· 2016,Year That Was

For the last few years it has become a ritual of sorts for me to spend the new year’s eve night at home reviewing the year that has gone by, and remembering and thanking those who made the year a memorable one. But yesterday as I sat down to type out this post I felt so overwhelmed by the year that has gone by and couldn’t complete it. So, here’s another try at that.

Continuing the spirit of my quest in 2015, I pushed myself to pursue anything and everything that caught my passion for learning and I’m so glad I did. Here are a few highlights:

  • Attending an amateur astronomy course from Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad keeps me in awe and wonder every time I look up at the night sky.
  • Attended a Human Library for the first time at Shwaas in Hyderabad. Got fascinated by the phenomenal persons who shared their life stories.
  • Listening to story telling sessions by Deepa Kiran kindled my interest in this art, and I feel lucky to be trained by her in the art of story telling. I fully intend to work closely with the team at Story Arts India in 2017 and see what new stories can we can create. :)
  • Getting trained as a professional oracle and tarot card reader! This happened out of the blue and all thanks to Sanjana for it. Every time I take the cards and read it still makes me wonder at the ways of the universe and feels so happy every time the listener connects to what is said.
  • Yoga! Yoga entered my life in the most unexpected way in 2015 and I took the plunge to be a yoga trainer. 2016 was a year of deepening my learnings and lots of teaching opportunities. Learnt a lot from Saras and other mentors at Yoga Vahini and equally from my students. Starting with the corporate workshops in Assam, Tripura, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh (thanks to Raghu sir and Yoga Vahini), ‘Yoga for Unity’ classes for public in Hyderabad on International Yoga Day, getting my first set of students for personal classes, group classes at Aviraam in Hyderabad and Chinmaya Naada Bindu in Pune, community project classes at the Government schools in Hyderabad...the universe has been kind enough to grant many teaching opportunities to test my learning.
  • Travel! Almost all my travel plans in 2016 was around yoga. I realised how gratifying it is to travel and that too to follow your passion. It also helped me connect to so many incredible people. Dharamshala, Vibhooti, Sidhabari, Yoga Vahini, CIF, Anantagiri Hills....I feel grateful for all of them.

I’ve read somewhere that in life you take the test first and learn the lessons later. Now that the test is over, here are the lessons I learnt from 2016.

  • Not everything will go as planned but everything is part of The Plan.

It doesn’t feel good when you plan something and it doesn’t materialise. You will feel hurt and disappointed in varying degrees depending upon your emotional investment in the plan. But the moment you decide to pause and be more conscious of the situation, you realise the play of an unseen hand, the magic of the universe working in and through the situation to nudging you to learn something more valuable and push you towards something higher than what you planned for yourself.

  • Letting go is the sure shot way to be receptive to the blessings of the universe.

This is a lesson we all keep re-learning all through life. After all, how do we let go of something so important to us without knowing what is going to be in store for us from the universe? Well, the answer I’ve learnt and keep learning time and again is that universe doesn’t work on the basis of a barter system. It is more like a gift economy. You’ll be blessed with exactly what you need at every point in time to take the next step in evolution. Once you stop comparing what you’re letting go with what you’re receiving, you stop worrying. You let go not to get something better, you let go to free yourself of the past that is holding you back. Being open and receptive is only a natural consequence.

And I must say I’m so grateful to the universe for blessing me with situations and people who remind me this lesson just about when I start to forget or be absent-minded about it.

  • A life well lived is about rediscovering the courage get back on your feet each time you’re knocked down, and preserve the faith to take the plunge into the unknown once again.

2016 has been an incredible and magical year for me. An year of immense learning and personal growth. And most importantly I’ve grown in my conviction that such a life need not be a rarity, and in fact could be our natural state if only we follow our true calling.

  • Choosing to live a life of happiness and contentment over securing a livelihood

Sing your heart’s song and you’ll discover the courage and start seeing the opportunities to manifest your dreams. In 2016, I decided to pursue my passion for training which brought me the opportunity to take online digital marketing classes on weekends. I also had a major job change and moved cities. And in between my day job and weekend trainings I managed to teach yoga and take oracle card consultations. It has been really hectic and but equally rewarding. And the best part is that it has given me the courage and confidence to say no to things which I would have agreed to do just because I had to earn a livelihood. Though this is still a work-in-progress achievement, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.

Here’s to a 2017 filled with even more love, learning and happiness!

Happy New Year! :)

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