If you want to know if your practice is working, look at your relationships

catapulted into 2016 by my partner getting severely ill, i experienced a rude awakening- i resented him for not being able to take care of me.  after all, "Ihad had a busy holiday, too!  I had driven all the way to and from arizona, too!  I needed tlc, too!"  this was a huge, harsh wake up call for me, though not entirely unsurprising.  
i have dedicated my life to taking care of others and often at the expense of my own needs.  it's a convenient way of not looking at my ugly stuff or asking for help.  when i caught these feelings (luckily before they had escaped out my mouth on the backs of sleek, passive-aggressive comments) i went back to the drawing board (my practice) and asked myself, 
"where are the gaps?  
what corners have i been cutting?  
what care am i not giving myself?"

i realized i wasn't practicing what i needed- i was cutting my home practice short and skipping dessert (savasana) every day.  
i wasn't putting myself in a state of being, i was just doing.  
i committed to one hour of practice a day- whether on my mat or curled up with silence and a book, and my fuel light stopped blinking.  i gave my partner what he needed- space to recover and heal (and a back rub and some netflix binges.)  

while i'm not proud of having those feelings, i'm incredibly proud of the way i dealt with them.  i'm not always able to trap the passive-aggressive comments before they escape, but taking deep breaths and some time outs sure helps.

have you ever said something you instantly regretted?  or not said something you still wish you had?  these are self-expression issues and they originate deep in our sense of self.  any time we've been laughed at for a comment or a question or a goal, any time we've been teased about our hair or clothing or music choices, any time our truth was met with ridicule or judgment,
a little brick is laid down between the feeling place
and the talking place
we stop asking for help, start saying no when we mean yes, smiling and nodding and saying nothing at all, or spewing sarcasm and passive aggressive comments at those we're closest to because they can't read our minds and make us grilled cheese and tomato soup before we've even mentioned the craving.  *sigh*

this year, don't make anyone else responsible for you.  if you want to be listened to, LISTEN to your deepest desires.  if you want to be nurtured,NURTURE your creative impulse.  if you want to feel safe, DEDICATE yourself to basic self-care rituals every single day.

want help?  sure thing.  let's do it together.
check out a simple New Moon Ritual Detox here, and read my latest contribution on Embodied Philosophy, "Two Kinds of Practice"