This week, I’ve done my best to avoid the theme of letting go of what doesn’t serve me or making New Year’s Resolutions. But it seems every email, social media update, or blog post I’ve seen in the last several days is about some variation of the theme of charting a course for the new year. So I’ll stop avoiding it. It is natural to think about new beginnings when a new year begins, after all.
I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions years ago. In fact, now that I think of it, I stopped shortly after I returned to yoga in 2007. After a few months of practice, I remembered yoga teaches us to continually let go and reinvent ourselves. As yogis, we strive to always be in the moment, and that means (ideally) we’re as apt to figure out what we need and don’t need in the middle of May as we are on January 1.
What to Consider When Charting a Course for the New Year
This morning, at my first yoga class of 2018, my teacher (naturally) spoke about charting a course for the new year. She asked us to think of something that doesn’t serve us and “just let it go.”
Yes, of course, we know how easy that is to do!
I resisted this, because…well, I’m not sure why. I can think of things that don’t serve me. I suppose I’m just resisting the idea that this is the only time to let go, and that there must be something to let of go of simply because a new year just started.
So I thought about it. The first thing I thought of is I’m not as interested in what serves me as I am in what I’m here to do. In other words, I’d rather figure out how to embrace service (like Hanuman).
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve spent a lot of time working on letting go. The whole point of letting go of what doesn’t serve us is it empowers us to be of service. We can’t serve if we are spending too much of our energy on things that don’t inspire us or help us grow.
Then my yoga teacher asked us to choose three words—single words—that describe where we’d like to be on December 31, 2018. I love these kinds of questions! So, I began to chose words, decide they weren’t quite right, and think of others. I even thought of a couple of phrases and then realized they were more than one word, and then…
What pose were we doing?
To be fair, I think the idea was to think of the words and then move on to the next pose. Or maybe think of the words later. So, that’s what I did once I realized my mind was wandering.
My Three Words
The three words I finally settled on were healthy, transcendent, and useful.
Healthy is an obvious choice, at least for me. Without good physical, mental, and emotion health, we’re limited. Of course, we don’t always have a choice, but I want to continue to do what I can to stay well.
I’m not sure why I chose transcendent. What I’m after is a healthy detachment from the noise and nonsense that keeps me from my goal of…well, of transcendence. Ever since I was a child, the only thing that has really mattered to me was seeking truth, knowing God, and in doing both of those things, overcoming a lot of fear! (Yes, fear.)
So, maybe the word I should have picked is fearless. In a sense I did, though, because the opposite of fear is love. Love is truth, so I guess transcendent and fearless are close enough to the same thing! (Don’t worry if you didn’t follow that. I’m not sure I do either.)
That brings me to useful. That word is especially important to me this year. Why spend time on this planet if I’m not going to contribute something? I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t feel the same way on some level.
My specific, concrete goal, of course, is to breathe life into the project I’ve had incubating for quite a while. That project, I hope you guessed, is Yoga Circles. My goal isn’t simply to sell books—the book is only a tool—but to create community.
I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure how to go about this, but I have faith that charting a course for the new year can start simply with an intention. I also know I can’t do it alone. So, my dear yogi friends, if you have any ideas about creating community and would like to help, I’d be thrilled to hear from you!
Meanwhile, I’ll keep putting it out there whatever way I can and hope the universe is listening. Thankfully, I still have almost a full year to figure it out!
Where Will You Go This Year?
Now it’s your turn! Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Are there things you need to release or goals you want to set? Please share in the comments. Sometimes just putting it out there makes all the difference!