New Year's un-resolutions
At this time of year, it seems to be the expected thing to post about your New Year’s resolutions. I’ll confess, I’ve never been one for this. It is, in my opinion, a rather arbitrary time to make life-changing decisions. You are tired from a year that has possibly wrung much from you, and now you want change, betterment, but lack the force to achieve it. The newness of the year is fragile. Why do we believe we are suddenly capable of great strides just because our diary is filled with empty pages? The new year is not a clean slate. We still carry the same burdens, lack the same answers. No — life-changing resolutions should come from life-changing moments. January the first seldom is.
I would like to suggest the opposite approach. Instead of launching ourselves haphazardly into brave new goals, let us release ourselves from the old ones. What didn’t work before? Let it go. Forgive yourself. Open a space in your mind and heart for new things to come near, gently. Prune the dead branches. Give room for new buds to form, naturally and spontaneously. Feed your roots without the yearning for fruits.
As I was pondering this, I came across a wonderful quote from Fred LaMotte. It is as if the universe searched my feelings and said, “Yes, that is Truth. Here are the words you are trying to say.”
The message I keep hearing from people is how tired they are, how utterly weary, exhausted. The message I keep hearing in response from Nature herself is... "Now is the time to collapse, to be fallen, dissolve like the snow. It's perfectly okay to let go. It was precisely your attempt to elevate yourself, to ascend, triumph, and surmount, that has exhausted you. Here is your work now: Surrender. Abandon the quest. There is no other way to get through this miracle. - Fred LaMotte
Now, I can already hear the protests. Abandon the quests? Am I to surrender my dreams? Oh no, not at all. But we are inclined to make shackles of them, aren’t we? Those dreams of ours become the stuff of nightmares. We create deadlines for when they should be achieved, chastise ourselves when they are not accomplished. What if we could relieve ourselves of such weight? Instead, let wonder creep quietly up to you and sit beside you. Instead of always chasing, let hope unfold.
When you are liberated from the expectations created by resolutions, you can step boldly into the safe space you have created. Your step will be lighter. And you will find yourself reaching your dreams at exactly the right time, without having sacrificed the joy of the journey.