A New Year…

I’ve done nothing of note on New Year’s Eve for years. When I was younger it was incredibly important to party, and I did so with the best of them. When Tom was alive he would laugh and dub it “amateur night”. Occasionally we’d go to dinner or to a friends, or have people over, but usually  we’d stay in with the kid, have some special food and wine and watch the ball drop at 9 (so we didn’t have to stay up until midnight). After he died I don’t really know what I did, but certainly nothing much.

I’m not going to announce that this year was any different, but it did have some intentionality about it. My word for the year only popped up that morning so there was a post to write. I  was determined to take Christmas down, clear the clutter, and so I did.

I took a special “Yin in the New Year” yoga class with a teacher I love, who, coincidently, spoke about our stories and our need to let go of them, detach from everything we think we know about ourselves and allow who we really are to come forth.  Afterwards I told her that I had chosen my word just that morning, Curious, and that the synchronicity of that choice and her words was quite impressive. And it was.

So that was my NYE, lovely and accomplished and Zen. Perfect for me.

New Years Day I woke to a completely clean and uncluttered apartment and it really felt like a new start.  I made myself a nice breakfast and got online to read emails and FB. I only had one plan for the day, which was another Yoga class. It was a special Restorative class with a sound bath. Now, a sound bath is a wonderful thing, at least for me.  Singing bowls, gongs, other odd musical instruments….all washing over us as we move around, basically from one napping position to another! Restorative yoga is deeply relaxing but a sound bath can play with that a bit. Depending on the sounds all sorts of emotions come up, and many times they can be confrontational, you can feel angry or agitated, sad or sometimes elated and excited. It’s pretty awesome. Usually I start crying early on and just  enjoy the hell out of it all.

I decided to post the info about the sound bath on FB and several dear friends came, which was such a treat (especially since they all enjoyed it!).

Aimee, who was playing the sound bath, spoke at the beginning of the session about setting intentions for our practice.  We started by singing AUM together in a wave,  just on going with  no start or finish, each at our own pace. Prior to beginning the song she broke down the AUM for us.  While the word is vague and basically untranslatable, a commonly accepted definition is that it is the sound of the universe.  Aimee asked  us to think of it in 3 separate parts, according to the sounds:

AAHHH….the sound of creation

OOOOO…..the sound of evolution

MMMM……the sound of dissolution

Then we were to choose an intention for each sound.

What to create in the New Year? I chose LOVE. What to have evolve in my life? CURIOSITY. What to dissolve away? JUDGEMENT.

Love and the judgment appeared in the moment, I already had the curious.

Oh how I loved that AUM! And since that class I  think of my three intentions for 2015 very time I sing AUM, which is really an awesome gift for the New Year.

 

There was one other thing  I did on New Years day that I’m pretty proud of. As I sat on my laptop scanning Fb, posting and reposting and reading about other peoples lives, I  suddenly knew, clearly , that it was time to stop . Stop the vicarious living, the avoiding it helps me do, the judgmental and envious feelings I have at times on there. FB is, to me, completely addictive and serenity destroying. I had been talking about taking a break,  but you know what?

I Can’t Moderate! (yeah, Duh, right?)

Yet I hate the way it’s been making me feel, I was lamenting the waste of time and completely unhinged by some of the comments that people make about political, religious, sexual…whatever! Like I said, serenity destroying and soul sucking. And, for the first time,  I honestly felt done.

So I wrote a post, nice and clear, about needing to go radio silent. I asked for anyone who wanted my email or phone number to message me and I set a date. In the interim I have made sure I have the contacts I want, noted people’s birthdays (seriously, it was to the point that if it wasn’t on FB it wasn’t your birthday!). I figured those I want to keep in touch with will call, or write or email, and I will do the same. My friends that live close to me? We will go have tea for god-sakes,  or talk on the phone.

My plan is to read more, go to movies, do more yoga, more meetings, be with people in real life, establish better connections, get into nature,get things done without procrastinating forever first. I plan to be curious about life and about myself. All very doable and more meaningful than sitting with my laptop, by myself, shutting out the world.

Today was the day I set. I felt scared this morning, all sorts of nervous.

Just before I started to write this post I deleted FB from my computer (it has been off my phone since November).

You know what? I feel free.

 

 

 

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29 Comments

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  1. * gasp* you hit delete?!? That is awesome! I wish I lived where you live. There is one half hour yoga class in 40 miles.

    • Yep, DELETE!!!
      It’s funny how hard they try and keep you tho…there is a 2 week “cooling off period” and if I accidentally hit anything that brings me to FB I’m back in..so I have to be careful.

      I’m sorry about the yoga situation…but there are great classes you can buy on TV..Gaiam and others, and do your own home practice. A number of the teachers at my studio swear by it…the go on and practice and it helps them plan new routines.

  2. I know exactly what you mean- I deleted FB a few years back and felt so great without it! I will never go back to it! Live life in the moment, not online 🙂

  3. Your sound bath session sounded awesome! As you know, I’m just getting this party started so I’m trying to start my new yoga obsession with some restraint. Then I read about the cool things you do and discover and it makes me want to drop everything and go do it! But, that’s a post for another day (actually…for TODAY!)
    I’m with you on the FB. I’ve thought about deleting it many times and just haven’t. What I have done is limited the use to right before bed and typically fall asleep before I get through the minutiae. I post something about once/week and then feel odd and overshare-y when I do. Weird, huh? Ugh. I dunno…maybe this is the year I cut the cord.
    Have a great week, Michele. You were on my mind all weekend (in great ways!).
    xxoxo

  4. I loved reading about your yoga discoveries. My resolution this year is to do yoga every day, no matter how little or long. Just roll out the mat. And I didn’t do it for so long that right now I just feel clumsy, ha. So it’s nice to be inspired by all of the miraculous things it can open in your mind. 🙂 And awesome job with FB. I deleted mine in 2011 after a gnarly breakup and never wanted it back. You might find your vacation lasts forever, haha.

    • I love the encouragement, thanks!

      And as I said above, there are great online and on TV yoga programs you can subscribe to and have a practice easily in your home!
      Good luck with that tho…it changed my life!

  5. Your yoga sounds fantastic. I need that in my life, I just have to settle in one spot long enough to find it.
    Facebook, what a conundrum huh? I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love connecting with people, but I hate that I never know the REAL person. Shiny, happy faces are so easy to post. No one puts their real shit out there, not like bloggers do.
    I use it mostly to stay in touch with family that isn’t close in proximity. My son, who is 23, the age of the social media hound, has absolutely NO internet footprint. The only place you can find him is LinkedIn, because he HAD to do it for a class in college. I have always been impressed by that. Now more than ever as his new employer is doing a background check.
    Happy New Year Mish. It is going to be a good one.

    • Yes it is going to be good!
      My one regret about FB is my son (who barely ever goes on, his ice is so full) just friended me. However, the idea that he friended me is enough. I started an instagram account because he does post pics of his creations on that, and I can keep up with him that way.
      as far as everyone else..IRL, email< phone, etc….
      going Luddite!
      and I will also re-iterate…great yoga subscriptions to be had for internet or TV yoga!

  6. Such a great post. And thank you for the info about the sound bath…last week in one of my yoga classes we ended with one and I had never had a class with one before. I think maybe I should have been warned because I felt ALL of those emotions you mentioned and literally had to block my ears for a couple of seconds because it was too much for me. I thought I was just losing my mind so thanks for letting me know this is somewhat normal!!

    • omg….
      the first time I experienced it i actually got up and left the room! I had no idea what to expect and it was pretty awful, actually.
      Definitely should not be sprung on people….I agree.
      And definitely normal feelings. One of my friends who was there was just about to get up and leave, she got so angry (lots of loud gongs) when suddenly the sounds shifted ad she said she felt like the angels appeared! LOL…

      a full on hour sound bath is amazing…let me know if you ever experience one again!

  7. I am jealous. I think about doing this a lot. I find i get shaken and cranky by facebook. That it sucks me into a lot of useless thinking.

    There are also a few people who post interesting stuff that i like. Bit i suppose i could come up with a way to connect with them outside of facebook.

    Hmmmmm.

    I love the idea of a sound bath. And your intentions are so beautiful and inspiring.

    Here is an alternate thought on om from my yoga training

    Uh
    Ah ( sounds of brahma)
    A
    Ew (sounds of vishnu the sustainer)
    Mm
    Ng ( sounds of shiva )
    Silence (the sound of the universe)

    I love all the different meanings.

    Anne

    • i love that Anne…
      and have heard that version of the Om too…
      and I love the way you write it out, much more like the sound!
      I love the word because there are so many ways to define it, as indefinable as it actually is!
      I think Aimee just chose this way as a New Year practice of setting intentions.

      xoox

      • oh, and I did follow some sites that I now have bookmarked. I don’t kid myself that I won’t occasionally fall into a rabbit hole online, but at least it will be reading a great writer, or a TED talk or learning something new…not comparing myself or judging others or getting angry!
        I will miss the pics of all the sweet children of friends of mine, but that’s a small price to pay for my sanity!

  8. Happy new year! Your plans sound a lot like mine. I put “read 4 books” on my resolutions list. That actually would be a vast improvement, sadly. And yoga, I just started a month ago but I have caught the bug. It’s all I want to do. It’s nice to have an obsession outside of thinking about drinking and recovery. Your yoga journey has inspired me. I’m happy for you letting go of FB. It’s so cleansing to purge complications and head games from life isn’t it?

    • I felt the same way with yoga when i started…all i wanted to do! it changed my thinking profoundly, and i am so grateful for it.
      good for you for starting, and it is a great obsession to have!
      And 4 books can easily turn into 40….LOL…
      happy new year!

  9. Whoa, Betty. Big doin’s in Michele Land!!!
    xoxoxoxox

  10. I took a Facebook break while I was off work, only just logged back in today. I didn’t really miss it. I am considering deleting it but keeping the chat/messenger on my phone since the kidlet will use that when he can get an internet connection. I only wish there was a stand alone app for the computer that didn’t launch the full site :/

    • it feels good here on day 2….
      i had actually let it go from my phone in November when i got a new phone, i just didn’t load it.
      there can’t be an app that doesn’t launch the full site because…how could they advertise to us enough? LOL

  11. I think this about Facebook all the time. To go or to stay. I’ve cancelled it a couple of times but always made my way back. Good to take a break- or do a social media cleanse- from time to time!
    A sound bath sounds pretty amazing. I love the power of sound- have always loved the power or AUM. I just signed up for a workshop at my yoga studio this weekend called Instrument of Thought- we’ll be using mantra and chanting, accompanied by the indian harmonium, while doing Surya namaskars. I’m excited!

    • oh that sounds awesome!
      I was reading about a number of yoga studios that held special new years practices where they did 108 sun salutations in a row..yikes!
      It would be interesting to chant as you move….I want to hear about it when you do it, ok?

  12. Interesting topic. At a meeting on Sunday, a woman was sharing, and said something to the effect of “if I wasn’t drinking, I’d be addicted to something else, food, or gambling, or the internet…..” (she listed a few more, but my mind kind of did a “whoa” at internet.

    Urgh, I’m addicted to the internet. I could really just simplify the whole idea by saying “I’m addicted.” If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I ditched social media several years back, and dived back in about a year and a half ago. Can’t stand Facebook most of the time. Then there’s my websites, and blogs. How to manage those under 2 hours a day? Impossible! How do I give up my laptop? My writing and reading, it’s all here, all on the internet. A conundrum.

    My word of the year is: action. Sort of disappears behind the laptop screen. On a positive note, I have lowered my caffiene intake this week gradually. Not planning to eliminate, but get it down to a civilized amount. 12 cups a day is not civilized.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post as always!

    • Look, I’m no saint!
      i blog and read other blogs. Sometimes my emails take up a good hour or so, it’s ridiculous (I also unsubscribed from a lot too…that will help!)
      I love my laptop. I don’t read books on it but there are websites I am interested in and follow.
      I think many of us are a bit internet addicted, we kind of have to be.
      But FB was/is something else to me…so in my face with the pics and the politics and the sharing that lead from one thing to another to another and 4 hours later….LOL
      I’m glad to be off it. hope it leads to letting go of other things too, we’ll see. But i love the internet, so much information at the tip of my fingers.
      ACTION is a great word! I love it, i love everyone;s words.
      and the caffeine intake..congrats! I don’t drink coffee but i do drink tea in the morning and need that little boost for sure.
      when i quit coffee, the best thing i found was that it completely cured my acid reflux issues…it was amazing!
      Happy new year donna!

  13. Love this post! I recently wrote a big ol’ post comparing my FB Newsfeed to The Breakfast Club and how my smart phone made me a stupid girl. I had to take an FB hiatus, delete shortcuts on my phone and laptop. It’s crack and it’s not good for my soul. Brings out feelings of inadequacy, not enough, and makes me judgmental, and just not who I want to be or how I want to feel. Good for you for having the courage to delete! Never heard of a sound bath. Sounds fascinating and right up my alley! Gonna look into it. Looking forward to following your blog as I am looking to connect with like-minded fellow bloggers.

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