One Word for 2019
Here we are.
Here I am.
Another New Year!
Did you get a moment to rest & catch your breath over the holiday season?
A moment to reflect and make peace with all that 2018 brought to your doorstep?
For me 2018 was bittersweet… like dark chocolate. I really like chocolate… but not everybody does.
I received things I have long desired and also lost things that I hold dear.
I launched a new sexual empowerment program for women!
I lost a girlfriend to cancer...
I married my sweetheart, we bought a house, we got pregnant.
We lost our baby, we grieved...
I booked amazing voiceover jobs,
taught wonderful clients and students how to access love and pleasure in their bodies,
I learned, and played, and cried, and meditated, in community.
I felt deep pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and love…. SO MUCH LOVE.
And while I didn’t like everything that came my way, I like wisdom its all left behind.
The portal that we just crossed over into 2019, invites us to renew, recognize, and re-direct where we are committed to using our energy in the coming months.
Every year around this time so many of us, make intentions, set goals, make promises to 'do more' and 'do it better’.
I won’t lie... I have a page of intentions, lists of desires, and a handful goals for this year… this kind of planning can be helpful.
But it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by our ambitions and desires, it can be hard to find the energy or motivation to take new actions…. without a deeper place for it to be born from.
So this year I crave to make it simple.
To honor that my life is a process that is continuously unfolding through my body.
A process where I can’t the control outcomes, but I can create favorable conditions to help me enjoy the ride.
So I’ve distilled all my intentions, desires, and goals, down to one word for the year…..
One word that will empower all of my actions.
One word to help me make choices and prioritize where my energy goes.
This word is also the basis for the sensual self-care work I will be offering this year,
it is the essence of what I most want to give myself and all those in my tribe.
I arrived at this word by checking in with my body about what its core desire is.
What it needs in order to be able to create, experience, expand, and let go, in this coming year.
What it needs to enjoy the process of living the life that I’m co-creating.
MY WORD FOR 2019 IS
It is my core desire, to feel, deeply nourished by my work, my marriage, my friendships, my spiritual practice, and the more mundane tasks of life. Nourishment is my north star for 2019 in all that I am doing.
Nourishment may not sound as sexy as ‘Abundant’ or ‘Fearless’… it’s not bold or shiny, it’s practical. It’s literal definition is 'the food necessary for growth, health, and good condition.’
And if you expand the idea of food, to anything we consume, ingest, or receive into our bodies or beings…. then we are not just talking about eating your fruits and veggies.
We are talking about everything from social media habits, to the conversations we have, to how we walk, sit and breathe, can be nourishing or depleting.
Everything we interact with, and how we interact with it, can be nourishing or depleting. It can provide us with energy or take it, it can help us grow or harm us.
Focusing on what is nourishing us, is really a deep level of self-care.
So how do I plan to infuse all do and consume with Nourishment?
I’m always amazed at how full most people’s days are. We spend a lot of time racing from one meeting to the next, rushing to meet a deadline, willing the traffic in front of us to hurry up… Being in a hurry has become the norm, so much so that if we are not flooded with the adrenaline that this creates in us, we can feel like something is ‘missing' or ‘off’. Its easy to get compulsive about staying in a ‘doing’ and ‘rushing’ mode, because we feel productive. But it is possible to be productive without being in this state.
When we create more spaciousness in our lives by reducing what’s on our plate down to what’s truly necessary for the day, and building in transition time between activities.. we create more spaciousness in our bodies.
This space does some really important things like reduce anxiety. It helps us connect to what we are feeling in our bodies which gives us important information about what we need, and what is needed from us. It invites the tension in our bodies to unwind, gives us a moment to reconnect with our breath.
Slowing down is the precursor to relaxation, and when we are in a relaxed, restful state, our bodies can transition from the fight or flight mode many of us live in, to repair and regeneration which is where the nourishment is.
Other ways to create more space is to limit our screen time, there are helpful apps that allow us to see just how many hours in our week are spent on a screen, which is a good to keep track of. Many of us need to interact with screens for work, but there is a lot of additional use added from social media, tv watching, and gaming that we could reduce.
One of the side effects of too much screen time is the disconnection it creates with nature and other humans we are interacting with. There is so much nourishment available in intimate connections, both with nature and people and animals.
Slowing down will not have the same benefits if you are browsing on your phone, to create spaciousness we must get present to what is happening inside us and around us.
This is a bit different from dancing. Sensual movement is what I teach to my students, how to slow down and feel your body and your breath while you are in motion.
Sensual means we are connecting with our senses, touch, taste, sound, sight, smell… as you move your body what does the movement taste like? What emotions can you touch/feel? What sounds want to emerge from you? How does your breathing change? Does this change what you can smell? Does moving like this soften your gaze? Does it change how you are seeing?
If you don’t have a sensual movement practice, but want to explore this intuitively on your own, I recommend starting from stillness. Let your mind settle, connect with your breath and then deepen it while staying relaxed. Take a moment to scan your body, what are you feeling and where?
And then pick a part of your body to move slowly, listen for what feels good and follow the pleasure. Slow fluid movement. If you can’t feel ‘pleasure', look for sensations that are enjoyable. Let those sensations tell your body what movement comes next.You can explore this way, standing, or sitting, on hands and knees, or on your back…. follow your intuition and the enjoyment.
Moving our bodies in this way, is deeply nourishing. It powers down our fight or flight response, and engages our parasympathetic nervous system which allows us to regenerate and heal. It helps us release anxiety, tension, and stuck emotions, and grounds us in the present moment. It fills us up with energy and good feeling!
And if you would like to explore sensual movement in more depth, we in dive into lots of practices that do just that in both my Jade Eggstacy program and Body Bliss…. You can read more about those HERE.
Self-Care has become quite a buzz word, but too often we are limiting our ideas of what self-care looks like to getting massages, or doing our hair and nails, drinking more water, or taking baths…. don’t get me wrong these things great!
And there is a deeper level of self-care available. One that helps us access the pleasure available in our bodies through our 5 senses. This is what I’m calling sensual self-care.
Practices like taking salt baths, oils massage, and self-pleasure, can all be amplified in their nourishing capacity when we engage our senses during them. Adding essential oils to our baths like rose and lavender. Anointing our joints and tissues with oil and mindful touch though a massage practice like abhyanga. Or using Yoni Eggs, Pleasure Wands, or your hands to explore and honor your sexual parts and engage your sexual energy. When you are enjoying a cup of tea, or eating a nutrient rich meal, take the time to take it in with your senses, give thanks for it.
And using sound for relaxation is another powerful sensual self-care practice. Particularly ingesting sounds attuned to healing frequencies, Kirtan or chanting, sound baths, or even music tuned to solfeggio frequencies can all help induce a theta state where the mind goes silent, and the body gets to unwind.
Play might feel like the opposite of productivity, but it is deeply nourishing actually enhances brain and body function.
The kind of play that does this is intuitive and explorative.
So have a spontaneous dance party, set up playdates with friends and intimate partners, engage your inner artist with clay or color pencils, explore things you are curious about…
Because play is not something that has to be done, the best way to make sure it happens is to put playdates in your calendar. Times that are specifically set aside for this kind of nourishment.
If you are inspired to bring more nourishment into your daily life, pick one or two things that you will bring into your new year. And if you want some support and company in that exploration, consider joining one of my upcoming programs or workshops.