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MY FINAL RESOLUTION...

Don’t panic! I'm not dying at an accelerated rate more than anybody else (that I know of). BUT I have decided in 2024 to have another un-serving tradition to die out. My final resolution is to never resolve again… in the context of New Year's Day anyway. You may or may not have heard one of the latest podcasts from a dear friend of mine, Shanna Vávra on her inspiring and educational Sense of Soul podcast where I was a guest. The episode was entitled “Create a Conscious Life with New Traditions”. In the episode, we chat about how certain holidays and traditions no longer serve us and our spiritual well-being once we take the time out to stew over their origins and what they mean. In that same spirit, I was thinking about the New Year's tradition of making resolutions. Let me first preface with the fact that I've always loved New Year's Day and New Year's Eve. Outside of a self-induced hangover, New Year's never hurt anyone right? Who doesn't love a great party? New Year's Eve is a glorious ending to a chapter. We get to look back and reminisce on all the joy and life lessons that last year had given us, and how far we've come in the last 364 days. And New Year's Day! What a beaut! The excitement of a first step, a clean slate, and a fresh start. Count me in. Always. HOWEVER (and of course you knew there was a however coming) we all know one of the biggest traditions of New Year's Day is making those RESOLUTIONS. Let’s resolve… let's be resolute, right? Weeeeellll, I would have to say nay on they. I decided not to go too deep this year by going into the religious ties of the Gregorian or Julian calendar's history (maybe next year), but instead, my mind kept going to the word RESOLUTION.


A quick online search showed definitions that read “a firm decision to do or not to do something” and the “quality of being determined or resolute”. Breaking it down just a bit more to RESOLVE will show us “the action of solving a problem dispute, or contentious matter” and the “act of finding an answer, or solution to a conflict problem, etc.”


Now, I’m all on board if we are going to come together and resolve some world hunger, cure cancer, acknowledge race as a social construct, or end global femicide. If this is the case call me at any hour of the night, and count me all in. However, let’s be real… New Year's resolutions are generally about losing ten pounds, reading more, spending more time with family, or getting out of debt. Overly generalized places we’d like to imagine ourselves in the New Year. Then we fantasize and romanticize about how our lives will be, how people will treat us, and so on in our newfound existence. We get good at tricking ourselves into the excitement of being what we think is going to be a better version of ourselves.


However, when we consider further the very act of RESOLVING ourselves,  we’re half-wittingly acknowledging that little voice in our head that’s saying we need fixing.. or some part of us needs fixing anyway. For us to resolve we’d have to admit on some level, consciously or subconsciously that some part of us is inadequate. THAT, is my friends, where you can count me out. I am not a problem that needs to be solved. Sure, I’m a continued work in progress, but I refuse to set goals out of lack. This little ‘lack’ voice exists in most of us to a degree and maybe it’s that I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance and genuine love for myself that I can see, or rather feel when something is at play to make me feel ‘less than’ or stuck. Now, I’m not bashing goals, growth, or betterment. In my current life, I’m building a wellness practice and am en route to reaching many of my goals more and more every day… None of them however were made on New Year's Day and when I made those goals none of them were out of lack, but out of vision and abundance. I have known many people in my life who vowed to become sober, quit smoking, and so on. They also didn’t make those decisions on a whim or out of self-loathing. Anyone who worked on overcoming obstacles knows that you first need to discover your worth and value to succeed.


In resolving it feels as if we’re almost set up to fail. As I was thinking about the words resolution, resolve, and resolute, I thought about the resolute desk. If you’ve seen National Treasure with Nicholas Cage you probably remember the scene. If you don’t, the Resolute Desk is the desk in the Oval Office that has been used by most U.S. Presidents since 1880 when it was given as a gift from Queen Victoria to President Hayes. I was curious what was so ‘resolute’ about this desk. Well as it turns out not a damn thing because this desk was made out of an abandoned British ship, that while on its mission, got stuck in the ice and had never completed its task. Hah! Even the HMS Resolute was not so resolute after all.


Taking it a step further, could the idea of New Year's Day resolutions also be keeping us trapped in this un-serving cycle of distraction and keeping us too busy? We’re expected to move forward, go quickly, and produce. Instead shouldn’t it allow us the rest and reflection that we deserve and have earned after a full calendar year AND the grueling holidays? This year I decided to honor the Winter Solstice instead of the December holidays. The Winter season is about rest, dormancy, reflection, self-nurturing, and just a general pause on all that’s happened in the last 3 seasons and constant movement. The Western world might call this lazy and unfruitful but I don’t think there is a damn thing wrong with a season of rest. As a woman with a menstrual cycle, I have one every month and have been tricked most of my life into not even acknowledging my physical need for rest for many years. Our masculine forward Western world however chooses to move forcefully forward. It chooses to hustle and grind, but do you know what happens when we don’t give ourselves adequate time to pause and ponder before moving forward? We make mindless mistakes, and thoughtless goals and exhaust our physical, spiritual, and mental selves.


While talking to my friend Shanna about this, she mentioned she was hearing this sentiment from a few people, which excites me. I can only assume it’s the collective consciousness or something to the effect of the 100-monkey phenomenon, which again is exciting. So this year in the spirit of simplification, love for myself, the Winter season, and this existence I have no guaranteed length of time I’m going to sit out on the resolutions, continue my goals that are already in motion, and take time for well-deserved rest.


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