A New Resolve

Tree pose at Lighthouse Park - at the tree where John proposed to me over 30 years ago.

Tree pose at Lighthouse Park – at the tree where John proposed to me over 30 years ago.

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.

deep in thought

deep in thought

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.

maybe inner peace has a bit to do with softening one's heart...

maybe inner peace has a bit to do with softening one’s heart…

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.

finding my balance on a wire "bridge" in Glen Nevis, Scotland

finding my balance on a wire “bridge” in Glen Nevis, Scotland

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.

one of several crosses in the Italian Chapel, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland

one of several crosses in the Italian Chapel, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland

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.

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7 Responses to A New Resolve

  1. Annie says:

    Hi ! 🙂 I always enjoy your blog posts… Happy New Year!!
    http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/christianyogahinduoccult_pt1.html I just wanted to share some insights into yoga that I’ve recently been made aware of by a few other Christian friends. I used to think it was fine and good exercise and you just have to avoid the spiritual hindu stuff and all is well. I’ve changed my mind after reading some articles about it. One was from John McArthur and I don’t have the link anymore for it but might come up with google search. I’m no expert, but wanted to share my two cents. Hope you have a fabulous thrifty peace-filled year. God bless!

  2. Kathryn says:

    I agree with what Annie has written about yoga being perhaps a good thing to avoid as it can bring confusion spiritually. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ has brought me peace and joy for the last 38 years. The Bible is my guide to knowing Him better and what He wants me to do namely love Him and others. Even those who treat me badly. I can’t claim to be totally free from fear. Occasionally, irrational fears plague my thinking suddenly. But over time, I have prayed and asked for His peace to come to my mind and inexplicably the bad feeling leaves. Jesus says in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me. Since my childhood when I first learned this verse from a Sunday School paper, it has been of immense help to me. Hope your 2016 is a blessed year.

    • Thank you Annie and Kathryn for sharing your thoughts on yoga. I respect your own spiritual journeys and am grateful that you are strong in your faith in Jesus. I am also a Christian and as such, I respectfully disagree with the article posted by Annie and with those who regard yoga as a cult. I have been practicing yoga for several years, I have organized a yoga retreat led by a Christian yoga instructor, I have met several Christian yoga instructors and in fact, there is an entire Christian yoga training that is offered in the U.S. Yoga is not a religion unto itself. Yes, it has its roots in Eastern religions and culture and I am totally okay with that. I actually believe that we can learn from other religions and other cultures. This belief in no way diminishes my own faith in Jesus Christ; I would actually say that the things I have learned from other cultures, other religions and my yoga practice led by people from a wide variety of faiths and backgrounds has actually strengthened my own Christian faith. They physical, mental and spiritual benefits that I have gained from practicing yoga are myriad and I will continue to practice this and benefit from it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I also hope that you both have a blessed and peace-filled 2016.

  3. Larry Schram says:

    Loved your Celtic prayer! May your awareness of Christ fill your life leaving no room for anxiety.

  4. I like this post a lot 🙂 Reflecting on what you said… to learn to be at peace in my inner world so that I can be at peace in my outer world. Makes issues like loosing my patience with my difficult three-year-old more about my inner peace (or lack of!) than his disobedience. Thanks for your words of wisdom as your shared your resolve. Miss you!

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