In August Vara launched something new: Women Share.
Women Share is a monthly online event to bring all those that identify as female together to reflect, restore and most importantly share. We spend an hour and a half together on the last Sunday of the month for some yoga, journaling and discussion. Each month we have a theme and a collection of a book, podcast, poem and album inspired by that theme.
As Women Share is a new beginning for Vara the theme for August’s Women Share was ‘Start Anew’. We dove into what it means to begin again, start fresh, let go of the old and welcome the new.
When we ‘start anew’ we often think of looking ahead and moving forward, however, in this Women Share we focused on the importance of staying still and looking back to begin again. In a world that is moving at such a fast pace, it can feel uncomfortable to stay still, but often it is in these moments of stillness that allow us to reflect and understand ourselves and what we need to move forward.
We explored stillness in our yoga practice with some hatha yoga where you slowly move through and hold static poses. We asked people to focus on how each pose made them feel and then to choose their favourite pose to take forward and practice once a day. This idea is inspired by James Clear’s idea of atomic habits, that larger change in our lives start with small changes in our habits. You can find out more about atomic habits in our chosen podcast from August’s ‘Start Anew’ collection.
In our journaling exercise we were inspired by Derek Walcott’s poem Love After Love. The poem is about finding yourself again after a breakup, loss or hurt and greeting yourself again “at your own door, in your own mirror.” We looked at the last line of the poem and what it means for us to: ‘Sit. Feast on your life’. For many, it was the idea of paying attention more and reflecting on the subtle everyday experiences. For others, it was taking a moment to remember to reflect upon the past and those moments that have made their lives special.
Again we come back to this idea of slowing down and staying still. We do not have to let go of everything to move forward nor do we have to change everything to begin again. But maybe if we just slow down a little bit, take some time to reflect upon the past and pay more attention to the present moment. We can take what we need into the future and leave the rest behind to ‘start anew’.
August's Women share collection:
Book: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Podcast: Feel Better Live More: How to build good habits and break bad ones with James Clear
Album: Patti Smith - Horses
Poem: Love After Love by Derek Walcott