This year, forget the resolutions. The root of the word alone, “resolute,” sounds so hard and fast. Miss your mark, and you fail. Who really needs a daunting cliff of expectation to kick off a new year?
Intentions, on the other hand, sound, and feel, much softer, steadier, more spacious. And who doesn’t need room to grow, try out something new, fall off-track, get back on and hit the reset button?
There’s so much more grace and forgiveness in this – and we could all stand to use more of those, despite the loud messages of the world telling us to go hard, go fast and succeed, at all cost.
It’s never too late to recalibrate. In yoga, we say, you don’t just strike a pose, and you’re done. Since yoga teaches us to be in our bodies mindfully and intelligently, no matter what we are doing throughout our days, we are always in a pose, always doing yoga. As long as we are breathing and alive, the practice is on-going. The poses never end. And such is life.
Our chances to show up, live mindfully and in alignment with our intentions are infinite. Any moment, any month, any year, if you forget, if you falter, if you fail, you can try, try again; whether it’s getting to the gym, eating more consciously, minding your thoughts, watching your words, being a little kinder or patient with those around you, procrastinating less, or playing more with life. Life is there, ready and waiting, when you are.
Yes, it will take some resolve, commitment, focus, and tenacity to keep living out your intentions; also heaps of forgiveness, humour helps, and a continual letting go; this will free you, time and time again, to move on.
Our true value lies not in some perfect track record, in our assets or accomplishments. What we truly desire, according to well-known author, researcher and TED talk speaker Brené Brown, is, quite simply: love and belonging; to love and be loved, to feel deeply connected to something larger than ourselves.
In her research, Brown discovered that only one thing separated the people who felt this deep sense of love and belonging from those who seemed to be struggling for it. This one thing was the belief in their own worthiness.
She writes “It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.”
If we chase our worth in people and things outside of ourselves – possessions, approval, status, and so on – the joy, peace and deep fulfillment that arise from love and belonging will continue to elude us.
The path to what we truly desire lies within.
For some of us, wrapping our heads and hearts around this may require a massive recalibration.
Fortunately, practices like yoga and meditation, which bring us gently into the present moment through the breath, can serve as a compass or internal GPS, allowing us to map and experience ourselves, just as we are, and to grow in self-awareness, self-acceptance and ultimately self-love.
So forget the resolutions. There’s no intention more worthy than to care for, and love yourself, right now, in all your flawed and unfinished glory, fully and completely. And, in case you’re concerned, there’s nothing selfish or narcissistic about it. Consider your self-loving a gift to yourself, to those closest to you, and to the rest of the world. If you can find the courage to drop the masks, move through the old armour, and touch your own vulnerability – beautiful, flawed, and broken in some places as we all are – then without doing anything, while just being yourself, you may be surprised to find that the love and belonging you so crave, will just find you. So Happy You Year.
Intention & Mantra: I see and accept myself just as I am, right now, in this moment. I am gorgeously human, flawed and fabulous. I love myself and I am worthy of love and belonging.