You are at this New Year’s Eve party and this person asks you: “So, what is YOUR new year’s resolution?”
Do you just dread that question?
Or maybe you don’t mind it but think to yourself that whatever you say isn’t going to come true anyway?
So often, the answer to the new year’s question comes out of the spur of the moment. In fact, when I ask this question outside my typical yogi circle friends I get blank stares, a lot of uhhhms and ahhs or at best a look of curiosity. Then either people make something up right then and there (along the lines of “I guess, I should drink less coffee”, or “I guess I want to go on this trip that I’ve been talking about forever”) or they argue that resolutions never come true anyway. So why bother.
Maybe you have thought about what you want for the coming year at least a bit. But you never sat down to truly become clear what it is you want to create. Maybe you dread going through the process because you think you don’t know what you want and are afraid you can’t figure it out. Let me assure you that out of the silence of contemplation the answer will arise.
In the absence of pausing and taking time for deeper reflection, writing it and voicing it, you will keep muddling along in the hamster wheel of your life. Maybe that flow is a prosperous, healthy and happy one, maybe not. No matter. If you want to be in the driver’s seat of your life, you need to look back what has been and define what it is you want ahead. Through the process of contemplation you start to align your life to the path you desire.
When you are in alignment, your life will be easeful.
Here are the 5 steps that I follow to create my body and align my life:
Step 1: Create a sacred space
Find a quiet corner in your house. A space where you are not disturbed by barking dogs, chatty partners, screaming kids or ringing phones. Some place that is yours. This can be a room or a corner in the house somewhere. Make it cozy and home-y for yourself. Place some items that have meaning for you and that pull your attention to the present.
At home I have an altar to concentrate my energy . Right now I am in Germany in my parents house for a few weeks. The first thing I did when I arrived was create that corner so I could retreat to it and reflect daily for a few minutes.
If possible, face east. That is the direction of the rising sun. And just like the sun rises you want your intentions to rise from within you as well.
Step 2: Pause
Take a moment to sit in silence and breathe. Let the day fall away, take a breath and bring yourself to the present moment.
If you have trouble doing that journal for a few minutes to empty your mind. That’s called ‘Stream of Consciousness Writing’ which means you write whatever comes to mind without sensoring. What you write does not have to make sense. Just write what comes to mind.
The other thing you can do to get present is stretch for a few minutes. That’s what I typically do to get the circulation flowing and my mind clear. I like to turn upside down too, down dog pose, handstand or headstand, something like that. That seriously gets the mental chatter out of my brain.
Step 3: Look back
Contemplate what what you have accomplished in the past year. Think about all categories of your life: health, career, finances, living situation, environment, relationships.
Step 4: Celebrate
This is one of the most important steps and often gets forgotten about or quickly brushed over. Either people don’t realize how much they have accomplished or they don’t give themselves enough credit. The result is frustration and a feeling of being a failure. We often desire so much to reach the end goal that we don’t honor and see the progress along the way.
During contemplation time I usually take a moment to acknowledge myself. Later I share it with someone – a friend, my coach or accountability buddies. Voicing it in words is best as it brings it deeper into your reality. Allow yourself to receive the gift of your accomplishments, however big or small.
If I have achieved something that was a big deal to me, I might meet with a friend or two for dinner and celebrate that accomplishment with more gusto.
Step 5: Look forward – define your vision
This may sound a bit grand. Maybe you don’t see yourself having a grand vision. But truly we all have desires whether that is around health, career, finances or relationships. Ask yourself: Where do I want to put my attention in the coming year?
Do you want to evolve your health to the next level? Do you want to create more peace in your mind? Do you want to uplevel your career?
What is it that you are yearning for?
You are the creator of your life. Whatever you think, say and do reflects itself in your reality. Think the ‘right’ things, say the ‘right’ things and do the ‘right’ things and you will create the body and life you desire.