It's the beginning of a new year and most of us use this time to consider positive changes that we would like to see happen in our lives, and to resolve to make those changes happen. Even though I know that most resolutions aren't ever successfully completed, or at least not much past the month of January, I found myself sitting with my family last night - the eve of a brand new year - and talking about resolutions for 2016.
This year, though, mixed with the optimism we very often feel on the brink of a fresh start, was a sense of wanting things to be a bit different. I've undergone a transformation in perspective this past year - actually its been a long time coming, but I've seen clearly how this new perspective on resolutions has been transforming my clients. It has to do with how we approach our resolutions.
What can we say about the "typical" New Years resolution? Well, it's often focussed on self-improvement or transformation - "I resolve to get in shape" or " I want to eat less junk food." Also, the typical resolution is forward focussed but there is often a pattern from other years, meaning that we've made this resolution before. Most importantly, the typical New Years Resolution is "should" focused. It's all about becoming more of what we think we should be. The question is - what we should be according to who or what?
Let's face it- most resolutions are not successful. While it may be that we set the bar too high, or tell ourselves we lack enough motivation to be successful, I have another theory. What if we aren't successful because of where we've placed our focus? What if we let go of the "future focussed" or "should" attitude, and instead resolved to become aware of "what is?"
So, how has my perspective on resolutions changed this year? Instead of helping my clients focus their efforts on how they want to transform in this new year, how they want to change themselves, I am supporting my clients to be in the present, and to recognize "what is." And, through yoga therapy sessions, my clients are getting in touch with themselves, with all their flaws and imperfections, and letting the universe take care of the future. If this sounds easy - and maybe a bit of a easy way out - think again.
Being present to oneself takes a lot of self-discipline. It means not allowing yourself to always be distracted with your smartphone, or plans for the rest of the day, or week. Obviously these things demand our attention but next time you are sitting at a trafffic light, or waiting in a line- up somewhere, instead of picking up your phone for the 20th time that day and checking for messages, or making dinner plans, one time each day try taking a few deep breaths, and tuning in to what's happening inside you.
What are the thoughts swirling through your head? Are they future focussed or past focussed? Notice them.
What feelings are you having right now? Tension or irritation about having to wait? Anxiety about the tasks you have before you for the rest of the day? Notice them.
What is happening in your body right now? Are there areas of tension, what is your breathing like? Notice.
Notice what has shifted in mind, feelings and body as you've taken this time to be present. Maybe you'll notice shifts immediately, and maybe you'll notice them in a few hours or a few days. Then, move on with your day and experience real, gradual transformation. Each time my clients come in for a yoga therapy session, they are practicing using the "muscle" of present awareness, and noticing the possibilities and insights that emerge in their lives as a result. The results of these mind-body sessions are magical and naturally and organically lead to personal transformation.
Resolutions are about renewal and acceptance. Begin with what is, and move forward in this new year.
If you'd like to book a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session to begin your own personal transformation, call me to make a booking. January is Evolving the Resolution month! Sessions are offered 2 for 1 if booked in January, so that you can get the New Year off to a great start!
Call or text: 650-619-6101 to make an appointment