Its so easy isn't it? to get sucked into the 'on mass' belief that now is the time to become a better version of last year's self.
Its normal that the promise of a new year can mean a fresh start and we're easily seduced by the whole 'self-improvement' movement. This has done nothing for my own self-worth over the years if I'm honest and I wonder if it feels the same for you? It always left me feeling 'not good enough'.
We know that most new years resolutions are ditched within the first month of being set and the kind of goals we'll set and what we expect of ourselves is often part of the problem, yet more than that is how we talk to ourselves when will power inevitably runs out.
Shining the light of Mindful Self-compassion on this subject shows us that people who are more able to succeed are those who have grown to understand that 'failing' is a natural and accepted part of any process in moving forward and as such don't engage in harsh critical internal conversations and instead 'just begin again' without any judgement of themselves whatsoever. Talking to ourselves in a supportive and encouraging way when we fail goes a long way to helping ourselves get back on track.
However, what I found even more uplifting with regards to this whole subject was the unbelievably restorative intentions that were offered by Author Sez Kristiansen in a beautiful meditation she shared a few years ago. I've made it a habit to revisit her words every year around this time and because they resonated with me so deeply I wanted to share a few with you:
She invites us to resist the urge to want a new upgraded, faster version of ourselves and instead "nurture the tools already within us that slow down time and enrich every cell in our bodies". This reminds me that I'm actually doing okay, the 'best I can' and it'd benefit me to acknowledge the valuable things I've grown in and that feels immediately encouraging.
She invites us all to learn about how incredibly capable we are just as we are and start to unlearn all the 'unworthiness'. She says: "Forget who you've been told to be and remember who you truly are". We're invited to get to know ourselves better, trust our emotions and allow them to guide us as opposed to not listening to what we really need. We're reminded to see that how we feel about ourselves, how we choose to validate ourselves, how we choose to love and apply kindness to ourselves is how we can take back the power we so often give away to others.
We're invited to stop fixating on where, when and how something will work out and instead trust in an unfolding process that will support us.
A favourite of mine is her suggestion that we "Choose nourishment over comfort" meaning we give ourselves what we really need, instead of allowing habit to create a disconnection and distraction from what is really needed.
She herself states that she knows her inner peace requires she say 'no' to things, stepping back and walking away sometimes. Could this be something we could make sacred work of?
Using new year to reflect on what or who we've outgrown is another wonderful gift for ourselves. We can give ourselves permission to flourish in ways that others may not understand but with kindness we can choose ourselves, to nurture our own needs. We can realise that when we finally do this, it gives permission for others to do the same and only then can we 'create a new paradigm, not only for us but for our children too'.
Its a wonderful relief to hear that instead of reaching forwards for the next thing and the next thing, we can actually lean back into an ever present 'goodness' that resides deep inside all of us and that every new year we can recommit to the ongoing journey of our lives; the 'great return' she calls it, its our journey 'home'.
Happy new year friends,
I hope this offers comfort and the sweet relief of love,