The end of one year and the beginning of the next usually means evaluating where we stand and what we want next. Of course, best intentions are often soon forgotten. As Mark Twain put it:
“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
Here are my thoughts on moving into a new year and decade, following through with your resolutions, the changes that are possible, and how to achieve them.
Banishing the Old, Welcoming the New: 3 Thoughts on Change
Out with the old, in with the new! Isn’t that the energy of this time of year? We’re so ready to rip that last calendar page right out, to throw away tired old 2009 and welcome bright and shiny 2010 as if it were going to be totally different from everything that came before. And it will be. And it won’t be.
Consider your resolutions: do they look a lot like last year’s? “Wherever you go, there you are” applies to time, as well.
You won’t find a greater believer than I in the possibilities of change and healing, and you also won’t find anyone more appreciative of the difficulties of making changes. You need motivation to start, and persistence to carry you through, and you also need the right information, guidance and support to make it work. So take a moment to consider what you want and how to move towards it as this new decade begins.
How do we truly make a new start? Here are three ideas I’ve been mulling over in my own transition.
One: More Wholeness/Less Fragmentation
Instead of splitting our lives into bad and good, want and don’t want, past and future, or any other form of “this and not that”, we need to appreciate where we are: our joys and our sorrows, our failures and our triumphs, the enchanting and the uh… unappealing, together. Rather than seeing the glass as half full or half empty, see the glass in its entirety. Life is complex. We are complex. Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Surrender to it. Only by understanding, acknowledging and accepting where we are, in all our marvelous complexity, can we finally move through, and on to something new.
Two: Listen Deeply
Whether you think of the source as God, intuition, Higher Self, or Higher Power, don’t you wish that you could hear when it whispers, instead of being clunked over the head when the message is finally, blatantly, obvious? How can we make the space for something new to come in quietly?
For myself, I am resolving to make more time for silence, through meditation. I always teach that it is better to have a short consistent practice than a long but erratic one, and I fully believe and practice that. But when I take a full 60 minutes to meditate rather than my usual 10, there is a qualitative as well as a quantitative difference. It is so restorative, and gives me the opportunity for that deep listening.
Would more quiet time be beneficial for you? I would guess, in our crazy busy world, that it would. So I encourage you, too, to make more time and space for the things that don’t get shouted, but whispered, in your life.
If you would like to join me for meditation, I teach twice each month: on the first Tuesday of the month at Happy Buddha Yoga in Goshen, and on a Thursday evening in my office. Each class includes instruction, practice and discussion. You can always check the Event Calendar for upcoming dates.
Three: Question Your Limits
I had a teacher (the remarkable Carolyn Myss) who used to tell us that all limitations are self-imposed. I hated when she said that. And I still reject the implication that we can think ourselves into, or out of, an illness, for example. On the other hand, I grudgingly admit that there is much truth to it.
I experienced this teaching again when a yoga buddy encouraged me to try Urdhva Dandasana, or half-headstand. I love headstands (oh now I do, after spending 9 months mastering them) but I was sure I couldn’t do a half-headstand, that I didn’t have the strength, coordination, or balance. When I let go of all my expectations and focused, well, it wasn’t easy, but it was completely do-able. The true impediments were my fear, my anxiety, and my image of myself as too weak. It was a good reminder to question what other limitations I may be needlessly imposing. I encourage you to question yourself as well. You might be utterly amazed at all you are capable of, if you only give yourself the chance.
If you only do the same thing you’ve done before, you’ll only get the same results. Do something different this year: do what works. I specialize in identifying the reasons why people have failed to attain optimal health, including:
* hidden food sensitivities,
* a damaged metabolism,
* hormonal imbalance,
* the wrong exercise program (yup, exercise can keep you fat and stressed if it’s the wrong kind for you),
* sleep issues,
* and more.
Identifying and addressing these issues will not only give you the body you have always wanted, it will give you greater health and well-being than you ever imagined possible.
Don’t believe that problems you are experiencing are “normal at your age” (whatever age you are) or that you “just have to live with them”. More is possible than you might ever imagine.
All you need is the right information, guidance and support to achieve it. And that is exactly what I want to offer you.
My wish for you in the New Year, and always: May you have a peaceful, loving heart, the courage to combine strength with vulnerability, and faith that whatever comes your way you will meet it with vision, optimism, and good friends at your side.
Happy New Year!