’s journal maybe even more than you did on the challenges. It’s easy to focus on the things that are hard, the things that we feel like we didn’t do well. It’s also so important to get clear on the amazing things that you’ve pulled off in 2019, especially if it was a hard year. Don’t forget, you also had great things come your way. You also pulled amazing feats off, right? It doesn’t have to be this idea we have of what is an accomplishment. For me, of course, I wrote and published a book. That feels like an accomplishment. But actually a bigger accomplishment, for me, was I was a really good mom. That touches me more deeply. That I was a really good mom in 2019. I spent a lot of time playing with my daughter, taking care of her, being present with her. I put a lot of intention and effort and love there, right? I was a great mom. I did good as a mom! Owning that, for me, is a bigger accomplishment than publishing a book.

[66:00] So it depends on what really stirs your heart. That’s why this ritual, this ceremony is so important, that you continue to connect to your heart center again and again so that you can feel for the answer there instead of just thinking of the idea of what the answer should be. So, 2019, overall, what was your biggest accomplishment? Journal on that. Did you have a recurring theme of accomplishments or successes? Did you have things that came your way again and again and again and things just worked out? Perhaps one area of your life, everything just flowed. Man! Acknowledge that. Honor that. Write that down. And then a really important thing to add to this question, how did you get there? How did you get to that accomplishment? Who helped you? How did you do it? How did you pull it off? So acknowledging the resources that you have, the support that you have in your life, the qualities that you have inside of yourself that made you able to create that that actually allowed for you to accomplish that. So don’t just swoop by it so quickly, but take a moment to sit with that accomplishment, give it space, honor it deeply. Honor yourself. You can, of course, press pause on this podcast to continue journaling. I have a couple more questions we’re going to move through. You can choose to answer all of them, or you can just pick one or a few that you feel really resonate with you.

[67:20] The next question is: What was a mistake you made in 2019? Perhaps nothing comes to mind. Perhaps you felt like, man, yeah, there was an area of my life where I totally fucked up. I messed up. I totally did. I did something that I wished I hadn’t done. What was a mistake you made?

[67:42] Next question: What was a wise decision that you made? Take a moment to feel into that. What was a wise decision that you made, something really smart that you chose to do in 2019? Perhaps you decided to change something, perhaps you decided to ask for help somewhere, a wise decision that you made. Give yourself some space to journal on that.

[68:04] Next question: What are you proud of from 2019? Oh! What are you proud of? You look back at the year, just feeling into the year as a whole, what’s something you’re really proud of? I immediately get a smile on my face when I pose that question to myself. What am I proud of? I’m proud of the fact that I pulled it off. I survived this year. I had moments early on in this year where I looked at my own schedule, already feeling totally burnt out, feeling anxious, feeling stressed, sick. Feeling terrible. Really terrible. Looking at the schedule I had of the year, of the things, the commitments I had, the groups I had, the tours I had, the big, big, big, high-pressure things that I had to do. And I had moments thinking, “I’m never going to make it. I’m going to collapse; I’m not going to make it.” And here I am, it’s end of December. I made it. [laugh] I made it. I didn’t cancel a single thing. I made it, and I’m really fucking proud of myself! So what are you proud of this year? Write that down.

[69:16] Next question: What did you set out to do but failed? Or, what did you set out to do but didn’t complete? Or, what was a goal that you had that you didn’t meet? It’s important to honor those things as well. Perhaps that’s a goal that you know you want to carry into next year, or perhaps it was a goal that you had for the year, or something that you wanted to do, but then you realized that actually it wasn’t that important. Perhaps something else came in the way, or perhaps on the way to that dream another dream came along and you went that way instead. What was something you set out to do but didn’t really quite pull off? For me, immediately, something that comes to mind is at the beginning of this year we really had the goal to make our café, our restaurant, Nourish, here at the yoga studio, to make it really profitable, to put our efforts there, to find a great manager to make that part of our business that we loved so much, to really make it run smoothly. It didn’t work. Couldn’t do it. We tried and tried and tried and tried, and at the end we had to close. We had to let go of four people in connection to closing the café. It felt like failure completely. It was something, I know a big goal that we had set early this year to really make it work, but we couldn’t. We couldn’t. And for me there’s a lot of learnings there. There’s a lot of lessons there as well in terms of I can’t choose to succeed in every single area of my life. I have to focus on the areas I’m really good at. I have to focus on the areas that feel maybe natural to me, maybe the areas where I have some flow. Sometimes I come across an area of my life where I have obstacle after obstacle after obstacle, and just life is kicking my ass in that area of my life. But I keep trying. I keep banging my head against the wall, trying the same thing, expecting a different result. Where, hey, the lesson there is sometimes you’ve got to let stuff go. Sometimes you gotta … something’s gotta give. You’ve got to let something go. Put something down. So what was something that you set out to do, a goal that you had set but where you failed or where you didn’t complete or accomplish it?

[71:31] We’re getting to the very end of this ceremony now. Next question. This is, of course, something that I practice every single week, a big one. In 2019 what are you most grateful for? Of all the things that came your way in 2019, all those big moments, big blessings, wonderful things that happened, beautiful relationships that you had, what are you most grateful for in 2019? Take a moment to sit with that. You can close your eyes and look for that place of gratitude inside of your heart, an area, an experience, a person perhaps that you’re so grateful for you could almost cry right now. Maybe it’s something you pulled off, something you did, a quality you have. Maybe it’s someone in your life, a person or relationship. Perhaps it’s something wonderful that happened. What are you most grateful for, 2019?

[72:31] Next question: What did 2019 teach you? What did 2019 teach you? Imagine that at the end of every single year you were able to write down in one clear sentence, “This year taught me [and then you fill in the rest]. This year taught me …” How amazing would it be to look back at that every year of your life, just to see, “Ah, this year taught me this. 2018 taught me that. 2017 taught me that.” What did 2019 teach you?

[73:07] I kind of, imagine if we could, at the end of our lives, if we had a book. We have this journal where just every page was what each year of our lives taught us. How amazing would it be to look back at that? Oh! I get goose bumps just thinking about it. What did 2019 teach you? This is a really important question. Really really important. I get all mushy just thinking about it. Because there is a lesson there. There’s a big lesson there. 2019 taught me the value of my health. 2019 taught me the importance of slowing down. I think, honestly, even though I feel like I failed in this area, 2019 taught me to take care of myself. 2019 taught me to put myself first. Yeah, that’s it. What did 2019 teach you?

[74:03] We have our final three questions to answer around 2019. Next one is what needs to be let go of? What is something that happened in this year, something that happened in 2019 that you want to release, that you want to let go of, that you want to surrender, that you want to clear from your system. For this one what you can do is you can take a clear page in your notebook, journal on it, get really clear of something you want to let go of, something that happened this year, maybe someone hurt you this year, maybe someone betrayed you this year. Maybe an area where you fucking failed and you hate it and you’re sick of it. Ugh! It’s like that feeling of, “Man, I want to release this!” Maybe something awful happened and you want to let that go. Take a clean page, write that down, journal on that. And then a great ceremony to have, maybe take a moment to pause now or maybe later tonight, sometime before the new year. Have a mini-ceremony where you burn this page. It might sound silly because it’s one of those things maybe you see in a movie or something, but honestly writing something down that you want to let go of and then watching that shit burn, disintegrate, and become nothing, it’s a really powerful experience to have. And it’s really easy. You can write it on a tiny little note and then burn it over a candle, over the stove. Somewhere safe, obviously. Not in your bed or outside if it’s dry. Somewhere safe. What needs to be let go of from 2019?

[75:34] For me this is so clear. The feeling that no matter how hard I try it’s never enough. Fuck that shit! [laugh] Fuck that shit! Fuck the Inner Critic telling me that I’m not enough. No! I’m burning that shit; I’m letting that go.

[75:52] Last two questions: In 2019, who do you need to forgive? What needs to be forgiven? Maybe there’s nothing there, then you don’t have to go too deeply into that question. Perhaps there is something big. If someone hurt you this year, if you had a challenging thing come your way in any of your relationships, if you felt betrayed, maybe it’s life, yeah? Maybe something massive happened and it’s like … something out of peoples’ control. Maybe you need to forgive yourself. Who do you need to forgive? If that touches your heart in any way, give yourself some extra moments to journal on that. Who do you need to forgive? Because it’s an important thing that we don’t carry resentment from things that happened in 2019 into the new year. So letting things that are in our past, that we can leave there or let go of. Not carrying resentment into the new year. Who do you need to forgive? And sometimes we want to forgive someone but we can’t. That’s okay. Sometimes the longing is there to want to forgive but it’s hard. That’s okay. Just putting that longing out there. I want to forgive this person for what they did. Or I want to not think about this person anymore. Forgiveness, it’s not for them, it’s for us. It’s freeing ourselves from the heaviness of what happened. Who do you need to forgive?

[77:20] Last question: What was a resource that helped you in 2019? What was a self-care practice that you had this year that actually worked? What was a tool that you had that helped you in hard times? So when I say a resource, it’s something that brings you back to that feeling of home. Something that makes you feel calm. Something that pulls you out of the anxiety of your mind and just puts you right back here in this moment. So a resource an be spending time with your pets, walking your dog. It can be hugging your loved one. It can be time spent with your kids, it could be taking a bath. It can be your yoga practice, of course, rolling out your yoga mat. It can be that three-minute dance party that we had at the beginning of this podcast. It can be nature; it could be the ocean. It could be journaling, it could be music, it could be watching a movie. Really a resource is anything that brings you back here, now. That brings you back to that feeling of, “I’m okay.” What was a resource that you used in 2019 that actually helped you, that actually worked? And this is important, especially when it comes to collecting many of these resources so that we can grow in them every year, so that we have more things to pull from when we need a little bit of extra help, a little bit of extra support. What was a resource that really helped you this year? Pick one. The number one more important one. Perhaps this was the year where you really anchored into your yoga practice. The yoga practice is an amazing resource. Maybe you found something new. My resource I had last year was running [laugh], strangely. And I hate running! But it became one of those things that really snapped me out of any funk, right? Like 15 minutes, just like a really short, quick run. What has been a resource that really worked for you this year? For me it’s been therapy. That’s the number one one. And it’s a new one, which is exciting, that I get to find a new resource to add to my toolbox for whenever I need help and support. What was that resource or self-care practice that helped you this year? Because trust me, you’re going to bring that one into 2020 too.

[79:33] Okay you guys, we have made it to the end of 2019! I know this is a long podcast. This is a really important ceremony. It’s a really important ritual. We can’t just close out the whole year in half an hour, you guys, it’s going to take a little longer than that. So now that you have contemplated all of these areas of your life, answered all of these questions, hopefully sitting here feeling really clear on what 2019 was.

[79:59] Now, defining 2019. So, it’s really really really clear, we’re going to take all of this work that we just did, and I want you to define 2019 in one clear sentence. What was this year that just happened? A sentence I come back to again and again is not my sentence for this practice, but someone who asked when I had the astrologer Debra Silverman on the podcast, someone asked, “Why was 2019 such a dumpster fire?” That’s a sentence I’ve had in the back of my mind, like, fuck. It was hard! But if you could define 2019 in one sentence, what is that sentence? 2019 was . Write that on a fresh page. 2019 was _.

[80:48] For me the sentence is 2019 was hard and so fucking necessary. [laugh] That’s my sentence. 2019 was hard and so fucking necessary. Define that sentence for you, because of course once you have your sentence, you’re going to define 2019 in one word. The one word that completely represents what 2019 was for you. That one word that helps you embody this year. What is that one word. And you don’t have to define it as something positive or negative, just the word that really helps you define what the year was. Whatever really rings true and whatever feels true in your heart, 2019 in one word. Go!

[81:35] For me my word for 2019 is Overwhelming. And that’s a good word for me because it was overwhelming at times also with love, it was overwhelming with excitement, it was overwhelming with powerful things. It was overwhelming also with gratitude. And it was overwhelming in that it was hard and tiring and all of those things. But overwhelming really was, woo, big year. Define 2019 in one word.

[82:07] Now the time has come for us to big 2019 goodbye. I would like to say a little prayer to release 2019. So if you want you can take a moment to repeat this at any time right at the very end of the year. So on New Year’s Eve, if you have a moment to yourself, if you’re going to practice yoga and you have a moment to sit to meditate before or after, really any moment just to feel completely done with this year. You can phrase the prayer for yourself, one that I feel rings so true, and hopefully rings true for you as well is this: “2019, thank you for every lesson and for every blessing. What’s done is done, what’s felt is felt. I release you. And so it is.” Let’s all together take a deep, deep, deep breath in … open the mouth, and let go.

[83:14] It’s time to look forward and look ahead, so focusing completely on 2020 right now. The bulk of the work in this ceremony is to release 2019, to get really clear on every lesson. Of course everything we had to learn, what we want to bring with us into the next year and what we want to leave behind. So, let’s focus on the big opportunity, all the possibilities that come along with a brand new year ahead. So immediately closing your eyes, feeling into your heart, you can place your hands to your heart, connecting to your heart center once more. For 2020, what do you long for? And really feel into the truth of the answer to that question. What do you long for in 2020? If you had the choice to create anything you want (and the cool thing is you do!), what do you wish for in 2020?

[84:14] Now as you journal on this we’re going to focus on the same four focus areas here as well. So, Home (which is family, home, kids, partner, all that stuff), Mind (which is work, career, your studies, your finances), your Body (which is your health, your body, wellness, health, all of that), Spirit (which is spirit, your heart, emotions, personal development, your feelings. And you can take your time to do this on your own, but in each focus area, what is something you want to accomplish? What is something you want to create? What is something that you want to avoid? And what are you aiming for, truly, when it comes to your home and your mind, your body, and your spirit? I suggest you give yourself as much space as you want in each of these area. And really, especially if your 2019 had not a lot of focus in one of these areas, perhaps that’s a sign that it’s time to bring extra attention to that area of your life in 2020. So journaling on each one of the focus areas, but not on what’s transpired and what’s in your past, but about the possibilities and the opportunities that lie in the new year ahead. So what is something you really want from that area of your life? What is something you wish to manifest that you really want to create, or what is something that you want to let go of completely and make sure that you don’t bring with you into 2020? Take as much time as you want to journal on what you want to create in each four of these areas. Home, Mind, Body, and Spirit.

[85:51] Everything that came our way in 2019 of course has paved the way for the intentions we are now setting for 2020. Once you have journaled on and meditated on and contemplated what you want to create in each one of those four focus areas, I now have only four questions to answer when it comes to setting our intentions and getting really clear on these intentions for 2020. The first one is: What’s a boundary you want to set in 2020? I love this one so much because it’s so, so, so important. What’s a boundary you want to set in 2020? What is an area of your life where you just need to say no? What’s a boundary that maybe you have to speak out loud, a line you have to draw in the sand, something you have to make really clear. Perhaps it’s a boundary you’re drawing for yourself, maybe for the people in your life, maybe for one specific person in your life. What’s a boundary you need to set in 2020? You can write at the top of your page, “A boundary I want to set in 2020 is …” What is a boundary you want to set?

[87:02] For me it’s really really clear, and it’s me [laugh]. I’m in charge of setting my own boundaries. And what I did wrong, or what I feel like I didn’t really do well in 2019 was I kept overstepping my own boundaries. I wasn’t affirming and upholding my own boundaries. I kept booking things and adding things to my schedule, and then I would think, “Oh, future Rachel can worry about that.” And then suddenly I was sitting there feeling totally overwhelmed by all of the things I had committed to wondering, “Who planned this?” [laugh] I did. So a boundary I’m setting in 2020 is never allowing my work, or my work life, take up more space than my heart. I am drawing a really clear boundary there where I won’t allow my working life to take up so much space that the rest of my life crumbles. No way. No way. I’m aiming for balance in 2020. So that balance there of saying no more, not saying yes to everything, not jumping at every opportunity. But saying no something means saying yes to myself. So what is a boundary that you are setting in 2020? See what comes to mind, journal on that a little bit.

[88:16] Next question is what is a pattern that you don’t want to repeat in 2020? What is that thing that you keep finding yourself in again and again? Perhaps it’s a pattern in how you treat yourself, or how you allow other people to treat you. Maybe it’s something relating to your body, your health, wellness, perhaps what you eat, perhaps how you move. Maybe it’s a pattern in how you’re self-sabotaging in certain areas of your life. What is a pattern you don’t want to repeat in 2020? Take a moment to journal on that.

[88:52] Third question is what’s a feeling you want to embody in 2020? A feeling you want to embody. So the same way you now have something really clear in mind of how you’ve defined 2019, meditating on and really feeling into your heart right now of a feeling you want to embody all throughout the year. Imagine you had a specific feeling that you could come back to again and again, something you can anchor into that will really be that feeling, the overarching theme of 2020. What is that feeling?

[89:30] For me the answer to this is resounding. It’s so loud, it’s so big. I want peace! I want peace. I want the feeling of peace, or calm. I want to rest. I want to feel peaceful and not rushed and not stressed and not pressured. But I want to really have that space to invite peace into my life in different ways every single day. And if I have one big longing for next year it’s really to allow myself to embody that feeling of peace, to prioritize peace in my life. That is my feeling, that is the goal. Peace, peace, peace. Shanti, shanti, shanti.

[90:14] Take a moment to journal on that for yourself. What is that feeling that you want to embody in 2020. Perhaps for you it’s totally the opposite of that. Maybe you need more power, right? Maybe that feeling is empowerment, that strength, that goal, energy. You only know what is true for you. So feel it from your heart space less than thinking about it from your mind.

[90:39] Last question before we get really clear on defining this intention, what is a major goal that you want to accomplish in 2020? A major goal. We’re talking an overall life goal. See, you have the entire year to reach this goal, an entire year to manifest this very specific thing. What is that major goal that you want to accomplish? Whew, I get goose bumps just thinking about it because it’s so exciting to set goals for ourselves. If you want, you can set a goal in each one of those four focus areas. Maybe you have one specific goal around your Home, your family life, one goal for work, one goal for your body and your health, and one goal for your emotions, for your heart space, for your personal development. But what is a major goal, an overall life goal that you want to accomplish in 2020?

[91:28] This is such a good one! I would even suggest sharing on this a little bit, so perhaps with your partner or with a friend, discussing this and giving yourself space to talk about it as well so you can really define what you want to accomplish next year. My overall life goal, because so much of my lessons of this year, of 2019, have been around over-exerting myself, been around overwhelming myself, burning out, all of this. For me the answer to this is not to stop with everything I’m doing. I don’t want to stop working, I love my job! I love what I do! I want to be able to find the balance of working with passion, with purpose, of continuing that drive that I have inside, that fire, right? To change the world, to continue to do what I do while figuring out how to continue to fill my own cup, while balancing that out with rest. With space. With peace in my life. So my overall life goal would be, for 2020, my overall big goal for next year is to continue to grow my business, to continue to work, but feel at peace while working. To bring more water into that fiery element that I have in every area in my life. To feel calm and at peace even with that drive and purpose. That’s my goal.

[92:57] Perhaps for you your goal is very tangible, maybe it’s material, maybe it’s a goal you want to hit at work. Maybe it’s growth in your business. Maybe it’s more time spent at home with your family. It can be something very tangible or something abstract. It can be a feeling; it can be a thing. But defining what is that major goal that you want to accomplish next year? Give yourself some space to write that down.

[93:17] And now here we are! You have made it all the way ‘til the end of this ceremony, ‘til the end of this very sacred ritual. We have gone over all of 2019, everything is clear, what’s gone is gone, what’s done is done, you’re now super clear on what you want to create for next year. So now defining, what is your intention for 2020? What is your intention for 2020? Sit down and meditate on that. Feel that in your heart space, in your breath, in your body. What is your intention for 2020? Of course the meaning of that word intention is something that we intend to create, something we intend to manifest, intend to do, we intend to invite in our lives … what is your intention for 2020? I’m just smiling so big right now! I feel so excited about setting this intention for next year because it’s filled with potential! There’s limitless potential in this intention. And this intention that you’re choosing right now, man oh man, it can change your whole life. It can definitely define and change next year for you. Help you create all of those things that you deeply want to create in your life. Be conscious, be present around how you live your life. Don’t just let life happen to you. You are in charge. You are. Of this, yeah. Of your intention, yes, you are.

[94:44] So let’s close the eyes, feel into your heart. Take a full breath in … and out. My intention for 2020 is: … Blink your eyes open and write your intention down. The easier it is for you to define, the clearer it is – so one single clear sentence – the easier it’s going to be for you to manifest. So in a sentence, or in a couple of sentences something easily defined, something you can write down beautifully.

[95:18] My intention for 2020 is to give myself space. Whoo! I love this word, space. To put myself first, to take care of my body. But I mean really take care of my body. Not by obsessively exercising or obsessively eating special things, no. But to take care of my body, to feel and honor the beauty of this body as it is. To prioritize rest. To spend more time being than doing. My intention for 2020 is to continue to listen to my heart and let it lead the way.

[96:01] Once you have your intention for 2020 we are going to turn that intention into an affirmation. This is such a wonderful piece of this practice. Of course our intention is what we intend to do, what we intend to create. Having a piece of that be an affirmation as well is a way to integrate that intention into your day-to-day life. An affirmation is something that is already playing out, happening in your life here, now. Something you can affirm to yourself as a mantra when you meditate. Something you can write on a post-it note and put on your bathroom mirror so it’s the first thing you see every morning. It’s that sentence that you come back to again and again. So it allows this thing you want to create, it allows it to play out as if it’s already true, here, now. And that’s a really important part of manifestation. So an affirmation usually begins with the words, “I am ___” and then it’s something that’s happening presently. Right? So say if your intention has something to do with letting something go, your affirmation could be, “I am free.” Right? If your attention was around healing something, or maybe healing your body or getting over illness, healing something that’s broken in your heart, your affirmation can be something around, “I am whole,” or, “I am complete.” Right? If you want to be more present in your life, an affirmation could be, “I am here, now.” You get where I’m going with this?

[97:35] My affirmation for 2020, and I spent a lot of time sitting with this, a lot. And of course you can have many affirmations that you repeat to yourself. But the one that rings the most true to your heart in this moment, that one affirmation that’s going to carry you through 2020. Mine came my way from the big epiphanies I had this year around my worth and this idea I’ve had, this limiting believe I’ve had that my worth is around what I do, what I accomplish, how I perform. Right? Where actually the truth of that is I am worthy, and my worth lies in who I am just by me being who I am. It’s my birth right to feel loves and accepted and worthy just by me being who I already am. There’s nothing I have to do to be worthy of anything. So my affirmation for 2020 is, “I am worthy of love just the way I am.” I tear up just saying that, which is how I know it’s true. I am worthy of love just the way I am. Oh, I love it! It’s so perfect. What is your affirmation for 2020? It can be a long sentence; it can be a short one. I am ____ and something that is playing out presently, so it’s something you can repeat to yourself again and again.

[98:59] Our very last component of this intention setting ceremony is finding our word for 2020. Our word for 2020. So that means if you were to tattoo [laugh] one single word across your heart, one single word, your word for the year, that one word that you can come back to again and again, that when life hits you hard, because you know at some point in 2020 it’s’ going to happen. You are going to have struggles, you are going to have challenges, because that’s what life is. You’re going to have highs and lows, all of it. When things get hard, what is that one word that can bring you back? The theme that you want to carry through 2020. That one big word. Maybe literally it is something you do want to tattoo somewhere. For me, I have these little crystal necklaces, and I have them engraved. So I have a word for the year. Maybe it’s something that you write down again and again. Maybe, again, it’s on a note somewhere. Perhaps it’s a note you put somewhere in your car. Maybe it’s a word you tell your friend to remind you of, right? And you can hold each other accountable, remind each other of, “Remember what your word is for the year.” So that when you get to that place when you forget, this is the word that can bring you back. And it will immediately anchor you back into your affirmation, into your intention, and into that feeling of, “Okay, I can do this. I can do this. This is my life. It’s MY life! I choose.” So what is your word for the year? Your word for 2020.

[100:34] Mine, and this one, ooh, I was kind of floating between a couple of different options because I feel so strongly about so much. But the word that I keep coming back to, that one if I close my eyes right now I can see it spelled out in my mind’s eye is “space.” Space. Space! Oh, space space space. I thought my word would be something around, you know, calm or rest or something to counter that intensity of last year’s word, which became overwhelming, right? But actually it’s not so much about working or not working, right? I like to work. I enjoy that feeling. It’s a big part of who I am. What’s actually been really hard is not having space to make my own decisions, or not having space to change my mind. Choosing when I want to go hard and all in and power and step into that fire, and then having the space to choose when it’s time for rest, when it’s time to slow down, when it’s time to change something. That space to listen. That space to say yes when yes feels right, and the space to say no when no feels right.

[101:49] So, Space, for me it embodies so much. It gives me that space to feel free. That it’s my life. My choice. I am not just floating around, kind of forced to go left and go right because life is throwing me in different directions. No! I have space to feel what’s right for me. I have space to choose. Space, that’s my word. Space, space, space. And I’m giving myself space by not working as much. Giving myself space through the gift of time. I’m giving myself space by practicing yoga every morning. You know, all those things that we do every day, all of this will bring me back to my word of Space. Ah, it feels so good.

[102:34] So, what is your word for 2020? That’s the last piece of this beautiful puzzle of reviewing 2019, going over the entire year so that we can set that super clear intention, affirmation, and find our word for 2020. I cannot wait to hear what your word is. This is so powerful. So powerful. So, once this podcast episode is out I’m going to share on social media as well and give some space, again here’s my favorite word, for you to share so that we can all see our words combined together online. I want to say I am so proud of you for doing this practice. This is an hour and 45 minutes we’ve been doing this practice right now. It’s crucial, it’s so important. You made it all the way through. Hopefully now you have that intention, the affirmation, and the word for 2020. So, what I would love for you to do, which is something I do every single year on New Year’s Eve right at midnight, or five minutes after midnight, as soon as the hecticness of the peak of New Year’s Eve is over, I give myself five minutes to have a mini ritual where I speak my intention out loud, and I go … Usually we’re on the beach right at midnight, but you can do this in your backyard, you can do this in your bedroom sitting down. Somewhere where you’re alone, where you can speak your intention into existence, where you can repeat this affirmation to yourself. Where you can really hold your word for the year. Speak it out loud. And perhaps a little ritual for you involves lighting a candle. If you wanted to burn something old, that’s also a good time to do it. Even if you want to write your intention down and then burn it, in a positive way, feeling that intention go all the way out into the world, that’s a really powerful thing to do. So give yourself just five minutes for a little ritual, to speak that intention out loud. Send it out into the world so that you can fully leave 2019 behind and step into the beautiful possibilities that lie in the year ahead.

[104:41] Thank you so much for practicing with me today! This means so much for me. I am so grateful that you’re joining me for this practice, and I can’t wait, can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for all of us! I love you so much. Happy New Year, and … the Yoga Girl Podcast will be back in 2020.

[End of Episode]