We are barely into the new year. 2020 holds a lot of promise, as many new years do. I have never really believed in making a resolution as part of the transition into a new year. Maybe I am a bit jaded after a lifetime of seeing resolutions represented almost as a joke; something to aid the marketing of weight loss plans and gym memberships. It is almost like we think the resolution is some type of magic trick that gets us all we desire. Why are we so convinced we need to suddenly repair ourselves? What is it about a change on the calendar that makes us feel inadequate and in sudden need of improvement? Rather, I see people as continually evolving; constantly becoming more and more ourselves, shaking off external pressures to look, act, or feel a certain way. That's why I don't appreciate resolutions - they feel like an external pressure to change, rather than an internally-driven evolution of self.
If you are someone who really embraces resolutions as a way to empower yourself in the new year, more power to you. I think it is really helpful for many people who approach it as a tool for personal growth. I also know many people who choose to set an intention, a way they want to move through the world in the coming year. Others have a guiding word to start their year. So while resolutions aren't a fit for me, I have adopted "Forward" as my word for January (and beyond). Forward movement, as opposed to stagnation, or complacency. Forward - seeing what is in front of me, not dwelling on what is past. Forward, to make progress, go towards something. Forward.
Today I found myself re-reading a poem that I love. I was introduced to "For A New Beginning" as part of a graduation ritual. It is a beautiful look Forward, into the unknown. It resonates with me today as I continue to contemplate the unknowns of 2020. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And whether you made a resolution, set an intention, selected a guiding word - or possibly none of these things - may you be well in the weeks and months to come!
For A New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart, Where your thoughts never think to wander, This beginning has been quietly forming, Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire, Feeling the emptiness growing inside you, Noticing how you willed yourself on, Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety And the gray promises that sameness whispered, Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent, Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled, And out you stepped onto new ground, Your eyes young again with energy and dream, A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear You can trust the promise of this opening; Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure; Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk; Soon you will be home in a new rhythm, For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~John O’Donohue To Bless the Space Between Us