I have to confess, I have always had a secret dislike for the “New Year, New You” clickbait headline that’s ubiquitous this time of year. For me, it really feeds into this delusion that somehow we are not good enough as we are and that the only way to have an epic New Year is we must fundamentally change who we are.
Saying that, I do love the “clean slate” feeling that the New Year brings, the magical feeling of renewed possibilities. That same feeling I get with brand new stationary, shiny new yoga gear or when I have gone full Marie Kondo on my sock drawers 😉 Its a feeling of pure excitement and hope about what the future holds and its a feeling that’s hard to beat.
The way that I like to approach this fresh start and maximize it’s potential, without feeling like I was somehow not good enough the year before, starts in December. I love that gorgeous, cozy, purely introverted period of reflection as the year winds down to a close. You can read more about that here if you missed my last post, but the gist really is all about reflecting on the things that worked for you and recognizing the things that didn’t. And you know that “passive observer” we summon in our yoga practice? Yes? We use her to do our reflecting, because the trick to this exercise is really plugging into the fact that the choices you make do not define who you are!
I’ll use the most popular New Year’s resolution, weight gain, as an example we can all relate to. So you may have gained a few pounds last year and now you’re of the view that ” I am fat” (I don’t like that word and I’m so sorry for using it, but who out there hasn’t said that?!). You are literally defining yourself with that statement (using the words “I am”) and it is loaded with negative connotations. But the truth of the matter is, if you gained some weight last year (and that is a problem for you) it simply means you made some choices that didn’t necessarily put your health or the way you would like to look and feel as a priority. In actual fact, it’s no big deal, simple enough to fix and doesn’t warrant any further negative self talk. End. Of. Story. You are fundamentally beautiful and worthy of some better choices that are in alignment with the way you really want to look and feel and that’s what your going to do this year. Awesome!
Weight gain is a popular “problem” to be solved with the clean slate mentality, but there are literally a billion other perceived shortcomings we could be associating ourselves with. It could relate to your parenting skills, your relationships, your career, your stress levels, anything! You could easily be walking around saying, more often than you’re even aware, “I am stressed”, I am a bad parent”, I am failing in my relationships”, etc. etc., to yourself over and over! Oh. My. God. Stop, right?!
Anywhere you feel like you could have been doing a better job can make you feel like a failure. But rather than taking that feeling of failure into your heart and allowing it to define you (by your own standards), let’s think more along the lines of “I made a few choices last year that weren’t in alignment with what I really wanted, so this year I’m going to do it this way instead (insert amazing new habits here!)”. Doesn’t that statement make you feel a little lighter already?
I am not saying I have this exercise nailed, by any means! But the more I study myself (on and off my mat) and remind myself of the number one tenet in Yoga of “non-attachment” the easier I am finding it to connect to my internal “passive observer” . She helps me let of go the stuff that is no longer serving me, rather than feeling ultimately defined by the areas of my life I would like to improve. The result of this is I am more kind to myself, I value my self worth and I feel a little more agile when faced with issues that would have weighed me down in the past. I feel such a sense of joy even typing that sentence as it is one of the most liberating feelings to plug into, ever. Yay!
So I am saying hello to 2019 with the belief that I am enough, just as I am, thank you. I don’t need a “New Me“. But with a big, lighthearted and wholehearted approach to the New Year, I am ready to grow and be a better version of myself that I was the year before. Are you with me?
Wishing you all so much happiness, peace and prosperity for the New Year.
Love + Light,