New Year Orienting
For many of us, the year’s beginning is a time for reflection – a time to review where we’ve been and orient ourselves toward where we’d like to go. It’s a time to look into the mirror with clear, compassionate eyes, to listen deeply to how we feel and what we value, and to pay attention to how our choices and behaviors line up with our deepest feelings and values. It’s a time for clarity and gentle firmness with ourselves, a time to set realistic goals – baby steps, perhaps – moving us in the direction of our heart’s desire and our soul’s purpose.
The standard joke about New Year’s resolutions is that we keep them for a week or two before reverting to old patterns. Under the chuckle, there may be a sense that we don’t really take seriously the promises we make to ourselves. For many of us, our word is more impeccable when we give it to others, than it is when we give it to ourselves. We know that breaking our word with friends can damage our relationships with them. I suspect we underestimate the harm that breaking our word does to the integrity of our connection within. We may not see the message of disregard we give ourselves and the mistrust of self this disregard engenders.
I tend to have lofty goals that inspire me and elevate my spirit. The ideal of softening to love, for example, orients me toward opening my heart to the flow of love. It orients me toward deeper connection with myself, with others and with the universe. It’s been a “north star” in my life, toward which my inner compass points. However, I rarely translate that loftiness into specific, concrete actions I commit to taking every day. I go with the flow and do a number of things that move me in the direction I’m choosing. I wing it - and that works out ok.
I’m coming to see that the ideal I cherish deserves better than ok. It deserves better than the nebulousness of winging it. It deserves a clearer commitment, and more accountability, from me.
Last May, a prayer/poem came to me during a powerful, vision-like experience I had while on a boundary waters wilderness retreat - an experience that mirrored for me, and connected me to, my Larger Self. This prayer has become both an affirmation and an instruction for me:
Soften to Love.
Dissolve into God.
So, one concrete, specific New Year’s resolution I intend to keep in 2018 is to make eye-to-eye contact with myself in the mirror each morning and say this prayer – meaningfully.
Perhaps, there’s a small, meaningful step you can take on a regular basis this year - one that moves you closer to your heart’s desire and your soul’s purpose – a promise you can keep.
May your new year be healthy, happy, joyful and growthful!