Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutionary Manifesto

It's New Year's Eve and I sit on the peak, only hours away from the fresh start, the clean slate, and square one; the new opportunity of a brand-spanking-new year.  If you've known me more than a minute, you'll recognize I'm the optimistic sort that truly relishes the new beginning.

Thus, I'm also a "Resolutionist" - the type of person who uses that blank page to write in a new me in the form of resolutions -- or more precisely, disciplines -- that will guide my plans and actions in the new year.  Some years my resolutions have been stringent, precise, and exacting. On other years I've chosen to be more vague, leaving room for interpretation as I travel the year-long path.  Last year, I remained mindful of my resolutions through the long and winding journey of 12 months; many times they are discarded after Easter either by choice or unconsciousness.

For the first time in a while, I'm turning the page on the calendar with a fresh face. I set out to have a conscientious Advent season and I think I succeeded; I find myself in the middle of the Christmas season and at the end of the year with a clearer idea of what will support me in the months to come.

Our home is a cacophany of joyous (or not) noise and activity all day long.  It's a surprisingly strenuous task to direct this busy household and support 6 other people.  I'd not trade it for piles of gold and yet I freely admit, it's the most difficult role I've ever held.

I've realized that in addition to my completely sincere and essential (though oft stated) plans to exercise and eat healthfully, what is most needed in my Resolutionary Manifesto for 2013 is frequent opportunity for quiet, reflection, meditation, processing and a deep breath.

During the time of preparation that is Advent, I have been faithful to a minimum of 30 minutes a day of quiet meditation (often much more) and it is bearing fruit in me already.  I feel deeply revived.  I feel settled in my body and my legs are strong beneath me.  Don't get me wrong, I am stressed more often than I wish I were, but I more quickly recognize it, take the deep breath, regroup and/or apologize.  I see more and I feel more so I love more.  It's simple.  Maintenance of this time of prayer and reflection is my utmost priority in 2013. If I do not mention it again, please ask me how it's going.

Here is my six-word resolution for this year:

Quiet: Take time every day to listen
Exercise: 2 hours, 6 days, every week
Nourish: Food that feeds me body and soul
Play:  Time each day with each one
Love:  Notice resistance, be myself, embrace vulnerability
Serve: Offer what I have freely, frequently

Perhaps you will have a moment in the next 24 hours to take a deep breath for yourself, consider the year just past, then joyfully rip off the cover of the new calendar and write down some of your hopes and dreams. May your new year be your most Resolutionary ever!


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