Last week, I wrote about That Resolution. Today, I’m writing about This One.
On New Year’s Day I went to a yoga class at Haven Wellness and Yoga in Abbotsford – a fabulous new studio here in town. The owner, Rebecca, led the class called “Inhale” and I appreciated the things she said as we sat in our initial breathing/meditation pose. She made a distinction between making a resolution and resolving to do something.
By dictionary definition, the two words are almost identical but Rebecca talked about the idea of “intention”. Making a New Year’s resolution has such a strong connotation with failure. We all joke about how long it will take for us to break our resolution. Typically people go on diets or decide they’re going to hit the gym. There’s a reason why there’s a spike in membership sign-ups in January.
But to resolve feels more like there’s been a period of thought before making a decision – at least that’s how I’m approaching it. To have resolved to do something means I’ve taken time to reflect, to consider where I’ve been and what the outcome of my decision might be. It means I’m coming to my decision with genuine intent – and sometimes it’s the intention that’s more important than the specific route one takes to get to the end result. It’s more about the journey than the destination.
Part of being a peace person is learning what it means to be holistic about peace. I like the Hebrew concept of shalom: peace with God, peace with others, peace with creation and peace within. It’s part of why I’ve titled my blog as I have – it’s not really about shopping so much as it is about peace making. By choosing to live a thrift lifestyle, I am working at peace with creation and with others.
So this year, part of my intention is to focus on peace within. Over the last number of years, I’ve wrestled with mental health challenges, specifically with anxiety. It’s something I manage daily in a variety of ways – yoga and meditation are part of that. Visiting a naturopath is also part of that. One of the areas in my life that often causes me anxiety is my physical health. Ironically, I’m actually a fairly healthy person so you’d think that I wouldn’t worry about that so much but that’s not how anxiety works. It doesn’t take much more than a mysterious pain somewhere in my bod for me to have planned my entire funeral!
One of the things that I appreciate about yoga and naturopathic medicine is that both recognize the relationship between body, mind and spirit. An imbalance in one directly affects the others. So I am resolving this year, to focus on balance: to learn to be at peace in my inner world so that I can be at peace in my outer world.
I want to exercise more – not because I want to get “in shape” (whatever that means) but because I want to be physically healthy and I want to explore nature more actively. I want to eat with intention , to eat real food, to actively appreciate where it comes from and give thanks for the journey of my food to my plate to my body. I want to be an encourager – to affirm my husband and my son in their gifts, my extended family for the ways in which they enrich my life, my colleagues for their contribution to the great work we do together, my friends for their faithfulness to me. I want to be more fully aware of the presence of God (or the Divine or the Creator or the Great Spirit – whatever name works best) in my life all the time.
My ‘mantra’ at yoga is this: In Christ I live and move and have my being. Christ above me, Christ below me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ to my left, Christ to my right, Christ within me. Reciting this as I focus on my breath is calming and nurturing to me. It’s how I begin and end each day.
So that’s it. My resolution/resolve/intention. As the year goes forward, I’ll let you know how I’m doing!
Do you make a New Year’s Resolution? If you are willing, share it here, I’d value that.