As we get to the end of the year, many of us may find ourselves reflecting on the year that was and contemplating what we resolve to do or how we want to change in the coming year.
Quite often, the resolutions we make come from a place of feeling like we need to “fix” something that we think is not quite right with us.
When fixing something is our motivation, we invariably face frustration and disappointment and thus our resolution is doomed before the change we were seeking has taken root in our lives. In fact, some statistics say that the failure rate of new year resolutions is about 80% by mid-February.
What if any resolution we make for 2020 were an act of love that supports us rather than something punitive we need to do in order to fix us?
Yes, we can still resolve to work out every day, change our eating and sleeping habits, etc. So, rather than telling ourselves that we must do this in order to fix something we perhaps don’t appreciate about ourselves, what if our resolutions were about having so much love and respect for ourselves that we are motivated by a sincere desire to be our best possible selves? Could this change of perspective from a punitive to loving resolution be a way to improve our motivation and success?
When I choose to act from a place of love, my relationship with my action changes dramatically. For example, when I sit down for my morning meditation, I think of it as an act of love. For this precious time each day, I give myself the gift of time and space to sit in silence. As someone who tends towards introversion, my meditation is something that honors my introversion rather than making me feel like I need to change it. My meditation gives me the support I need to be who I am in this world.
The same is true of my yoga practice. Each time I come to the yoga mat, is also an act of love. It is time I set aside to nourish by body with movement, conscious breath and present-moment awareness. I’m not trying to fix my body, be the best breather, or transcend the reality of my existence in any way. My practice is a loving celebration of my embodiment, an opportunity to savor the power of a good breath, and an effective way for me to release my mind from its innate “busyiness”.
I have often joked that the practices of yoga are also done in service to those around us, and I truly believe this. By maintaining my meditation, asana and movement practices, I am a better version of myself than when I don’t practice. Not only do I benefit personally, but all those around me benefit as well. I am calmer, more present and just plain nicer. This, too, is an act of love.
So, my resolution for 2020 is to act from a place of love – love for myself and for those around me. I do this through my yoga and movement practices, good wellness habits, and through being a teacher of yoga and movement.
How you express love for yourself and those around you is as unique as you are. How will you resolve to love yourself in 2020 and beyond?