So here we are, another year ends and another begins. We reflect, reject and promise to do better. We have spent a whole year, 365 days of doing what we know and what we do best, and on one evening January 1st we shift gears. Isn’t that interesting? Perhaps this is the first time I am looking at New Year’s Eve or Day this way. Out of all of the 365 days we have showed up for ourselves and others we choose this day for high hopes, goals, changes and beginnings.
I have been in the “business of health and self” for a few decades now. I have seen many New Year’s promises to better one’s self, to set a new tone, lose weight, look great, and we know the list. What if we spent these day’s leading up to a New Year taking stock of what we have accomplished, look outside of ourselves to serve others more, and worked on adaptability and mindfulness more than changing ourselves? How about a “make-better” vs. a “make-over”?
Rather than the resolution and list of changes to be made, habits to be broken and betterment of one’s self, let us create a list of what better really looks like:
Here are a few to get the ball rolling, so to speak…
- Write a thank you letter or reconnect with someone who has impacted your life
- Find a place to lend your time and talents to for those in need – children, elderly, animals, Veterans, those addicted or in pain, friends suffering from illness.
- Learn meditation, practice breath work, Yoga, Pilates, and movement that feels good and makes you feel better about yourself. Find a place and overall environment that supports you with this.
- Create a Vision Board with vibrant colors and pictures that remind you and inspire you for 2018.
- Get outside and interact with nature- snow shoe, ski, hot tub, skate, sled, walk, and breathe!
- Create a mental health day where you indulge your senses at home with candles, fire, essential oils, face masks, lotions and more. Smell, feel, taste and touch while listening to music, reading, writing or watching a movie.
- Carve out the first few minutes of every morning to think about or write about what you are grateful for. What you appreciate and are becoming more aware of.
- Pick a decade and create a day or weekend as if you were living in that decade. One that has enough contrast from your daily life right now. Add music, movies, books and food to make it come alive.
- Give yourself a technology free day and observe yourself, your reaction, and your choices without judgement.
- Make plans for art and entertainment- go see a play, music, museum, or a local artist. Being connected to creativity and the creative process is renewing, energizing and exhilarating.
So, essentially, nest, nurture, create, play, perspire and inspire. Do these words look or sound like “change” , “fix”, “lose”, or “break”? “ As each snowflake is different, so are we, unique and functioning as part of a greater whole.” -Madisyn Taylor. Continue a growth process vs. rebuild.
Befriending a year that is ending means honoring the people, the places and the experiences that have shaped your life and taught you just who “you”are. Each time someone confided in you and trusted you with their truth they shared a sacred piece of themselves with you. When someone gave you a gift that they wanted you and only you to have they shared a piece of themselves. When pain, fear, guilt, and rejection steered you in a new direction, you were gifted protection. As family, friends, and loved ones supported you during times of struggle or walked away so you could learn from the struggle, you were offered the opportunity to grow. When someone gave you the gift or their time and truly listened to you, they allowed you the space and time to reflect and be heard.
These are the moments that make the moments and life is nothing but one moment that passes and leads to the next!
A New Year’s wish or offering: May I be a patient observer who learns from my mistakes and courageously shapes my future. May I honor those that have protected, rejected and accepted me and pay it forward. May I recognize what no longer serves me and establish healthy, healing boundaries to continue to harness adaptable and precious vital energy.
A Zen proverb states that no snowflake ever falls in the wrong spot, like each snowflake we are unique, pure and take on the footprints of those we encounter.
“We are born pure, but later take on the footprints of those we encounter. Akin to each snowflake, we are unique, and yet we function as a part of a larger whole- forever in the right spot an the right time. And like snow itself, our lives and the roles we play are impermanent, yet imminently valuable” – MadisynTaylor.
Make your footprint, make time for others, and make the best of better.
Happy New Year!