New Year’s Constitution

Definition of Constitution*:

the act of establishing, making, or setting up

the structure, composition, physical makeup, or nature of something

the physical makeup of the individual especially with respect to the health, strength, and appearance of the body

It’s that time again.

Have you bought your new 2019 calendar or day planner? Have you already promised yourself twelve times that starting January First you will start eating vegetables again instead of pretending that Christmas cookies are a food group? Are you going to let that $10 per month, no-contract gym membership ride another few months, just in case you get inspired? In other words, are you ready for the New Year?

It’s natural to become a little more introspective this time of year; to look back at the last twelve months and take stock. The first thing that I do when I look back is to say, “holy freakin’ snowglobes, where did 2018 go?!” The second thing I do is to reflect on all the great things that happened. From there I usually start to slide downhill: what happened in 2018 that I didn’t like? How can I keep that from happening again? What didn’t I get accomplished? It’s natural to head this direction. But not necessary.

Maybe these are the types of questions that lead to those damned new year’s resolutions. Let’s just throw those out the window. Again. They don’t work. And if you find yourself going down that rabbit hole of what-ifs, I-wish-I-hadn’ts, or oh-please-not-agains, just STOP IT. You heard me. Use some of that yoga and meditation training—observe your thought pattern, recognize that your brain is trying to sabotage you, and pick a new train of thought. Even if your new thought is about bunnies, or fluffy clouds, or how you felt when you got a hug from that Very Special Person. It’s called satisfaction, and it’s everywhere.

So how about a more holistic, intentional approach to 2019? Yes please.

There’s something about the closing out of the current year and the official beginning of the new that can naturally lend itself to a sense of optimism. Like the limitless potential of a new blank journal, or the first one thousand miles you put on your new car, or that wonderful “pffft” sound when you open that fresh can of Trader Joe’s coffee. In those moments, the world is yours.

It is those moments where true freedom is found. When we take a moment to pause, and really feel that feeling of possibility, we have a blank slate. How exciting! What are we going to write (or draw, or paint) on that blank slate? The choices are endless. And they are all yours.

Some problems begin to arise, however, when we forget that we even have choices in those moments. Our brains want to find excuses, or external forces which we can hold responsible for our less-than-optimal situation. It’s what minds do, and to expect anything different is not very realistic.

That said, we can bypass the ego’s blaming mechanisms. All we have to do is simply remember.

So, as you reflect back on 2018—hopefully with many happy memories—and as you look forward to the coming year, just remember to ask a few questions as you go along, and make the whole experience a little more intentional. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

Question: How do I want to feel this year?

Possible Answers: Healthy, adventurous, sassy, like a boss, relaxed, etc.

Question: What kinds of things make me feel a sense of satisfaction with my life right now?

Possible Answers: Chocolate, spending time with friends, knitting, practicing yoga, etc.

Question: What kinds of things would I like to do this year?

Possible Answers: Write a novel, sew some pants, see Norway, meet Douglas Henshall, etc.

Question: How do I feel right now?

Possible Answers: Blissful, relaxed, satisfied, appreciative and excited for more, pretty happy with that dinner I just made, etc.

Think about nice things. Is this a simplistic view? Maybe, but why does it have to be complicated?

Keep moving forward through that blank book that is 2019. Every time you open the book to the next blank page, remember how much potential is right in front of you—in every single moment. Stop and ask yourself a few questions that will help assure your brain that all is well, right this minute, that you are satisfied, and that whenever you choose to, you can tap back into what you feel in your heart, and move forward with joy. It is that easy.

Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you love and light in 2019.

-Andrea

*according to Merriam-Webster

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