I don’t make new year resolutions, but if I did, I would review that pesky list and see what I could cross off. It would probably be nothing because resolutions don’t work. The very nature of resolutions sets you up for failure by creating unrealistic goals and expectations you feel you have to achieve.
The expectations aren’t yours anyway; our culture has a way of planting seeds of dissatisfaction so you will buy their weed killer when the weed of dissatisfaction grows. Outside expectations are the stuff society deems as valuable.
Instead, what if every equinox you set an intention or revisit an old one? An intention is far more meaningful than a resolution because it comes from the heart. This intention can be something small but meaningful such as, “I will tell the people around me I love them more”. Or it can be something that makes you a little uncomfortable such as, “I will be more socially engaged, or I will stand up for injustice no matter where I see it”. Or perhaps something harder like, “I will be kinder to myself and my body. I will make peace with my body. I will stop hating my body”.
A new beginning is just a pause. It is a moment to reconnect with your breath and to remember to take a moment to be present. Let’s try it together with this simple grounding exercise:
Stand up and shake your whole body (think “I jiggle therefore I am “)
Sway side to side for a few moments
Now slowly find stillness
Stand tall/sit tall -make sure your feet are two fists width apart; lift and spread your toes and press them back down into the earth
Press your feet down and apart
Squeeze your belly
Lift your heart and drawn your shoulder blades together and down your back
Stand tall by lifting out of the roof of your mouth
Come to your breath making the exhales longer than your inhales
Now starting with your feet, list the things your body does for you. Now say thank you.
For those of us unable to stand, be where you are whether it is seated or lying down:
Close your eyes and notice what parts of your body you feel
Breath into those places
Notice what your body can do
Connect with the breath, feel the coolness of the inhale and heat of the exhale
Now starting at the top of your head, list the things your body does for you and things that you like about your body.
Come back to your breath for a moment
Appreciate the stillness and quietness of the moment.
Set an intention
Be in this moment
We just did a reset. Notice how you feel different. I encourage you to make grounding practices like this one a part of your self-care intention. These types of practices can be a moment of new beginnings whenever or wherever we do them.
How can you start resetting the way you look at your body? You do it by taking a moment each day to reflect on how your body shows up for you the best way it can. We take a moment to be grateful for whatever our bodies can do. Even if we can’t bring ourselves to love the skin we are in, perhaps we can learn just not to hate it. Maybe, we can respect our bodies for showing up. Every day won’t be perfect, but every day we can take a moment to reset, refresh, and reawaken to the possibility of us.
Want more self-love yoga? Practice with me!