Resolution as a Shift in Being
Happy 2021! Since most of us have quite a rough year, let's take this time to mentally reset. Let's talk resolutions!
While a lot can be said about new year's resolutions and people's tendency to quickly give up on them, the transition from the end of one year to the next is still a major collective shift in consciousness that happens because we as a society put a lot of significance on the occasion. Not only that but in certain societies, the coming of spring is considered to be the new year, when we shed off the cold of winter and welcome new life into the world. In Ayurvedic terms, we are transitioning from the bare vata season to a richer, growthful kapha time of year. This might be why the new year is considered to be a great time to cast off and let go of old habits and to set intentions for new ones.
New Year's Resolutions get a bad rap. Not only for being a reminder of our own lack of commitment and willpower but perhaps because when we think of typical resolutions we often think of ones made for rather superficial reasons. For example, losing weight to look better or make more money to buy a sports car. We also tend to think of resolutions as promises to ourselves that we don't really have any intention of fulfilling. For some of us, that might be cleaning the garage out or giving up on sugar. By the time we forget we have stepped into a new year, many of our resolutions are a thing of the past.
But the problem is not that we are lazy or forgetful. Perhaps it is because we are disconnected from the true reason for making a resolution in the first place. The true desired outcome goes beyond just getting that car, getting a better body, or even being healthier. It is how those outcomes empower us to show up in the world the way we want to show up and to be who we are meant to be. Cleaning out the garage seems like a drag, but if we remember that we're cleaning out the garage to let go of old attachments and to create room for new possibilities, maybe we'll get to it instead of putting it off until next year. If we shifted our desire to lose weight from wanting to impress others to cultivating our own vitality so that we have more energy to pursue our calling and show up for others, maybe going for that run will show up more as a stepping stone rather than an imposition on our freedom.
We can even take it one step deeper. Rather than making resolutions that focus on tangible goals, we can try making resolutions that focus on how we want to be. If I resolve to be more positive, happy, and energetic so that I can better serve myself and others, then I can create multiple tangible checkpoints such as lose 5 pounds or eat vegetables every day that elevate me towards this way of being. This way, we are not as concerned with succeeding or failing in doing and more focused on doing what empowers us into being. We also are less likely to lose sight of a goal if we know the deeper purpose for achieving it.
All this being said, this year I would like to focus on being unapologetically me - to show up with confidence, to embrace my own quirks so that they can transform into my strengths. This also means always being honest with myself about what I want in life, and not bending from the pressure of "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts." And to do that I know will take a lot of inner work, self-study, and meditation. But I know that I am worth the effort.
So what way of being will elevate your life to new heights? Adventurous? Forgiving? Bold? Loving? Take some time to see what calls to you. You are worth the effort.
Here's to a new year of health, joy, and prosperity! Thank you for reading :)