A Blank Canvas

“The creation of positive images on a collective basis … might well be the most prolific activity that individuals and organizations can engage in if their aim is to help bring to fruition a positive and humanly significant future.”

~ David Cooperrider


A Blank Canvas

May it begin … A fresh starting point, a new perspective, a blank slate in hand and a sense of clarity as everything moves forward from the previous year and continues to build, expand, and grow. Harvest and cultivate this sense of newness; see the full, beautiful landscape amidst the freshness of the early days of a triumphant new year! Enter into these new days with a sense of ease and softness and be calm and open to beauty and grace.

Embracing a ‘blank slate’ perspective is a direct channel to a highly creative time and can be such a joy. For the first few days of this year my intention has been to integrate, build on, and work with my “Vision for 2012”. It begins with the end; wrapping up and recognizing accomplishments by welcoming the end of 2011.

I would like to recognize here that I think there is a lot of pressure around this time of year which, in previous years, has left me feeling heavy, overwhelmed, and pressured by resolutions and goals — many of which are contrived and concocted not of my own will or accord. There is a lot of hype around “Resolutions” that is driven externally, and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.   Well said, by my colleague,  Helen Tremethick, at The Communications Distillery , “mainly external ploys to have us dieting, worrying, and feeding off our anxieties instead of listening to our true voices.”

To take time, to pause and go inside, to access a much greater source of rich insight – this is our own wisdom, the part of ourselves that knows what it is we need to be happy and successful in the precious days of the year yet to come.

On the last day of 2011, I had the great fortune of attending a Yoga Retreat with Anne Pitman here in Ottawa, Canada. It set the stage, the blank canvas, to pause, be quiet, be still, and let the body breathe. When we find ourselves in this place we have an opportunity to (with courage and a punch of vulnerability, I might add) welcome What Is and then feel and experience its truth. It’s within these finer, subtler moments that clarity surfaces and our profound wisdom and insight is accessed around our Self –  providing, ultimately what it is we need to ‘Be and do’.

We took our time to create the much needed  space for something special and unique to arise through our innate body wisdom and insight. The power of yoga practice continues to amaze me on so many levels.  Cleaning our slate by pausing, breathing, and quieting down our thoughts and mind, we journeyed through deeper levels and facilitated access to our body’s other intelligence centres – the Heart and the Hara (Belly).

On visioning, the Hopi Elder Thomas Banyacya says, “it is important to stop consider, change, and correct. First, we stop, or pause, so we can truly see what is being revealed or what wants our attention and thoughtful consideration”.

I invite you to find some quiet time to reflect, let things surface, bubble up, arise, and dissolve … keeping what’s valuable and discarding the things that you need to say goodbye to with gratitude so you can move through the year with a sense of grace, beauty, peace, and calmness.

Questions for you to contemplate:

What is unfolding right now?

What is it that you want to bring forward?

What do you appreciate today that has roots in the past?

What solid, wise, and genuine experiences need to be brought forward?

What strengths do you appreciate that will carry you into months ahead?

What do you need to stop, consider, change, and correct (or even appreciate) to better support what you envision for yourself?  For your community? For the greater world?

What will these new days bring for you?

What are your hopes and dreams?

How and what will you need to support and nourish you?

I highly recommend taking some time out either through intentional rest or pauses throughout the year or, if possible, go on retreat. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and others.

I give thanks for all of the limitless and exciting possibilities that now lie before me.  May it continue to unwind, unfold, and shine.

“For all that has been — Thanks!

For all that shall be — Yes!”

~ Dag Hammarskjold

Questions adapted from Anne Pitman Yoga Retreat 2011 and Living in Gratitude, A Journey That Will Change Your Life, Angeles Arrien, 2011.

Photosource: Flickr

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