New Years Day is just around the corner and the ads are starting:
lose weight now
join the gym
Every year companies and the media bombard us praying on our insecurities and making us feel imperfect and flawed. Consumerism is at an all-time high, while our emotions can be lowest after the Holidays (especially if we indulged in one too many sweet treats and those pants are feeling a little snug). It is the perfect time for business to promote all the products and programs that are guaranteed to “change our life”.
But what would happen if we took a step back and focused on how we can support our own personal growth. What if New Year’s Resolutions focused on how we want to feel in our life?
In her book The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte created a way to identify what she calls “core desired feelings”. Danielle guides you through a process to identify how you want to feel in your life. This feeling is identified and tied to a word, and this feeling is used to guide your goals. This shift from creating goals from external attainment to soul fulfillment can be monumental. We begin to be more intentional with our time, with our thoughts, and with our relationships.
While some of this may sound a little “whoo-whoo” and unrealistic in our modern day life, this just may be the antidote for our overbooked, overworked lives.
Another perspective that questions the modern concept of New Year’s Resolutions stems from the Yogic Philosophy of Sankalpa. Sankalpa can be defined as a commitment we make to honor our highest truth (Rod Stryker, Founder of ParaYoga). So what does this mean? Within our yoga practice, and more specifically within the practice of Yoga Nidra, our life’s purpose can be discovered.
At the start of a Yoga Nidra practice, I encourage students to create an intention- this can be a statement that they have a connection with, or they can connect with a more generic statement such as “I am peace” or “I am whole and happy”. As the practice deepens, a more personalized intention may arise, or students may come to find their life purpose- deep right?!?
While I have let go of formal New Year Resolutions, I have embraced the New Year as a time to reflect on the past year. I take inventory of what has worked and gone well, as well as things in my life I need to let go of. This past year has been full of ups and downs, personal growth as well as challenges. I look forward to reflecting and refining for the upcoming year.
We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” – Swami Vivekananda
Happy New Year!