The new year tends to spark fresh starts. We get excited. We feel energized, motivated, and inspired. We brainstorm a slew of ideas. We set intentions. We clear out clutter. We begin all kinds of projects.
Well, some of us do.
For others the new year is a quieter, softer time. It is a tender time. A big reason is because in many places, it’s freezing, gray, dark, and damp. Instead of a time for blooming, it’s a time for hibernating.
It’s a time to go within. It’s a time to rest and take it easy. It’s a time to sit back and observe.
So if you’re not feeling like hustling, resolving, or striving, that’s totally OK. If you don’t want to create a word of the year or set any kind of intention (even if it’s about practicing self-care or self-compassion or moving your body in joy-enhancing ways), that’s OK, too.
Don’t feel the pressure to do something because it seems like everyone is striving to make their Big! Bold! Dreams come true. Don’t pressure yourself into doing something that doesn’t feel right or fulfilling.
Instead, you can simply be. You can simply keep doing what you’re doing.
You can give yourself unconditional permission to follow the same routine—and to give yourself whatever you might need this month or in this moment. This might be comfort, solitude, or a few naps.
It might be reading a book on the couch (and not aiming to finish a certain number of titles). It might be the loosening of expectations. It might be slowing down.
Instead of making big changes or starting anything midwinter, writer Anna Lovind is letting go and giving herself some space—and space is a powerful, fertile thing.
As she writes in her post, “…empty space is our friend. Because it’s not really empty, it’s charged with potential. It’s the birthing place of creativity. It’s a seed bed, the soil black and moist and ready to sow. Whatever we plant there can grow all the more effortlessly, because there’s plenty of room to expand.
So I ask myself: What needs to go in order to make space for something new in my life this year? What can I give less energy to? What can I quit altogether?”
Maybe you ask yourself these same questions, letting go and making space for the future. Maybe you don’t ask yourself any questions at all. Instead, you keep going about your days, as you did in 2018, and, sink into the stillness.
Give yourself unconditional permission to revisit resolutions or intentions when the snow melts, the days become longer, and the temperature rises.
Give yourself unconditional permission to revisit resolutions or intentions when the earth is reborn, when there’s a rainbow of colors, when the sun stays a while, and you don’t need to wear 15 layers.
Give yourself unconditional permission to consider making changes during a different season.
Give yourself unconditional permission to provide yourself what you need in this moment—a cup of tea, a warm blanket, solitude and stillness, an early bedtime, and the acceptance of letting things just be.