While we may not all be physically present with one another, the world has never felt more connected. Going through this global pandemic which did not discriminate race, sex, religion, or geographic location, made us truly aware of our humanity and that we are, at the very root of it, all the same. Our beliefs may vary widely, our skin color may differ in shades, and our home may reside on separate continents but we all know and were affected in some way by COVID-19. Being forced to slow our pace, cover our faces, and quarantine for weeks has certainly left a lasting impact. It spurred a time on reflecting what truly matters, what we value most, and what areas of our life may need refining. As we continue to navigate the current disruptions to our daily life, we may find ourselves reassessing our goals and plans both immediate and long term. It is a new year but the pandemic continues. We are now equipped with the awareness of the virus, how it spreads, and that an accessible vaccine is on the horizon. How does this affect your outlook for 2021? What do you want to do, achieve, or change this year? Perhaps I can help.
I took a class back in graduate school on self-exploration. The main requirement was being mindful in everything we did. We had to eat at least one meal a day at a table in silence without any distraction, focusing on chewing our food for a certain number of times, tasting it, and taking pauses between bites. We also had to sit with good posture and focus on our breathing. Being a Type A person, and always on the go, this was a very challenging practice for me. I had not yet mastered the art of breathing through my Pilates training and I wondered if I was going to make it through the semester. We also had to follow a daily mindful movement practice, and create and recite three affirmations for 10 minutes. I felt so much resistance in the beginning, and aside from the exercise component, did not want to spend that much time on “me”. However, I was being graded and I was determined to make the most of my education, so I dug in my heels, took a good hard look at myself, and followed the requirements of the course. And it changed my life.
By the end of the course, my friends and coworkers were often saying that there was something different about me, “my eyes literally seemed brighter”, and I appeared very calming and present. Well, I found that weeks of mindfulness will do that to you. I still do my best to follow the practices to this day. And one I encourage you to try, if you do not already, is setting aside some time to create and recite three affirmations. Think about what you truly want to manifest and then believe it to be true. I know how it sounds but just give it a try; if nothing else, you will have benefitted with some good quality time with you.
Be True to Yourself and Make It Happen
So often year after year, we find the same New Year's resolutions on our list. Why is it so hard to get from setting a goal to ultimately achieving it? Well, it isn't really. The easy part is absentmindedly jotting down 'lose more pounds', 'drink more water/less alcohol' or 'eat or more greens/less sugar' - what if you took it one step further and asked yourself, 'why?' An obvious answer may be 'I want to fit into my old clothes' or 'look good in a bikini/naked'. Really? Is that why? Because if so, then why do you keep sabotaging your efforts to reach that goal? If that IS what you really want, ask yourself again, 'why do I want this?' and challenge your next answer, by asking again, 'why?' What would we reveal if we just ventured a little deeper, peeled back the layers and turned the mirror on our own self? What would we unmask if we faced our inner critic head on, acknowledged our triggers, and discovered what we truly needed to take care of ourselves? That is where the truth lies and when we are honest with ourselves, we become more self-aware, which in turn allows us to be more trusting of that inner voice that is pushing for change, to break out of the monotony. It starts with believing in yourself, that you have the ability to control your choices and your actions and allow for new perspectives and beginnings. Be present, listen to your heart and set positive intentions instead of resolutions. Our purpose in life is NOT to do or be what is expected of us. Our purpose is to live truthfully, recognize life is a journey, and know that throughout the journey, you are okay because you’ve got you. Focus on taking care of yourself and doing what makes you happy. Don’t be afraid of challenges or veers in the road. Embrace life as it is, find the good, care for yourself and others, and above all else, enjoy the ride.
Tips to Get Going
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