And so we find ourselves at the end of January. How are your new year’s resolutions coming along? If you’re like the 80 – 90% majority of people who make them, you will by now have realised that you have not succeeded in keeping them! Likely the guilt you are feeling is making you feel worse than you did when, as the end of last year approached, you looked at your life, didn’t entirely like everything you saw, and decided that you “really should” make some changes. But your resolve was too vague and nothing seemed to stick. Or perhaps you followed the advice in our previous article and were really rather relaxed at the end of the year. And so you became inspired to do things differently in the new year so that your “holiday you” might become your “everyday you”. But as you returned to real life, those butterfly notions soon fluttered away. Either way, you should not be too hard on yourself.
ONE THING AT A TIME
Sometimes the ideal picture we envision and wish for ourselves, that of a highly balanced and optimally functioning human being, is not very realistic when we consider our current circumstances. Projected fantasies may leave us highly susceptible to comparing ourselves to those who we perceive to have it all figured out. Instead of judging yourself, be fair with yourself, be kind to yourself, accept where you are in your life, where you are able to be at. Your challenges last year were not your neighbour’s challenges. Each of us progresses through life with our own individual markers. Recognise those markers and see how who you are has gotten you to where you are and how the next step can only be taken from here.
Action that is forced out of a depleted and pressured state, or is a fleeting idea that has not been brought down to earth, is vastly inferior to action that follows a period of rest and nourishment, that has been mulled over, meditated on and allowed to integrate meaningfully with one’s early intentions.To properly tackle resolutions, there are techniques that can be employed. Some are very effective. Mostly they work by tricking the brain into forming new habits. But what if we took those rumblings of ideas that led to those half-baked resolutions and placed them in a deeper vessel, made a fire-pit in the ground and let them slow-cook while we gazed into the flames…
HONOUR IT, SLOW DOWN, BREATHE
Perhaps you are new to self-enquiry and are just starting to ask questions. Or perhaps you have dipped in and out many times and you still just feel confused and defeated. You have probably found yourself starting on courses of action only to have given up soon after. Or you are feeling something that you haven’t felt before. You know there’s something that needs to change but you can’t quite decide what it is or find it difficult to identify and commit to a process that will support you. If you don’t know, allow your not-knowing to be. Honour it, slow down, breathe. Have the courage to stay with yourself and not judge. Gaze into the flames…
In this precious time, when something is waiting to be born, use your meditation practice, your movement practice, your creative practice, your nourishment practice to be present with yourself. If you need healing, remember that it comes in many forms such as tears, laughter, solitude, rest, gratitude, conversation and silence. Use the power of small moments for the soft spaces that they provide, use them for the patience and kindness for self that they teach. And then listen… Answers will appear when they are ready. And you might realise that they were there all along, perhaps only glimpsed for mere moments amidst the busyness and barrage of everyday life. They may yet require forming and shaping. But try to catch them and keep them close. They are yours. They are your magic. Now is a good time to journal what comes up, or even scribble on a scrap of paper a sentence that rings a little but clear bell. Now is the time to trust yourself and set off on the path where those breadcrumbs have been leading you.
| As the energies on this planet speed up, it is a time of big transformation. The feeling that you wanted to get healthier this year, exercise more, get creative or save money, could transform into much bolder and richer visions.
When you have sat with yourself for long enough, and navigated through all of the potential mental minefields, you will know. You will have glimpsed your real self and said “This and this and this is true. Now I know.” It is now time for accountability. When doubt creeps in, acknowledge it, thank it, and allow it to go on its way. Then start. Start with an affirmation of intent, an invitation for the changes you seek to show up in your life. Then (the crucial bit) back it up with some actions and believe that life will provide a way when you walk towards it.
Likely you will notice that people will begin to show up in your life who are on a similar path. Finding support from those who are like-minded can be of invaluable assistance. Making new connections in the physical world can amplify the new connections you are creating in your mental space. Joining a group is a practical way of cementing your intentions and helping them to grow.
Setbacks will happen. Let them. And continue on your path. The path that lies between being gentle with yourself and making excuses for yourself.
May your 2020 be blessed with an abundance of magical synchronicities!
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