Archives for Holidays
In a recent yoga class, one of the instructors talked about tossing out resolutions and instead making a commitment. She gave the example of committing to saying something truly positive to ourselves every morning. I like this. I like it because making a commitment feels like you're honoring and respecting yourself. It feels solid and tangible and strong. A commitment feels like it's rooted in an authentic desire. A desire born out of a respect for your well-being and your needs.
Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite posts from others on how they're approaching the New Year. Their pieces are so inspiring and empowering. And I hope they inspire and empower you, too---and maybe even spark a few insights. Alex shares 5 powerful questions to ask ourselves in the New Year, along with her own answers. Rosie suggests doing a New Year Personal Summit and shares this important reminder: "The New Year isn’t a time to make yourself feel bad or to shame yourself. It’s an opportunity to remember that all of life is journey and we can choose our journey any time."
This year instead of setting resolutions, intentions or a word of the year, I've decided to do something a little different: create a theme. That just feels right. I like the idea of selecting a unifying, overarching path that I can walk in 2016. An idea that permeates the entire year, a reminder for every day. It's similar to a word of the year, but "theme" sounds invigorating and inspiring to me. It reminds me that while I can't control the plot, I do control how I perceive the plot, the lessons I learn and the steps I take.
Years ago, I would've consumed the "New Year, New You" messages like it was real nourishment for my soul—except that it's akin to snacking on rice cakes. No substance or sustenance. No enjoyment or savoring. Just emptiness, and possibly a stomachache. I would've sat on the couch and mapped out all the things I needed to change about myself. It would've been a long list, a list created quickly and easily, the weaknesses and inadequacies pouring out of my head and onto the paper.
May you appreciate your body exactly as it is. And when you don't, may you forgive yourself and extend a bit of self-compassion. May you forgive yourself for whatever mistake or bad decision you made. You did the best you could at the time with the information, coping skills, perspective, mood and stress level that you had.
I spent many years of my life wishing away my looks, wishing away the qualities and traits that make me me. I wished for tanner, smoother skin (as opposed to light, pale and blemished). I wished for a flat stomach and a different face. I wished for different clothes and different hair. I wished so badly to fit in.
Lately, I've been doing more writing than usual. I've been editing and proofreading my forthcoming book, Make a Mess. I've been creating content for the book's website and for my updated personal site. I've been creating an e-book and answering written questions about the book. All of this is incredibly exciting.
When I'm feeling overwhelmed and there's a lot going on, I like to refocus on simple pleasures. Because it's very easy for me to get panicked and go to a very negative place. A place filled with "I can'ts," catastrophes, rigidity and headaches. So I try to refocus. I try to breathe in the beauty of right now and create my own sweet moments. I know that all of us have a lot going on. So, today, and this weekend, let's refocus on doing just that: finding magic and creating some of our own in the smallest and most accessible ways.
There's a powerful perspective that many of us miss around the holidays and, of course, at other times too. It's the idea of being present instead of being perfect. Because it's so easy to get caught up, isn't it? It's so easy to get caught up in buying the perfect gifts, in wearing the perfect party outfits, in hosting the perfect dinner. In trying to be the perfect everything.