I don’t like new year’s resolutions and have never felt the allure of a new beginning. There! I’ve said it. After the holidays, I usually feel somewhat depleted with an imprecise hollowness, as each child heads back to their busy lives and I have to readjust to a too quiet house. But I do believe in self-reflection and a series of minor adjustments rather than one big re-start.
After the flurry of activity during the holiday season, it’s nice to slow down and look inward; to strengthen and feed the spiritual self, the centrality of our being. It is the substance of who we are. But this “being” is housed in the physical body which is what we carry. They are both of vital importance but the “I” is internal and more than anything else who we are. So, naturally this mind of the spirit needs fine tuning and winter’s slower pace is the perfect time to do this.
I love the metaphor of the seasonal cycle of the deciduous tree (yes, I had to look up the name of trees that lose their leaves!! I can’t remember this stuff). The dark mantle of winter’s dwindling light signals to the trees to stop producing chlorophyll because as temps fall and sunlight decreases photosynthesis becomes almost impossible. Without the green chlorophyll, the underlying colors in the leaves shows through. That’s why Autumn leaves are so vibrantly colorful! The loss of leaves reduces the tree to its strongest parts- the trunk and roots. During the dark winter months, the growth transformation is an inward event for the tree. The eye does not register any change, yet deep beneath the ground the roots grow strong. The nutrients, once used to grow and maintain leaves, can now be used to nourish the root system. So, as spring arrives, the rich full foliage bears witness to the unmistakable strength of the inner system. Likewise, as the year progresses with its normal rhythms, I expect that the inward adjustments and growth will leave their mark on the outward self.
1. Listen More, judge less
I want to hear what others have to say; to challenge my worldview, to help define it and refine it.
2. Grow stronger physically
For years, I have walked out the door in the morning and gone for a run. Could have been 4 miles or 20, but that’s all I did. Well, as we age things change and what used to work doesn’t get the job done anymore. So, this year is the year of strength and flexibility. I actually started doing yoga in September (I told you I like to make minor adjustments along the way not just in the new year) but I’m going to add a streaming workout program to make it easier to maintain consistency during travel or inclement weather. I’m thinking about Glo.com which offers five to ninety minutes of yoga and students can pick from super physical “body” classes or more spiritual and meditative mind and heart classes. The other online workout program that sounds intriguing is pvolve.com which focuses on functional movement. Trainer Stephen Pasterino designed each motion to replicate how your body moves when you walk, run, reach, step, etc. Has anyone tried one of these? Do you use an online workout? If so, which one? Would love to know.
3. Keep simplifying and streamlining my life
I have been putting off cleaning/re-designing my closet for some time now; however, it’s reached critical mass and an intervention is now necessary. Will probably tackle this in early spring. Still need to determine the type of professional help I need! Also, want to keep tweaking my travel/packing game. Add a few versatile dresses and one really good jumpsuit. We’ve got a lot of different events this year from a spring wedding, a trip to Maui, a college graduation, Greece, Italy, Canada and any last minute trips that always seem to come up. Also, need to evaluate the suitcase situation.
4. Grow in wisdom
I want to continue to learn who I am, how I was objectively designed to live and what I need to flourish in this life. I’m going to do this by examining, pondering, and questioning the wisdom system called the Bible. I have the sad ability to hear foolishness and think it’s wisdom. The most subtle, yet destructive foolishness, is the daily message which declares I can live as if God doesn’t exist and as if I don’t need his authority.
It’s going to be a good year. Here’s to the long road and believing it has a purpose.