Is January about renewal or hibernation, or maybe both? We consider New Year's resolutions when most of the natural world hibernates. Certainly, it can take effort to summon the energy to do anything but hide under a warm blanket. And then comes the snow. . .which makes winter invigorating and promising.
I chose to embrace the hope that the new year brings and attend a seminar at Kripalu. Kripalu is a yoga and health retreat tucked in the Berkshires, just outside Lenox, MA. Housed in a former Jesuit seminary, the center is spare but clean and comfortable. Typically there are two program paths at Kripalu, an R&R retreat or multi-day programs.
I participated in a weekend seminar, "Mind Whispering: A New Path to Freedom from Self-Defeating Emotional Habits." Led by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and his wife Tara Bennett-Goleman a psychotherapist and educator, who specializes in schema and cognitive therapy.
The workshop was a blend of simple science on how the brain functions, limitations and adaptations of that function and techniques for changing emotionally driven habits that have out-lived their usefulness.
The time spent in seminar is balanced by yoga classes (for all levels), a wide variety of food options (for every diet or nutritional plan) and an environment that nurtures the wisdom that working on yourself is the key to being useful to those around you.
Did it work? I didn't come back rested, but I came back challenged and engaged. Not a bad way to start the new year. I plan to go back.