Where to begin... I should make a new year's resolution right now to start blogging once a week. I certainly could find a 5 minute window here and there to do a quick update and fill you in on a few nutty details from a week's worth of life as the semi-new Mrs. Maloney...
Okay, that is that then. I shall hereby update my blog once-a-week(ish).
At the moment, I am in Ohio for a short but desperately needed visit home to see my lovely family and Matt's lovely family. Matt and I spent our holidays alone in Austin for the first time in 24/25 years... and to be brutally honest, it sucked. Christmas dinner just didn't taste as good, the Christmas tree just didn't twinkle as brightly, and a few tears were shed Christmas day (by me, of course) because of the longing I had to be surrounded by my family. Knowing how much it would mean to me to see them even for just a short time and unfortunately not being able to afford for both of us to fly home, Mo booked me a flight to Ohio in an effort to cure my no-place-like-home-for-the-holidays blues. And it has been a giant success to say the least :) True, it is snowy, windy, and painfully cold here in the midwest, but the feeling of spending a little time with my family has made suffering through 17 degree weather quite worth while.
2009 passed so quickly for us this year. In a span of 12 months, Mo and I moved at least 7 times, made some dreams come true, and got married among other life changing events. 2009 was very good to us and I cannot do anything but look back upon it fondly and count the many blessings that have taken us to where we are presently. I am so grateful for the experiences we have had this past year, good and bad, that have strengthened us so much as a couple and also as individuals. I have learned so much about myself this year (i.e. how much I miss working! how easy its been for me to quit tanning- yay! how stressful wedding planning can be but then how worth it it is! how to tolerate individuals far different-minded than I, how to deal with not having a home-base, etc., etc.) and I have found so many new things to appreciate about Matt. Its amazing the man that he has become after 9 years of growing in this relationship. I am so thankful that we were put into one another's lives. I trust so deeply in our love and I see how much we will be able to continue learning from each other. It makes our marriage so exciting and life so interesting! I am totally open to what could be in store for us this coming year. And I thank God each day for giving me such a good man to walk side by side with.
Onto 20-10 then, eh? This year my main focus will be on spiritual growth and a Yoga Instructor certification. I am in love with the spiritual and emotional growth that Yoga has opened my mind and body to. I would absolutely love to be able to give others this same gift. I know, I know, I go on and on about Yoga and how much I love it. So I will attempt to break it down a bit and explain just a little bit of why I am so deeply connected to Yoga:
Yoga, in Sanskrit, can be translated as "union." The task at hand in Yoga is to find union-- between mind and body, between the individual and her God, between our thoughts and the source of our thoughts, between teacher and student, and even between ourselves and our sometimes hard-to-bend neighbors. Yoga can also mean trying to find God through meditation, through the practice of silence, through devotional service or through mantra (the repetition of sacred words or phrases).
Now, if you didn't previously know this about me, I am a rather worrisome, uptight individual with a few subtle OCD tendencies. I am rather good at covering this part of my nature, but recently I have longed to say goodbye to this part of myself. So, I've deeply committed myself to the practice of meditation and Yoga and reading all I can to help me live in the exact present rather than worry about what the next moment will bring. I am absolutely loving my practices and feeling such a strong connection to the Spirit.
I have been practicing the simple mantra, Ham-sa, to help in meditation. The Yogis say that Ham-sa is the most natural mantra, the one we are all given by God before birth. In Sanskrit it means "I am That." It is the sound of our own breath. Ham (hahhm) on the inhale, sa (rhymes with "ahh") on the exhale. As long as we live, every time we breathe in or out, we are repeating this mantra. I am That. I am divine. I am with God. I am an expression of God. I am not separate. I am not alone. I am not this limited illusion of an individual.
I cannot express how much happier, self-aware, less anxious, healthier (and the list could go on...) I am becoming! My practice is helping me accept and love myself so much more and accept and love the people I meet as well. I have ALWAYS loved the human connection and I live for interaction with others but now I am finding so many more ways to appreciate what each of them has been put in my life to teach me. I am slowly and steadily becoming a better version of myself- inside and out. Its an incredible spiritual journey and I love every minute.
I have also decided to try to read one book per month in 20-10. In 2009 I fell off my reading wagon a bit and I am excited to find some good reads this year. My body and mind are already feeling so cleansed by the diligence and sincerity of my practices. My goal is to stay consistent throughout the year, trusting in a higher power, a greater force to help me along my journey. I have this ultra positive energy about me this year- I have such a good feeling that 20-10 has so many blessings in store. Out with the unhealthy thoughts! Harboring only good ones this year :)
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it. YOU HAVE TO PARTICIPATE RELENTLESSLY IN THE MANIFESTATIONS OF YOUR OWN BLESSINGS.