New Year's Resolutions
It’s the end of the Winter Festivities Season. We’ve had our longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice, Christmas is gone and Kwanzaa offered us daily meditations on how to create the future in which we want to live. Here come the New Year with all of its hope and promise.
This year it is a cautious, tentative, resilient hope. After all, we’ve experienced so much through the Covid Pandemic. It’s also the customary time to make resolutions. There are many and plenty out there who love to resolve to be an externally “better” person. But, at what expense? Who is really benefiting from that resolution to quit this, that, or the other thing?
The self-help industry, that’s who. According to The New York Times, “Our collective failure to keep our resolutions represents an annuity of sorts for health clubs, weight-loss centers and other enterprises that make up what you might call the self-improvement industry. It’s an industry that thrives on our failure to change: recidivism is good for the bottom line.”(1)
I think it’s time to re-evaluate the New Year’s Resolution. Make it kinder and gentler. Rather than, I’m going to lose weight, perhaps, I’m going to investigate ways to feel better both in my body and about myself. Rather than, I’m going to start working out. Perhaps, I’m going to find things my body enjoys doing and make time for my body to experience more of those feel good moments. (I hate working out. I do enjoy walks in nature and dancing around the living room.) Rather than quit smoking. (Which I have done. It wasn’t easy.) Think perhaps, I’m going to look at different actions I can take when I want to have a cigarette and try to do those as long as I can. I’m not going to feel guilty for having that cigarette, I’m going to have that cigarette and that’s the only thing I’m going to do while I’m having it. I’m going to think about why I want a cigarette and try to sort some of those issues out.
I’m not a self-help expert. I’m a person in the process of becoming more comfortable with the skin I am in. What I have realized is that, you can not get to the future without practicing how to live in it right now. Not quite “fake it until you make it,” but, a real close cousin to it. Nothing can be accomplished without having an idea - vague or clear - of how the end result looks. And that’s inside of you.
This New Year, I hope you will consider the following resolutions:
- I will be loving to myself.
- I will cherish myself.
- I will indulge myself.
- I will pamper myself.
- I will honor myself.
- I will listen to my highest self.
- I will be boldly, undeniably and firmly myself.
Also consider committing to honor, affirm, embrace and heal the wounded parts of yourself. The parts of yourself that are anxious. The parts of yourself which cling to sorrow. The parts of yourself which are pessimistic. There cannot be light without darkness. And the darkness is powerful, nurturing and protective. I’m going to paraphrase a meditation Onika Reigns of Black Dream Escape gave in one of her most eloquent and moving meditations:
“Acknowledge your anxiety. Thank it for being there to protect you when you needed protection. Let it know that it can rest. You know where to find it when you need it. But, just right now is not that time.”
In that meditation, she invites her listeners to do this with all of those powerful emotions that have the purpose of keeping us safe, and that life’s experiences have told us are necessary all the time even though they are not.
In the New year, consider committing to acknowledging them; thanking them; and allowing them to rest and only be present when absolutely necessary. Sometimes, they are so active and present that they push your true self out of the way. Sometimes, they invite us to have an extra cookie we don’t really want. Sometimes, they tell us to curl up in the bed because a walk just seems like too much to do. Sometimes, they want 5 cigarettes when one or none would be just fine. Make friends with them. “Hello Anxiety. Yes, I have a big presentation. Thanks for the adrenaline push. But, that’s enough to get my synapses firing. I can handle it all from here. Go take a rest. I’ve got this.”
Fight for your true self. Never let your true self go away. You can do it without resorting to all of the gurus, the gym memberships, and weight loss groups. (Unless you truly feel you need those.) You have the solutions within you.
Yes, this entire blog has nothing to do with Mmmm, Yes! But, it does. I hope you come to Mmmm, Yes! to indulge yourself. I hope you come to here with joy and a secure understanding that you deserve to have nice things. I hope you come to Mmmm, Yes! because I help you express your true self. I hope you come to Mmmm, Yes! because you are consciously participating in creating a fair and equitable world. I hope you come to Mmmm, Yes! so that your outside matches your insides - colorful, beautiful and a lil bit crazy sometimes.
(1Your Recycled Resolutions Are a Boon for Business, Natasha Singer, The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/business/new-years-resolutions-recycled-are-a-boon-for-business.html
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