This discussion is more about who you are, really, at your core, and honoring those parts of you which you want to nurture. New Year, Same You. Let us celebrate who you are at your soul spot. We obviously have goals in life, which are great, so let us change the language of new year resolutions in order to change the way we feel about them on the journey. I like to make new year promises to myself instead. I don’t choose unattainable actions with a short time line. I focus on my strengths and create baby steps which won’t cause me more anxiety and stress along the way. I choose 3 goals at a time which reflect my strengths, while stretching my comfort zone.
In order to keep these promises to myself, I write the 3 down on a little post-it note pad or tiny note book. Here are some examples:
- I am eating the most nutrient dense foods to give me strength and energy.
- I am breathing slowly and deeply and counting to 10 before reacting.
- I value my worth and ask for it in my work space.
Do you see how these are based upon my personality and strengths within me that I can nurture? I did not write, “I will lose 20 pounds this year.” I did not write, “I am going to make a million dollars by the end of the year.”
I hand write these 3 doable promises 3 times, meaning 9 sentences in all. Writing these down and saying them aloud multiple times a day creates in you a new thought system, and a new belief system. Eventually our everyday choices will model the new belief system. Writing by hand confirms the mind-body connection. Connecting the thoughts with the physical activity throughout the body is powerful and part of this practice. The science behind these positive affirmations show that throughout the repeated practice our brains begin to develop new neural pathways which are in alignment with the new thought patterns.
Keeping the list short assists, preventing us from adding pressure to our daily lives. When we actualize one of the promises, we can eliminate that particular affirmation sentence and choose another sentence to write down, a promise to ourselves, which tends to our internal garden once again.
In January of each year, there is no better time to take some space and time for reflection as well. Reflect upon the year which has passed. Thank yourself for your development and devotion to yourself which has brought you to this moment. You may want to develop your goals after this reflection period. Feel free to pat yourself on the back. I thank my body for its service. I thank my mind for its service. I thank the universe for supporting me. I thank Mother earth for food and water.
I sit quietly, light a candle, and write a list of things I no longer want in my life as well, like things that just suck my time, or people who are energy vampires. Use the last 12 months’ experiences to sort out and create a more fulfilling year this year. Write a list of what you achieved this past year. Include even the smallest achievements. Then, literally cross out what you have finished to indicate the task is completed. It is amazing how seeing that a task is completed helps decrease stress and is powerfully motivating. Write down what you consider to be personal failures too. It is important to look at this list and recognize what you learned from them. Write down the lessons they taught you. I take my pages of lists and go outside and burn them in a clay pot. It feels good to see with my own eyes the dissolution of the things, people, and actions which no longer serve my higher purpose.
This activity frees you up to be motivated. You are creating an internal space for more energy. The more energy we have, the more energy we have, to give to others, the others whom you do want to devote yourself to, that is, without resentment.
Remember, you are not alone. Perhaps bonding with a trusted family member or friend can enhance the accountability. I know with my Pilates and yoga teaching taking up most of my time, I have a hard time getting outdoors to nature. I crave it in my deepest parts of myself, yet I am not there. I have a hard time developing my cardiovascular strength. So one of my promises to myself is to go hiking weekly with my hiking partner. He and I made a pact during the weeks of reflection. After reflection, it became clear to me what I wanted and who I wanted to be bonded with in the accountability. What a blessing!
As you continue with the positive affirmations process, you will start seeing a theme for your life emerging. These are your strengths and personality traits coming through in a way that encourages you to flow, rather than always fighting with yourself, deep within. The self-sabotaging and self-deprecation will ease up. The inner friction will lessen.
Just as your home is your sanctuary, your body, your vessel, is your sanctuary. I call my body the Garden of Eden. I am a divine entity in this vessel. I need to take time daily to tend to my Garden of Eden. When I was a child, most of us had grownups who taught us to how brush our teeth daily. When I was in elementary school, there were school-wide assemblies yearly with dentists and shows that were fun and encouraged our dental care, teaching us how to correctly brush and floss our teeth. I cannot imagine a life where I did not wake up and immediately think about brushing my teeth. The encouragement and training of the brain patterns were instilled in me. As an adult, we can train ourselves. Take the opportunities that are just in front of you, but invisible, slightly out of reach. They are like ghosts dangling a carrot which we want to capture with our drive, our might. You have the chance to breathe life into the ghosts. Take it.
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