Happy, Kind, Compassionate New Year!
Here we go, embarking on another New Year, this one unfortunately wrapped in the uncertainty of the pandemic. The New Year tends to spark thoughts and ambitions of making changes and improving ourselves in some way. While noble, these resolutions can also trigger feelings of shame or guilt, especially if previous attempts did not manifest in desirable results. Sometimes during periods of change (such as a pandemic) having a focal point like a New Years’ resolution can be a helpful distraction. However, when we are going through a stressful period our brain and nervous system tends to function on a basic survival level and may not be able to cope with a big change such as new diet or exercise program. It may be a good time to create manageable goals based on the current situation and your current capacity for change.
I also think about the intention behind resolutions, are these goals coming from a place of self-love and kindness, or from a place of self-hatred. When we look at our self in the mirror or a photo, do we say kind things about our self, or is it a list of negative things we wish could fix, or change?
What would our world be like if our inner dialogue consisted of kindness, love, and self-compassion, the same language we would use when talking to our friends or family that we love? What would it feel like to be supportive and encouraging of our self, especially during difficult times, or when stressed? Learning to love our self is a process, a spectrum that shifts with time. We may love some aspects of our self, and struggle with other aspects. Our body and mind may shift along a spectrum, based on many influences including societal pressures to look a certain way.
What if we not only learned how to be kind to our self, but we learned how to feel safe in our body? What does it mean for you to feel safe in your physical body, to feel like you can walk, move, jump, slide with confidence in your body. Our body is the one relationship we will have our whole life, what if instead of hating or fearing our body and trying to fix it, we learned to love our body and feel safe and happy in the body we have.
We all go through different types of physical, mental and emotional pains and suffering, I wonder if we learned how to feel safe in our body and learned how to be kind to our self if it would help the healing process?
As we tip toe towards the New Year, if you are considering a New Year resolution, I invite you to base your resolutions from a place of self-compassion and love. For those uninterested in resolutions, I invite you to let go of any expectations of yourself, to create space for self-compassion and even move towards a feeling a safety in your body and mind.
Begin with a simple step of saying kind things to yourself when you next look in a mirror, you may even want to put up a sticky note on your mirror as a reminder. The next step is to think of things you may say to a friend that is struggling or going through a difficult time. Then try to use that same language to yourself when going through a tough time. The third step is to make decisions and choices of what you eat, what exercise you do and what you wear based on how they make you feel rather than how you look.
There are many ways to practice self-compassion, and many ways to learn how to feel safe in our body, but the process of letting go of self-hatred, shame, and fear may be the hardest step. However, you can simultaneously practice letting go of self-hatred as you embody new experiences of self-compassion and feeling safe in your body, the two processes can co-exist. And, hopefully, over time, self-compassion becomes the dominant thought process as self-hatred takes a back seat and release its strangle-hold on your self-worth.
Go ahead, make your New Year’s resolutions (or not!) but, this year, I invite you to make them through a place of self-compassion and kindness and see how different it feels, and notice how likely the resolutions will stick!
I wish you all the best as you embark on 2021, with love, kindness and a compassionate heart- the light in me sees the light in you,
Posted by Kerry Turner. Posted In : Yoga E-Newlsetter