Amman, January 4, 2018
by Khadija Muhaisen Dajani

Back-Flips and Other Ideas for the New Year - Start Now

Adventures of the Soul by Khadija Muhaisen Dajani

My friend recommended I start working on back-flips. They blast heart chakras wide open, from what I have been told. I believe the imagined terror of learning them in fact induces heart palpitations that are confused for heart chakra alignment. I jokingly explained I needed to figure out front-flips first before venturing into the unknown world of backward diving, making a mental note to add back-flips to my ever-expanding list of “things to work on.” They came in at number 1351. (Update: I am working my way through Sri Dharma Mittra’s list of photographed poses. My goal is the year 2023. I am certain once I overcome the back-flip hurdle, I will be the best version of myself. I will also be more grey, wrinkled, and dimpled, but totally carefree as I happily back-dive my way into 2024 blogging about perfection.)

I am sure, like me, you have been inundated this past week with content on resolutions, the “new you,” and transformation January. (Please add this blog to the list.) Many of my favorite yogis have published their lists of resolutions. (None I have so far read include back-flips.) In my modest view, something about new year resolutions implies a sense of lack, masking a license to indulge, while simultaneously denying accomplishments and growth. My issue is with the idea of “tomorrow:” this illusive date when we are going to show up, clean out the closet/garage/body, eat healthy, and become the back-flipping person we want to become. And as we think/write about all we want to accomplish tomorrow, we dig into a juicy, cheesy burger downed with soda waiting for the brownies to bake. Insulin jab ready at the bedside table.

As I was working on #5 pose on my list yesterday (so simple, I am embarrassed to name it), I was fortunate enough for a moment of flow. “Flow” moments are rare and glorious: when everything aligns and one becomes a vessel for inspiration. Sacred activists like to call these gifts living in Spirit. Mine was a flashback to last year, when this list of 1351 poses was not even in my realm of wildest imaginings. It was beautiful to be reminded that I have come a long way. A very long way that should be celebrated. I have grown. My metric of accomplishment is my personal growth -not the feats of others I longingly watch on social media.

[Insert short social media tirade.]

I understand the pitfalls of the social media world. Sure, it is a limited, perhaps skewed, view of the world. (Maybe that is fake news.) It is, however, a reflection of some reality however limited, short-lived, and contrived. Personally, it allows me to share my work and meet a wider world. It exposes me to lists of new year resolutions painstakingly detailed by celebrity yogis. And for that I am grateful.

[End tirade]

I could publish my 1351-item list with action plans and set deadlines, chain it to my waist, and drag it along with me this year. At the risk of making back-flips more challenging, its publication may guarantee accountability and inspiration.

But I would rather start a new page, a celebration and reminder that I am whole and an endless work in progress. This is a page of gratitude for all that I am, all that I have, and all that I will become. Its heading is “Under Construction” and only guideline is to “Press On.” Its “Action Plan” is to show up everyday, grey hair, dimples, and all.

It means to sweat every day I am given. It is those beads of sweat that hold all that I was and all that I will become. To press on is to be guided by a nurturing compassion toward myself and others, placing my own wellbeing at the top of every list, quietly shutting out the noise and distractions. In practical terms, this means turning down everything that interrupts my yoga practice, swim training, writing, and reading space. You will not see me loudly using my social media platform to rant about its perils. Whatever holds me back, I will quietly drop. If it doesn’t make my heart sing, it’s out. No fanfare. No public announcements. It is easy and liberating. And when I put my head on my pillow at the end of every day, my soul is alight with contentment and achievement, as my body rests, detoxes, and integrates in blissful sleep. For I have done my bit for that day. And if I am given another, I will get up and do it over again. Whether it is January 2018 or May 2018. My page is renewed at every sunrise. It is a template for every day of every year.

It starts now. Not tomorrow. That is what rids cupboards of statins and insulin jabs. Clearing shelves literally clears space in the heart. It makes room for one to live in Spirit. It may even bring back-flips into the mix. I like goals. I set goals everyday. And intentions. And throw in some “asks” in my daily prayer. But I start “now”. You see, tomorrow is never guaranteed. All we have is this moment.

Start now. Join me #presson

Khadija Muhaisen Dajani’s journey is perfectly summed up by Gloria Steinem’s reflection of her life in which the circle, not a hierarchy, is the goal. Her work is guided by the intention to inspire compassionate living. Through Sacred Activation practices including yoga, nutrition, writing, and activism, she hopes collectively we can access our innate, infinite well of self resilience, power, and ultimately Spirit. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT500), Whole Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Graduate, & Writer. Follow her on her website Instagram @khadijasayoga and Facebook @Khadija Muhaisen Dajani.

Jan 4, 2018