I have always been someone who uses the year end to reflect on how far I have come and to set goals for where I want to go. These used to be resolutions which invariably I would excel at for a short period of time before interest waned or I missed a day and therefore all goals went out the window. I had resolutions about losing weight, flossing my teeth more, writing every day etc. It never quite sat well with me.
While in my yoga teacher training, as 2014 transitioned to 2015 I was thinking about how in each yoga class we were asked to set an intention. A focus for the practice. I decided that this resonated with me much more than resolution. Since the start of 2015 I have been working with yearly intentions. It has helped me to focus my energy, and also has helped me in making choices about where life was heading.
In 2015 I set the intention to be kind to myself. To work hard on letting go of negative self-criticism, to stop adding shame and guilt to my daily life, and to do things that nurture and supported me. This resulted in being able to let go of a lot of pain around family relationships, I let go of over 20 pounds of weight that was no longer serving to protect me, I started standing taller and being much more gentle. I was able to start to explore that kindness meant not needing to make everyone else happy, and to soften my heart around the perceived flaws that I saw in myself.
In 2016 I set the intention to be brave and to surrender. This past year I have felt the largest growth in myself. In finding balance between where I feel my heart leading, and where my mind is focused. I have been able to go into the process of buying a house, moving, focusing on building a business, and taking a lot of personal risks without a lot of the paralyzing anxiety that I have in the past felt. I have been more daring and have been rewarded for this. I feel stronger, more open, and less worried about how I might be perceived. There have been lots of hiccups as I have tried to communicate more openly, and not always done the best job of it.
As I look at 2017 ahead of me, I have been playing with what resonates for my practice and my focus for this upcoming year. Being kind to myself and being brave both are still needed in my life. I can see a lot of change on the horizon and these practices of self-awareness and support will help me. They will continue to be part of my intention. However, I have been going back and forth about what 2017 should bring forth. I have played with the idea of letting go of the cult of "busy", and to trying to release complaint. Both things I had already started to work with these past few months. But perhaps a better focus is "I accept my resistance and that which I resist".
I accept that resistance appears for me at times of challenge, and in acceptance I soften so it can release. I accept that I resist opportunity and abundance and use the terms "busy and full" in order to avoid living to my fullest. I accept that I use complaint as a way to avoid finding the positive in the situation. In acceptance, I create space for myself to change if it no longer serves me. I love the parts of myself that I see as flawed, or needing to be improved upon, so that I can stop relying on them as crutches to a more fulfilled life. I accept so that I can release with love that which does not serve me, and acknowledge that I am a beautiful work in progress with a far way yet to go. I wouldn't have it any other way.