The Next Step

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For many of us, the start of each new year includes focusing on next steps, on resolutions, and on ways of improving what we often dislike about ourselves or our lives. During the course of the initial few months of the new year, many of us who have created resolutions often find ourselves in the midst of dissatisfaction because we’ve failed to maintain our resolutions, failed to change what we dislike about ourselves, failed to change our lives. Additionally, our actions of making and breaking resolutions tend to turn into annual cycles, year in and year out, of increased stress. For most of us, we set ourselves up to repeat these annual cycles of stress because we rush into the next step while either overlooking or ignoring the very first step, which in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy we refer to as acceptance.

If we take a moment and turn to the images in the first half of this issue of the Journal, we’ll find that they convey very yogic principles. A little girl holding a handful of feathery seeds and releasing them to the wind calls to mind non-attachment and the loving presence of witness. The image of a handshake between two people evokes ideas of trust and right relationship. The image of a well-loved baby in the arms of its father reveals expressions of surrender. Images like these really become visual icons for us as we try to convey all the nuances of that all-important spirit we call acceptance. Because of its importance in the role of healthy change, we felt it rightly deserved to be the theme for this issue.

We begin this issue with a thought-provoking article by Elissa Cobb, which launches us on our journey into acceptance, a journey from willfulness to willingness. And we end the issue with another article on acceptance by Daniela Menardi in which she explores a journey of a different sort: a journey to the rock-bottom experience. In the face of this particular kind of experience, we find ourselves choosing either for or against acceptance. In between these bookend articles, we’ve included an article by Carol Capper about the role of dialogue in a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session. This leads to further exploration of the role of words in an article by Bev Johnson. She brings into focus the important role that right language plays in our communications with others as we bring Phoenix Rising into our communities. Next we present a real hands-on article by Jaunie Federowicz and Elizabeth Wyatt. They look at the role that business relationships play in our Phoenix Rising professional practices. Finally, in celebration of the entrance into our second year of publication and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy’s 27th year, we decided it would be a good time to check in with Phoenix Rising’s founder Michael Lee. Beth Triano sits down for a talk with Michael in order to explore a simple question: What is Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy?

Thank you for all your support during this past year. And we wish you much peace, much acceptance, and much success, however these may look for you, throughout this new year.

About the Author

Kevin Sharpe

Kevin Sharpe is the director of the Center for Body-Mind Therapy in Augusta, Ga., and the editor of International Journal of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. He uses Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy to support clients heal through the stress that shows up in their lives. In his role as full-time family caregiver for his father, he turned to these very same techniques to explore and heal through his often times stress-filled, fractured inner landscape of caregiving. Kevin continues to walk this healing path of the caregiving journey now with his mother.

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