Happy New Year readers!! Hope it was a fantastic one and you rang in 2015 with your self defined style of "bang".
I myself welcomed the new year standing on a wharf in the drizzling rain of Bateman's Bay with a clutch of wonderful friends and of course my darling husband.
Waking up on day one of 2015 was a kind reminder to me why I should respect my body 365 days of the year. As I devoured a bacon and egg roll whilst trying to prevent my brain leaking out my ears and exploding on the table I pondered a myriad of questions... are these eggs organic? Does this bread contain sugar? Do I have the strength and commitment in me yet to become vegetarian....or at least stop eating pork and bacon? (my primary moral weakness). One thing I very intentionally did not ponder was a New Year's Resolution.
I teach the word resolution at least once a term to children of all ages at my current school. It's a term that is often met with blank expressions as student's come to realise that the word they know and hear often is actually one they do not fully understand. My first question to them is always "What word do you recognise within this word?"; cue the lightbulb moment "SOLUTION" they all cry.
In a simplistic form, a resolution is in many ways a solution; deciding upon a course of action to be taken; an expression of intention; a way forward.
But for a solution to be necessary, there must first be a problem; a crossroads; a divide; something that necessitates a positive choice.
Entering a new year thinking about past problems and future improvements does not a mindful and happy person make. The cliche New Year, New Me, New Life statements aim to promote self improvement and positive resolve (which in theory is fantastic), however, your previous year, self and life should be equally as celebrated and appreciated as the good things to come.
Instead of generating a list of potential goals and life changes for the future, this year I created a list of things that I achieved in 2014 and reflected on what fantastic choices I have already made. The cathartic and reflective process left me feeling proud, satisfied and completely at ease that life always finds a way of falling into place. At no moment did I judge myself in a negative way, give consideration to any failures or shortcomings or resolve that my life needs to change. Plus I got to make a list which I'm sure many people appreciate as an inexplicably fulfilling task. I've dubbed this my #LotusList as it focuses on capturing the events that made the past year beautiful, vibrant and full of life...
After brushing the stale taste of the previous night's celebrations from my mouth I breathed in the yummy fresh ocean air of my holiday spot and took time to be grateful for the beautiful weather, the great friends, the hangover breakfast that one of my friends so generously sought out before any one else had stirred from their tents; I made my intention for the day to be agreeable, opportunistic, observant and grateful. These simple intentions attributed to such a memorable and enjoyable day on the river on a serene private beach with some fabulous, positive people. The haunting hangovers, lack of sleep and extreme heat could easily have lead to a miserable lazy day at the campsite, but by embracing a few simple, positive thoughts I created the perfect day for myself; a reminder of the power of positive mindfulness.
Goals are fantastic and resolutions are certainly necessary in life, however, I can think of thousands of wonderful ways to seize the first day of the new year and none of them involve developing an obligatory list of self betterment techniques that find their roots in my life's less glamorous shortfalls.
Start each day with simple intentions. Take time to plan and project when you hear the call of inspiration. Establish different short and long term life goals, but do it on your own terms, in your own time, when you are truly prepared to accept and commit to change and progression.
Until then, breathe in the delicious air around you, pick a mood to wear for the day and seize the present moment as your next opportunity for greatness.