January is a month that typically endorses the habit of reflecting (frantically) upon ones successes, failures, actions and motivations of past, present and future. Graciously gifting us a clean slate to give it all another shot.
However, what we sometimes forget to acknowledge is the insidious undertow that often comes with this. The one that takes us further out of peace and acceptance, landing us in a battle arena built on trigger statements such as ‘should’, ‘could’ve’, ‘if only’, ‘no time’, and ‘it’s just…’
We are made to live more than a resolution type of life, and to stretch beyond the dialogue of “if I just get these things in order, then I’ll feel good” or “If I just get this sorted then life will be great.”
This is what we call the I’ll be happy whens…
But isn’t every day is a chance for new resolutions. To show up better?
Zen principles believe in a concept called beginners mind. The idea that each and every experience we have in a day; every reaction and way we respond, every choice we make or don’t make, every conversation, are all imprinting us in some way so that when we pop our head on the pillow tonight we are in actual fact a different person to the one we were this morning.
With this in mind, the hum drum must do’s of daily life suddenly seem mega significant don’t they… You see it’s not just the committing to the resolutions on the 1st of January, it’s the active choosing to have fun with their application all days thereafter.
What little incremental steps can you add to or audit from your daily routine this year, in order to rise above lofty resolutions based out of shame?
This message is highly cliche, but it’s also important:
Please don’t should on yourself.
Take time to sit with the realisation of how lucky we are to even luxuriate in choice around how we will live at this time of year, and each day. To be thankful that we live in a country that provides great privilege, and imparts a level of respect and dignity on each individual.
Rather than complaining about going back to work, perhaps try to see with thankfulness the reality of being able to earn an income, to even have one, and let that spur you forth into new ways of going about it.
Rather than thinking ‘I really better go to the gym, lose fat, fix this or that, eat better’, perhaps try to appreciate with thankfulness the reality of being able-bodied enough to even consider daily movement, and be thankful for access to clean water and nourishing food options.
How about we approach our tasks and plans for this new year with a willingness to water the grass that we’re already standing on. To cultivate a patch that’s worth stepping out onto every morning and feeling under our metaphorical feet. Rather than just thinking that it’ll all get better again, easier again, and we can only wait to be thankful again when our two weeks leave rolls around next December.
Top image: @okayghost instagram