Wow! We are already into 2015 .We made it through the frantic and often excessive time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Now the push is on to make resolutions and goals and I really dislike it when someone asks me what my resolutions are. Am I unique in this?
This time of year the goals are often about exercising more, losing weight, and organizing your space. While these may be worthwhile and good, it occurred to me during a chat with a friend, that I dislike having to answer the question of what are my goals. In fact I always have disliked making resolutions, and don’t even bother with them because the few times I did, I never stuck with my resolutions and thus “failed”.
Here is a common scenario. We gain the typical 5 pounds over the holidays. It is January and our intuition tells us we need lose that 5 pounds. We resolve to lose 5 pounds. We make the resolution and we lose the weight.
Many people make and keep new year’s resolutions. For them, it is a time of renewal and inspiration. If you are one of these people, this newsletter will not apply to you but it might help you better understand why others may not be as excited as you are. In fact I would suspect that you probably have an inner child archetype that is more of the perfect, divine, or the magical child. But what about the rest of us? Consider this hypothesis.
Let’s look at the scenario of the 5 pounds from above in a different way. It looks simple and on the surface it is. What isn’t taken into account is how you feel. You have an inner critic telling you that you gained the weight because you are lazy and lack self control.The should part of losing weight becomes a burden of guilt and shame. So you resolve to lose the weight from a place of fear and self sabotage instead caring and compassion.
The end of the year and the the holiday season often comes with feelings of overwhelm and sadness in addition to any guilt or shame you may be unconsciously carrying. You also may be dealing with cabin fever and the tiring energy of shorter days. All these influences make it hard for you to make loving decisions based on what you really want and need. Instead you rush headlong into an easy fix resolution. Is it no wonder that as the days fade away so do your resolutions? That you repeat the same cycle year after year?
If this is what your saboteur does to you, I suggest you try working with the natural energy of nature.
The calendar year was designed by man. The excitement and new beginnings in nature comes more in spring. December is the winter solstice, and has the shortest light of the year here in the western world. You may live in the north where it is freezing outside and snowy, or in warmer climates where it gets colder with occasional freezes, but you get less light regardless. In nature this is the time to get a big rest. For some of us humans, we might want to consider taking these winter months to really nourish and rest ourselves at a soul level.
If we take the time to slow down our activities and reflect on how our lives are going, how the patterns we have been setting in motion affect us and what we need, then we can make our resolutions from a place of insight and peace. Just as the flower that blooms too early in the year freezes and the bear who comes out of hibernation early starves, your resolutions made in haste and are doomed to fail. Using the winter to lovingly determine what your needs and why will set the stage for healthy goals. By springtime, those goals will start to grow and bloom as they have been fed with loving care. Keep nourishing them and reassessing the needs over the summer so that by fall you can harvest the fruits. Come next winter, you will be able to enjoy the bounty and start the cycle over again.
To me, the cycle of spending winter slowly assessing how I cared for and loved myself is my best chance at becoming whom I really want to be.
If you don’t want to start the journey of self understanding alone, I can guide you on the way. For more about how to see the world through archetypes, stay tuned for small classes on understanding yourself through archetypes.