Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Resolutions…

on December 31, 2015

I dislike them.

Many years of unexpected changes have taught me that a year is a lot of opportunities for things to go “not as planned”. I know that, in a year, I’ll be changed. My goal is more mindfulness of each moment instead of living with my eyes set on some distant “prize”.

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

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Here’s the real story behind the well-documented failure of New Year’s resolutions: We don’t develop self-destructive behaviors because we’re weak, or because “they just became a habit,” or because everyone around us was doing them, or because of our neurobiology or heredity. The meaning of these behaviors is unconscious and we develop them because they serve unconscious beliefs and needs. These beliefs and needs are important, albeit unconscious, building blocks of our identities. They provide a sense of unconscious safety, and changing them is unconsciously experienced as dangerous.

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Many of us face memories of our past that we may regret. We are human and humans are fallible. Personal intelligence allows us to see ourselves and others with greater fidelity—and this fidelity includes an understanding of our own fallibility. Seeing ourselves clearly isn’t always easy. Information about who we are is “hot” and emotionally charged—that heat can warm or scald us. We may focus on a personal flaw so much that we lose perspective on the broader contours of life. It’s easy to turn away at times, and indeed, we all do. Yet if we work over time to learn a bit more about ourselves we may become more accurate at self-understanding and this, in turn, can help us change for the better. Because although many aspects of our personalities persist over time, there is also opportunity for change.

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If you’re going to resolve to do anything this year, resolve to know yourself more fully and be present in whatever situation you find yourself. Those are the two greatest opportunities for growth and change.

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3 responses to “Resolutions…

  1. Last year I used a different mind set. Instead of making a resolution to not drink again, I made a commitment to myself to not drink for the entire year of 2015. I have had binge drinking issues since I can remember and for me drinking was about escaping pain. (Not that I was always conscious of that reason.) The drinking to excess, is something I knew/know would and will be a serious health detriment if the behavior doesn’t stop so it was important to me to find a way to put it aside or at least on hold.

    I used a year’s time for psychological reasons. If I forbid myself something forever I will want it the next moment. So to tell myself I am committing to NEVER drinking again wouldn’t work and I knew it. The year was doable to me psychologically and a small challenge. Here we are, a year and a few hours later and I made it.

    Reading your post, I also realized that through the year I was able to take notice of the times I craved or felt like I wanted to have a beer (or actually five). And in not giving in to it, I was able to see much more clearly that which was driving me to want it or crave it. But I also didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it and I’d distract pretty quickly after feeling and noticing.

    I learned a little but my main goal was to make it to a finish line…which I did. But now as I write this, it occurs to me to make the same commitment to myself…not drink for the year of 2016 and add to it…to take notice and then sit and do some mindfulness practice…like a meditating body scan or something like that when the craving or drive for alcohol hits. So I can learn even more.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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