We are almost done with January. Have you broken your New Year’s resolutions already?
Don’t worry if you have, you’re not alone! I gave up making resolutions a few years ago. I found they set me up to fail. I made crazy ones. They often brought up guilt, shame and feelings of unworthiness. I got to thinking, “No more!” I will not start my year like this anymore.
So I like to have intentions now. Or a theme I will work on. I say we should rebel and turn our resolutions into a revolution. Two years ago my intention was to stop chasing after unavailable men. To love myself, to relax into receiving the love that was all around me and to trust that I would know if someone came along worth the wild adventure of commitment and cohabitation etc. And yes, it happened, as soon as I stopped the wanting and the craving and relaxed, it happened.
I always encourage students in their yoga practice to move from a focus of ‘self improvement’, to one of ‘self acceptance.’ I see people’s faces relax, their shoulders drop and they breathe deeper, just with that simple shift. I dare you to do that with your own life. Here are three examples. Feel free to borrow from them or make up some revolutions of your own. But most of all have fun. What is the point, otherwise?
So, here’s my new recipe for living as a social revolutionary:
1. Write down all your resolutions and then throw them away! Yes really! Write down everything you want to change and do differently this year. Let the list be as long as you like.
Then tear it up and throw it away. You just helped clear old beliefs and attachments to the past. Let’s cultivate the ‘beginner’s mind’ so that this year really can be different than the ones gone before. Next, sit down, close your eyes and take 10 long deep breaths. Once you have completed those, open your eyes, grab a pen and write a few intentions for the year that are in alignment with your heart. Yes, make it simple, clear and do-able.
2. Relax more! We can only heal, change and be the kind human beings that we innately are, when we relax. Breathe consciously, noticing both the inhale and the exhale; this is the fastest way to relax. We can only hear our intuition (inner GPS) when we are relaxed.
Turn off your computer, cell phone and anything else that takes you out of being with yourself and listen. Stare at the ceiling. Watch clouds go by. Take 10 minutes every day to do absolutely nothing. I dare you. And if that is very uncomfortable for you, good! It means you really need it. Turning down the external noise sometimes brings an awareness to the internal noise. That is okay. Notice it; bless it. With practice, this may become your favorite part of your day.
3. Be kind to yourself first! This one is so important. I know so many frustrated ‘healers’ or ‘do-gooders.’ Haven’t you heard them? They tell anyone that will listen, “I give and give and give…and get nothing in return!” That is an exhausting way to live. And it makes those around you the ‘masters’ of your happiness and self-worth. And actually it’s not even real giving when you give with the hook of ‘what will I get in return’?
Let this be the year of a true and lasting personal revolution. Nurture yourself. Say ‘no’ when you need to. Fill your own cup up by taking yourself on pampering dates. Lie in bed and read. Go for a long walk through nature. Do whatever you want. Build your love and compassion up on the inside so that it overflows to others. Then it’s the real deal.
No more giving and sharing because you’re ‘meant to’ or because that’s what ‘good’ people do. Relax your tight grip a little. Fill up your own energy. Then watch how it very naturally bubbles over to all those around you. Life is so much more fun. People will enjoy being around you and you’ll enjoy being around you, too! Maybe more than you ever have before! Try it out, and let me know. Let’s relish this adventure of being human; who knows when it will happen again?
-Rachel Sat Siri Dougherty for The Daily Love
Rachel is an expert Kundalini Yoga teacher. Follow her on Twitter here.
Mastin Kipp is the founder of The Daily Love, a website, daily email and Twitter account that’s merging pop culture with inspiration. He is also the co-founder of Self Approved Clothing, Ltd, a lifestyle apparel company that’s started a global self-esteem movement. The Daily Love has quickly become the fastest growing inspirational Twitter account and email list on the internet and reaches almost 400,000 people daily. Sign up for The Daily Love’s email to receive your daily dose of love>
GIRL TALK TIME: Have you broken your New Year’s resolution? What do you think of a resolution revolution? Will you try to relax more and be yourself in 2012?