New Year’s Resolutions – let your body guide your way

- Photography by Alan Johnston

Another year has rolled around and here we are again … reflecting on the year that was, and looking forward to the year that is, and all the years to come. Part of this process for many of us is making New Year’s resolutions, in the spirit of change, but we know, even as we are making them, that although they are choices from our bodies and our hearts to live in a more true and loving way, our heads will come along and over-ride them, sooner or later…

It’s a funny time of year … we can have a strange amnesia about the way we have been – seeing ourselves through either rose-coloured glasses or overly critical lenses – and we may have high hopes that things will be different, that we will be different this year.

But we are living in the same body, on the same planet, going around and around the sun, carrying all our past choices with us, everywhere we go…

We live in a certain way, ignoring the truth of the way it is, wilfully blind to the reflection we see when we look in the mirror every day…

We live life as if it is a straight line, with a beginning (birth) and an end (death), and that we leave things behind as we move along this line, for them never to return…

Some of us live life as if it is a race, that must be run as hard and fast as we can, and won at all costs, no matter what toll this way of being takes on our bodies…

But what if life were a cycle?

What if each day is the same day, lived over and over again?

What if the Sun rises, and the Sun sets, on the same day, as we go around and around it on this beautiful blue ball called Earth and our every choice comes with us as we go?

Would this change the way we see ourselves and the way we look at life and the way we live?

We have phrases in our language that intimate this. We may say “we got away with that one”, knowing that usually we don’t; or we may say “the law finally caught up with him”; or “all that smoking finally took its toll”; revealing our understanding, our knowing even, that while we may think we can get away with things, we know that sometime, somewhere, sooner or later, our choices will catch up with us.

So, knowing that we know all this, how can we truly approach the offering of a new year, in a way that can support true change?

A great place to start is our body.

Our body comes with us, everywhere we go, and carries the choices we make, in every moment of every day. It is not just the thing we need to carry our head around, it is a highly intelligent vehicle.

It feels everything.

It knows everything.

The intelligence of the body is something that we tend to override, especially those of us who think we have clever minds.

We think we know better, we think we can get away with it, we think we can get around it.

But our bodies wear the reality of our choices, no matter what we may want or what we may think.

And we are faced with this reality, every time we look in the mirror, for our body is carrying all our past choices, recording all of our movements, whether they have been loving or not, and no amount of clothes, shoes, makeup or jewellery can hide this fact.

Learning to listen to our bodies, to what they are telling us, and learning to let them guide our way through life again as we did when we were children, when it comes to what we eat, what we drink, how we exercise, when we sleep – when it comes to the way we live – is a way of simplicity that cuts through the complexity that is offered to us when it comes to making New Year resolutions.

Be resolute.

Let your body guide your way.

You may be surprised how simple it is and how lovely it feels.


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