by Laura McCorry
Anti-resolutions for the modern yogi
It’s good to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’d like to go – to identify the areas of your life where you’d like to see change. But too strong a focus on these things draws us into regret/shame about the past or anxiety/pressure about the future.
Here are five things I don’t want to do in the coming year. The only way I can avoid them is by not doing them this very moment. There is only here. There is only now. The stroke of midnight will come and go, but the present moment is always with us and always extends the promise of change and of living life more abundantly.
May you find balance and harmony, right where you are, right now.
1. Dream about things I want instead of doing them.
If you never take the risk, you can never be disappointed. It’s easy to talk or think about the big, incredible things you want to do or experience in life but not take steps towards accomplishing them. Almost any goal can be broken down into concrete small steps that will set you on the course to accomplishing it. Even if your goal is an experience like traveling, you can consciously save a little bit of money each week to work towards this goal.
2. Put off until tomorrow something that can be accomplished today.
On a related note – there’s almost no task more onerous than the repeated experience of thinking about and dreading it. The more you practice embracing the present moment for action, you practice cutting off anxiety at its source. Do your chores. Have the hard conversation. Make an appointment with the dentist. There’s no time like the present moment – in fact, yogis know that’s all there is.
3. Blame someone else for not doing the thing I expect or would like them to do.
This one sounds ridiculous when you put it in words but it’s very common. Your partner didn’t do something the way you would have done it. Your friend hasn’t called to check on you and you’re feeling lonely. The weight of all these hidden disappointments is too much to carry around embittering your own heart. In the now-immortal words of Elsa, Let it go, let it goooo…
4. Try to adhere to a strict new schedule of eating/exercising/meditation/reading/etc.
There’s a reason most people fail to keep up with their New Years resolutions by February – it’s because habits are so very strong. Do I want to eat healthy, delicious food, do more yoga and make a bigger dent in my reading list? Hell yeah! But trying to use January to force myself into compliance just isn’t going to work. There are other ways to bring about positive change in your life and all of them require attention throughout the year and not just on January 1st. Marianne Williamson captured the yogic philosophy by stating, “You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”
5. Continue to think and operate on the scarcity mindset.
All too often, we confuse abundance with scarcity. For example, scarcity thinks: I won’t invite my friend over because my house is messy. But focusing on abundance thinks: I have friends, a house, and everything I need and want for daily living. Each day you’re presented with the opportunity to view your life as a scarce commodity or an abundant one. You can guard, protect, and parcel out the best moments or you can celebrate, share, and be fully present for them. I know which one I need more of in this new year.
Yoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.