We are just over a week into 2020. How are your New Year’s Resolutions? Did you make any?
The week between Christmas and January 1st, for me, is where I sway wildly between resolution decisions. It’s the drawn-out monotony of these days that makes me spend too much time deriding my eating habits, my life decisions, my ability to watch SO much television amazed me.
I found myself thinking about making New Year’s Resolutions a lot while wandering aimlessly not knowing what day it was. And once December 25th had passed, this is what people were talking about. An ad for a gym on a certain social media platform was looking for women to drop a dress size, get rid of the bulge on the 27th.
Dear male gym trainer in the video,
Go away, stop your attempts to shame me. Go and live a little!
Breaking down New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions point out opinion–based flaws in us. They are a self-improvement plan. And a self-improvement plan is often linked to the emotion of guilt. Why do I need to improve myself?
Is it possible to create a resolution from the recognition of my wholeness, my good qualities, rather than looking for ways to improve or fix myself?
Make an intention to do more of some things rather than find something I need to cull?
When I have a true intention to build upon the good of who I am, and nurture myself instead of looking for where I lack, there is a difference. I’m not coming at it from a lack perspective. I am not lacking in anything.
Remember, at this time of the year, we are conditioned (by media) to embrace the gluttony of the holidays (to an extent, there is nothing wrong with that) and immediately after, become the “right” person straight away. This person, we should be. Even our language, This year I will be more ……. is telling us that what we’re doing right now is wrong.
In recent years, I’ve come to realise and accept that I am doing more right than wrong. And the emotion of shame is one I am intent on understanding this year. When I feel it, why is it there? What’s the bigger picture associated with this emotion?
When we come to change ourselves from a place where we are not lacking, we see what is serving us already, what makes us really feel good in the long run, and what we can, maybe, release. For me, I love reading, this year I want to read more. I love food, I want to cook wholesome food more. I know that if I stretch for even 5 minutes I feel better.
When we nurture what we recognise as already good in ourselves, we become more conscious of our behaviour. Starting from a place of love we have for ourselves, or if that’s too much, recognising something we like about ourselves, we already feel better in that moment.
To resolve is to solve a problem.
When a resolution is on the news, we hear of strikes and problems. That is a problem that needs to be fixed. Call in the mediators, get the public riled up, have lengthy discussions on the news and radio that provoke people into feeling anger towards one or the other side of the problem.
So does this mean that a New Year Resolution is to solve the problem which is, a flaw in you?
Break this down even further. This flaw, is it really a flaw?
When we set out to change this, that, and the other in ourselves, the underlying driving force is dissatisfaction.
What happens if you slip once? You give out to yourself. You speak to yourself in a cruel way.
To intend is to design something more wholesome.
Most of us go about daily life with intentions to make our life easier, to live better. Becoming more aware of these intentions, feeling what is good when you do them, you let that good feeling seep into your very core.
When we move towards working with more of what intrinsically makes us feel good, the underlying driving force is love. If we slip, we understand that life happens, and it’s nothing to be hard on ourselves for.
A resolution comes from a place of fear within us.
An intention comes from a glimmer of hope,
a place we know possibility exists, within us.
Which sounds better to you?
My wish for all of us is this:
As we move into 2020,
may this year be the year
we stop trying to figure our lives out.
We are doing a good job,
we are stronger than we think,
we already have resilience.
May we be more conscious of how we live in the moment,
respond to situations with a gentle curiosity
for both ourselves and others.
Here are a few things you already do quite well:
- You can breathe. Better still, your breath is free. Take 5 conscious, deep-belly raising breaths right now. Incorporate this into your daily routine, it won’t do any harm and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you notice after a few tries.
- Feel the water falling on your body as you shower. Notice the texture of it. What reaction your skin has to it. When was the last time you took a bath or shower and felt the sensations on your body? It can take practice to retrain yourself to feel the magic of water against your skin.
- Bite into an apple (or another piece of fruit). What sensations do you feel? Can you describe it in three words?
- Find ten things you are grateful for and count them on your fingers.
- I am grateful for the real butter I put on my toast
- I am grateful for the weight of the duvet on my bed
- I am grateful that my children are gone to school
- I am grateful for the ability to read this
- these don’t have to be big things, life is mostly routine events and things. Embrace the perceived boredom of everyday activities.