Make Room for Sukha in the New year

As 2017 comes to an end, I feel the collective pull toward setting resolutions, goals, intentions, and the like, for the coming year. Yet I can't help but think, is this another way of adding tasks for which we have no room onto our plate? 

In yogic teachings, we find the concepts of sukha and dukha. While my autocorrect does not care for these words, I love what they represent, and find them immensely useful heading into a new year. In simplest terms, sukha translates to "good space," and dukha translates to "bad space." And though I don't much care for looking at the world through a lens of absolutes such as "good" or "bad," I think that moving into the new year with an effort to balance sukha and dukha in our bodies and lives is wise.

For example, when we breathe, the exhale breath is an action taken in order to clear out the air we no longer need, but which is a byproduct of healthy breathing, in order to make space for new, oxygen-filled air to enter. The same concept applies to digestion, and really every function in our body down to a cellular level. The better our body is at recognizing and eliminating the "dukha," the more efficiently it functions on all fronts. It's not that the waste is necessarily bad (though it certainly could be the result of a toxin or invader that entered the body) -- it is simply something that has served its purpose and is no longer useful for our wellness.

The same could be said for the mind, and for where we choose to spend our energy in our life. When a thought, emotion, habit, relationship, or activity no longer serves our values and goals, we must gratefully let it go in order to free up mental and energetic space to add something new or to create change during a time of transition. And it may be that, in this moment, there are no earth-shattering, major changes or additions that need to occur for you in the new year. In fact, this time does not represent an annual shift on every calendar everywhere in the world. But the collective energy of transition provided by our society's new year offers us an impetus for reflection, and an opportunity to consider where we might eliminate dukha -- that which once served a purpose but does no longer -- in order to invite in sukha for 2018 and beyond. 

May each of us invite joy, wellness, and love into 2018. Happy New Year <3