It is that time of year we find ourselves thinking of the year ahead. Perhaps, too, of the year we’re leaving.
What have I accomplished?
What have I not?
Where did I succeed?
Where did I falter?
Was I true to my intentions?
Must I find resolve again?
It’s been many years since I set down “resolutions” for myself—those onerous thorns of personal expectation destined to stay with you throughout the year.
I will lose 20 pounds.
I will go to the gym every day.
I will read a book a week.
I squirm at predefined expectations every day, what makes me think I’ll rally to the cause if they’re hidden in the guise of “resolutions”? I won’t.
So each year, now, I simply state my intentions:
to be open
to welcome change
to be authentic
to follow my purpose
to be better
In my yoga class last week, our instructor asked how we were feeling. “The holidays,” she said, “have a way of making us contract and tighten up.” Then, she led us through an hour of stretching and deep, deep breathing that expanded everything — our muscles, our lungs, our bones, our hearts.
That’s what it should feel like — here at the end of a 12-month cycle of life. No grand expectations. No defined measures of success.
Just a deep, deep breath, stretching and expanding our bones and our hearts so we’re ready, again.
So we’re breathing deeply, inhaling all of the new possibilities of the days and months again.
Happy New Year!
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Photo ©2011, Jen Payne