res·o·lu·tion (noun) a firm decision to do or not to do something, the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
New year and new resolution(s) or not! The beginning of a new year can bring fierce determination to change something about ourselves, our life, to release habits that no longer serve us. Building a foundation for change (especially now when it seems like everyone is doing it) can be tempting, rewarding, motivating. If you resolve to create change(s) take the time to build a strong foundation to support you.
We often develop unrealistic and unattainable resolutions so take your time. Be very clear on what you would like to change and how you propose to change it. Think about the way we practice Mountain Pose (Tadasana) building the posture from the soles of our feet (grounded) up to the crown of our head (spacious/expansive). We take time to align our joints, lengthen our spine, release our shoulders and lift our head. We use the knowledge we gained through the slow, careful set up of alignment in Mountain Pose for many of the other postures in our practice.
Typically, we expect to obtain miraculous change with our resolutions in a fairly short amount of time. That can cause anxiety when it does not happen. I really like the approach that Rachel Orr (The Washington Post, The Lily) tried in 2017 – A New Way to Resolve: One Month at a Time. For some of us, this tradition is just the nudge we need toward self-improvement. However, for others, new year resolutions(s) come with a downside. When we struggle to come up with a list, don’t start working on them, or start and then fail to complete them – the negative self-talk begins – ugh! How do you feel when you fail? Are you hard on yourself? I know (at times) that I am very hard on myself.
I’ve seen posts all day on Facebook – people stating their resolutions, people asking what others’ resolutions are – seems like the race is on to out do, out be, out accomplish each other. For me, it is usually too much pressure. I change so much everyday anyway! Part of me screams “you are setting yourself up for failure!” Today, I read an email from Jacob Kyle’s (Embodied Philosophy) in which he transcribed a talk by Alan Watts. The section below really resonated with me.
“So here’s the situation, you see. The whole idea of self-improvement is a will-o’the-whisp and a hoax. That’s not what it’s about. Let’s begin where we are. What happens if you know beyond any shadow of doubt that there is nothing you can do to be better? Well, it’s kind of a relief, isn’t it? You say, ‘Now what will I do?’ You see, there’s a little fidget that comes up, because we are so used to making things better. ‘Leave the world a better place than how you found it’ sort of thing, ‘I want to be of service to other people’, and all these dreadfully hazy ideas…
But supposing, instead of that, seeing that there isn’t really anything we can do to improve ourselves or improve the world. If we realize that that is so, it gives us a breather, in the course of which we may simply watch what is going on. Watch what happens. Nobody ever does this, you know. And therefore it sounds terribly simple. It sounds so simple that it almost looks as if it isn’t worth doing. Have you ever just watched what’s happening? And watched what you are doing by way of reaction to it? Just watch it happen. And don’t be in a hurry to think you know what it is.”
I am a practitioner of intentions, setting them everyday to begin my yoga practice. This year I decided to follow tradition and create a list of resolutions. I’m sharing them with you, so I can be held accountable. I haven’t listed out the steps I am going to take to work on them, as that might be a future blog topic. I resolve to:
- continue building a solid, centered, grounded foundation so I can serve others
- watch (really watch) what is going on
- practice with intention in the present moment
- nurture our commUNITY of beautiful souls
It is my hope that you have a loving and peaceful new year, filled with love, light and laughter. Near or far, you are always in my heart and a vital part of our shared consciousness. All love to love all, Rebecca
Note: I free write these blogs which means they are full of typos. Such is my life!