New Year’s Eve has never been my thing. I’m not one for parties, rarely make it to the midnight countdown and think most new year’s resolutions are hollow.
It’s been years since I kicked off a new year with a list of (vague, externally-driven) goals. In recent years I’ve replaced resolutions with a carefully-chosen word which encapsulates how I want to feel in the coming year.
Everything we do is driven by desire
Everything we do is driven by the desire to feel a certain way: what we eat, what we say, what we think, who we spend our time with, the things we make, what we wear, listen to and bring into our homes. In The Desire Map: A guide to creating goals with soul, Danielle LaPorte says:
Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerful creative thing you can do with you life.
Once you know how you want to feel you can create goals that are intrinsically-motivated and goal-setting becomes so much easier!
In 2015 my word was JOY and man was I good at finding opportunities – large and small – to create joy in my life!
In 2016 I was guided by the word COMPASSION but this beautiful concept quickly became a tool for self-flagellation; I beat myself repeatedly with the self-compassion stick until it came to represent disappointment and failure. Although I’m getting better at self-care and self-compassion, I haven’t quite nailed it and I’ve been searching for a word which encapsulates a similar feeling.
So, as I move into 2017, the start of a new nine-year astrological cycle, I am embracing the concept of EASE.
My word of the year: Ease or easy?
The Sanskrit word sukha is loosely translated as happiness, pleasure, ease or bliss. But ease isn’t about sleeping late every day or letting bills pile up. Like that juicy point in a yoga pose, ease is about finding the subtle balance between effort and effortlessness. My teachers refer to this as effortlessness in action.
Effortlessness in action means skillfully imposing yourself into life with just the right amount of effort and then waiting, relaxing and humbly allowing something greater than yourself to emerge, take the reins and wisely guide your next step. You act and you trust – Michael Daly & Vanessa Rudge, Being Yoga
For me, living with ease is about:
- flow and fluidity
- the absence of struggle, difficulty or discomfort
- feeling comfortable in my skin, listening to my body and implementing self-care strategies before stress or anxiety take hold
- taking responsibility for my thoughts, emotions, words and actions
- replacing ‘I should’ with ‘I choose to’, making decisions informed by insight and wisdom not habit or societal pressure
- knowing and respecting my limits but having the courage and focus to explore my edges
- setting healthy boundaries and feeling empowered to speak up for myself without fear, guilt or shame
- relinquishing the need to control everything
- living in the present moment, enjoying the process as much as the final result
- trusting my intuition and moving forward with a sense of openness
- being content with what I have
- finding inner and outer peace.
Above all, this authentic, lasting state of being comes from living with intention; knowing how I want to feel enables me to make conscious, empowered choices; choices which take into account my whole being: body, mind and spirit.
As you embrace this new year, how do you want to feel? What word or phrase sums up this desire for you?
– Georgina –