For those who frequent this blog, you know my annual end-of-year rallying cry has always been: ReVolution, not resolution! Why? Because resolutions don’t work. How do I know that? Look at any resolutions you have made and track whether you’ve made that same resolution more than once. When we make New Year’s resolutions, we often set ourselves up for “failure” and disappointment and a slippery slope that lands us right back where we started, or, sometimes, even farther behind. But, if we focus instead on a reVolution — of the heart and mind and soul — we are on the road to real transformation. So this year join me, and resolve to evolve.
We are not starting out this new year looking to drop pounds and dress sizes or simply start a new exercise routine. We are looking to go much deeper than that, to a place where we can dig into the fertile soil of our soul, a place where there are ideas and experiences and adventures trying to poke through the surface and blossom into the life we deserve, the life we’ve been dreaming of. Stop counting calories and counting steps and counting sheep and start breathing deep, sitting still, looking inward, reaching outward, living life with attention and INtention.
This journey will be about finding out who you really are and coming to terms with your true self and realizing (finally!) that you are good enough exactly as you are right now, at this very moment, whether or not you feel you need to eat healthier, exercise more, spend less time on social media, read more, pray more.
Whatever your “goal,” we want to begin from a place of acceptance, but that takes work. It doesn’t come naturally, does it? We are hard on ourselves, always seeing the cracks, the flaws, the places where we’ve failed to live up to our own expectations. That’s about to change…
Often the root of our feelings are buried way down deep inside. They’re not easy to face, and so we use other things (food, social media, alcohol, gossip, shopping, etc.) to fill the void, and, before you know it, we’ve layered another “issue” on top of whatever else we’ve go going on. We get caught in a vicious cycle, always setting ourself up for failure by making goals or resolutions that are doomed because the real work doesn’t involve a scale or heart rate monitor. It involves getting right with God and with ourselves. Exciting and daunting, but not nearly so much when we do it together!
In years past, the Cravings Tribe (you can sign up HERE) focused on moving through my book by that name, a book that looks at food specifically and how we use it to stuff the empty places in ourselves. But last year I switched things up and took a different approach. We’ll do the same this year. Our approach will be to go below the surface, not focusing on body image or calorie counting but instead on the person we face when we quiet all the noise and go inward. During this time of ongoing, seemingly never-ending pandemic, when we are still limiting travel, why not take the deepest and most exciting trip of all — the one that leads to your true heart center, the person you have always meant to be, the person you have always been but have hidden beneath what the world expects, demands of you.
Come along with me. Here are a few things I recommend as we start out on this journey of inner transformation (which often results in an outer transformation without us even realizing it!):
- A journal or notebook. It doesn’t have to be fancy; you can pick up a cheap spiral notebook. I’ll give more specific prompts as we move along, but know that there is one thing I consider a requirement: Every day write down three things for which you are grateful. If you’d like, you can get a notebook just for this and keep a separate journal for writing. That’s what I do. More on gratitude journaling to come.
- A sacred space in your home. You don’t need a room devoted to meditation and journaling; all you need is a corner, a chair, a shelf. Find some little space where you can go each day to read, reflect, journal, sit in silence, and add a few things that bring a sense of the divine to the mix. It could be a cross or statue of a saint, or it could be things like seashells and feathers, pine cones and rocks. My sacred space happens to have a combination of both.
- A willingness to sit in silence for at least 5 minutes a day, preferably 10, because, really, what major goal have you ever accomplished in only 5 minutes. Go to your sacred space and turn off your phone, the TV or anything else that might distract you. If you’d like, set a timer so you’re not continually checking a clock to see how much longer you have to go. We’ll talk more about this practice in the weeks ahead.
- A spot where you can either see or be in nature. Do you have a chair by a window where you can see birds or squirrels? Do you have a path nearby or a quiet street where you can take short walks (or long walks if that’s your thing)? Nature has a way to heal us, connect us, make us kinder. More to come on that too…
- If you’re an artsy or visual person, consider saving up some old magazines, cards, or other images that speak to you for a spiritual collage down the road. Another favorite activity of mine. In fact, I have an entire journal dedicated to my spiritual collages. I love looking back and seeing the words and images that spoke to me at different times. I’ll do a whole post on this as we move through the weeks ahead.
So, essentially, all you need for this revolution is a spiral notebook. The rest you can cull from whatever you’ve got around you. Not bad. No meal plans to order, no expensive monthly subscriptions to sustain. In some ways, it’s easier to do those things. Those things convince us if only we can eat a certain number of calories or walk a certain number of steps, life will be better, happier. The harder work is to go at this without the crutch of diet plans and expensive workout clothes. It’s exciting, and I hope you’ll join me here on the blog. I won’t be posting every day. I hope to post at least once a week with some prompts and encouragement, links and suggestions. I also hope to supplement this with some podcasts.
For those who would like a little more, I’m offering a three-week meditation and mindfulness series called “Resolve to Evolve” at Jai Yoga School, also available virtually (live). Here are the details:
Resolve to Evolve — Sundays, Jan. 2, 9, 16, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $60 for the three-week series. Registration: HERE.
Just remember that you are loved and beautiful and good enough just as you are. Join me on a journey to discover the you you’ve forgotten.
Love, peace and blessings Mary