Yoga & Therapy

Dear 2020…

Dear 2020,

As I reflect back, January 1, 2020 was full of new hope and fresh possibility.  My word of 2020 was “Freedom,” which meant a lot for me personally. As the first couple months of the new year unfolded, I was excited for the freedom I would experience from my board licensure and a new career in a group practice, freedom to visit my family for my mother’s 70th birthday, and freedom for beach walks and beach yoga with friends in the summertime.  As I look deeper to see my freedom from the year, I had freedom to publish more of my writing, develop and launch a new website, and teach yoga and reach clients in new ways via zoom.  In many ways, I experienced a full year of gifts from the universe, and maintained my days and nights with work, loved ones, and life.  

But in a collective sense, many freedoms were taken away as the Coronavirus Pandemic swiftly swept across our nation and the world, and shifted life as we knew it to be.  Unimaginable effects of illness and death swept our doorsteps in our communities, along with intense fear, anger, grief, and sadness.  Though my health has been spared (so far), it is not lost on me that the world is experiencing emotions that take time to process.  

While the world was raging in upheaval and protests from murders in the streets and in private homes, and also while grieving the untimely deaths of thousands, I avoided my feelings for so long and at all costs.  I was scared of what I would find within the walls of my body if I just let go and went inward.  As I put down the emotional weight of the persecution I was shackled to from previous years, I lost body weight, too, and began to spark curiosity of what lays within.  

As I stayed healthy and safe inside, I began to look inside.  I looked inside of our kitchen pantry and bathroom linen closets, and made it a personal mission of mine to tackle the feat of organizational projects to “fix” the messy appearance that was hidden behind pretty white doors.  Then I began to see within the walls of my clients’ homes and be a witness to their deepest emotions of fear, grief, sadness, shame, and longing.  I was invited inward with each client, and proceeded with care and love. 

When I began noticing I needed deeper physical and emotional rest, I practiced yoga nidra and mediations daily.  Soon after, I began looking straight inside my temple space, witnessing the layers upon layers of my inner being with open heartedness.  I saw within the temple the dark and the light corners, hallways, and rooms.  I began to bear-witness to my inner landscape and feel, and not a moment too soon.  

I faced challenges in 2020, as many collectively did, and for the first time, I began the practice of seeing with clearer eyes.  Through this practice (and it truly is a practice in shifting perspective), I do not/have not/will not avoid my feelings any longer.  We need to go through this as part of our healing journey.  There is no bypassing here, no “Pass Go and Collect $200” in this game of life.  We survived all 12 levels of Jumanji and all 12 months were challenging in some way.  And, all 12 months of 2020 were magnificent and brilliantly played, too.  I learned that dialectics, as I act through opposing forces, appear as I open my mind to the world of possibilities.  So much can be true, all at the same time.  Though so much is out of my control right now, I focus on what I can control, as well as my underlying need for control, which is rooted in my fear and self-doubt.  I focus on what lessons 2020 has offered to me, and the blessings 2020 has brought into my life. 

20 Lessons Learned in 2020

  1. Greater awareness of my purpose for my lifetime has become clearer.  My heart’s work in the world is needed.  My soul has informed me of my life’s purpose.  
  2. Supporting people in their dreams raises the vibration of all of us.  
  3. Negativity can be transformed through a shift of perspective.
  4. If I am unable to face towards my grief, I am also unable to face towards my joy.  
  5. Achieving and productivity are not barometers for the truth of who I am.
  6. My network of healers and light workers offer impact for me to show my truth to the world.
  7. From a miracle mindset, the shifts of perspective have given me an attitude of gratitude in the big and small moments and experiences.
  8. Considering the sheer possibility that change is possible, offers a starting point to make changes.
  9. Resiliency is brought forth by awareness, acknowledging, and learning from mistakes.  People are resilient.  I am too.  
  10. Feeling my own expansion into the capacity of what is possible.
  11. The world can change unexpectedly and quickly.  And I can choose to respond accordingly. 
  12. Friends and family connections are important to my well-being.  
  13. Generosity and kindness come in all shapes, sizes, and forms.
  14. When faced with adversary, courage and bravery can be accessed deep within my soul.  
  15. True super-heroes live among us in all communities and offer their gifts to the world.
  16. Reaching out and connecting is the lifeline that bonds us together.
  17. Listening and offering love with an open heart can change someone’s day.  
  18. Gratitude has taught me that I have enough and I am enough, and I always have and always will be.  
  19. I can change my mind, change my week, and change my life with each thought, feeling, and action I take.  
  20. Days can be seemingly the same, and there are subtle differences in energy and moods when I tune into them.  

And now, let’s lay this all to bed and simply leave this year at the door as we move froward.  I bring forth the alchemical fire of transmutation to release and burn off the collective pain and grief.  Let this inferno burn in massive destruction to bring onward a new way of living.   Let’s walk step-by-step through the portal space between 2020 and 2021 in harmony and with ease.    

And to 2021, please pivot and shift…

I know it won’t be easy just because it’s a new year, as I know there is a new way of living that will challenge and support our collective souls.  Please break the heavy shackles of political divide, illness, injustice, and poverty.  I send a prayer for all who have experiences grief, loneliness, losses, and sadness.  I pray for all of the creatures from this universe and send love to all, for we are not so separate or different.  I put my love on to all who challenge me, guide me, and support me with unbounded strength, capacity, joy, peace, and ease.  I commit myself to the next step in my journey to help myself and help others in the healing of the world. 

As I move away from 2020 and forward towards 2021, I am allowing myself to integrate the seeds planted within me in order to sprout a new growth.  I’m ready to answer my yearning, my longing of soft whispers and deep-seeded messages from my soul, to take the next step with my wisdom and insights.  I vow to listen to myself and hear between the lines, offer what I can without depletion of my energy, practice seeing all with soft and loving eyes, and experience more peace and ease in all realms and aspects of my being. 

May I offer what I can, receive what I am given, and share my life and light in service to the greatest and highest good with all those whom I come in contact with.  May I be a vessel of love to the world. 

With great love and deep gratitude,

Joanna

December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020

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Yoga & Therapy
Joanna Barrett