Happy New Year, wherever you are! I am still in Singapore, where the season is called summer all year round. I’m enjoying the time with my family, and their dog Finni.
At the end of last year and in the beginning of this New Year, I received suggestions from colleagues on how to do New Year’s resolutions, how to set goals and intentions and what to do with inspirations and aspirations for 2017. I guess you are familiar with the subject. Or not?
Well, the idea is to take a date, such as 1.1.2017, and begin something new, change your life in one or the other way, like loosing weight, quit smoking, give up drinking, start running, join a Zumba class, and so on. You get the idea. Some of you might use cards, like Tarot cards and let your phantasy flow together with the images on the card you drew. You might envision this year full of “Hope”, you are invited to be “The Universe”, or you are given direction to find “The Lover”.
As I am still in Asia, I see people, especially of Chinese heritage, gathering at places where sculptures of the animals, that represent the Chinese Zodiac signs are displayed and their messages for 2017 explained in English and Chinese. As I am a rat in Chinese Zodiac, my good fortune for this year is to be in loving relationships and to possibly marry. Well, I hope the partner involved reads his horoscope so that he can find me 😉
Resolutions hardly ever work; especially not the drastic ones like to quit smoking or to lose weight, if they are not determinably intended. I do not take Tarot cards nor horoscopes for finding the path of the New Year, nor do I make resolutions; I rather work through questions that focus on a new beginning through self-reflection, awareness, mindfulness and contemplation.
The question: How do you want to feel next year? came up several times in my post, and I reckon that this question could be helpful to reflect upon my life. Before I share my reflections with you, I would like to hand over the question to you and ask:
How do you want to feel during the year 2017?
Please take a moment to think about it. It would be even more powerful to take a piece of paper and make some notes. This way the feeling, which you want to feel predominantly during the year, gains in strength and receives more substance. I suggest putting your word on your fridge, so that you are reminded of it regularly. And please think also of some actions that could prompt your desired feeling.
Here are some examples for you:
Would you like to feel more joy in your life?
Would you like to have more clarity?
Do you want to feel more love?
Have a sense of satisfaction?
Or enjoy more fun and humour?
All of those qualities will enable you to feel good. And that is what we all want at the end of the day, whatever our desired feeling might be. We want to feel good. And yet, we have to figure out how to get there. What are you willing to invest in order to get where you want to arrive? How much attention, time, or effort are you willing to put in? If you want more fun, what will you actually DO in order to feel more fun? Take a moment to reflect upon it.
I hope it is helpful if I share my insights, my intentions and aspirations for the New Year with you, and how I go about it. Maybe it helps you find yours more readily. My main intention is to feel more connected. My keyword therefore is
What I intend is to feel connected with myself in the first place. Connection with myself means to feel my feelings, not push them away or deny them. When I am sad, I want to feel and accept the sadness fully. When I am joyful, I want to express und live it consciously, feel the joy in my body. Feeling connected to myself also means to listen intently to my intuition and act accordingly. It means to say and act in ways that are in alignment with who I am at any given moment.
I also wish to connect with people in the street, with friends, with family, and also with online friends, people I have never met in person. So, connecting is an important word for me in 2017. My default defense position in general is to shy away, to hide, or to make myself smaller, and with that loose connection to myself, because small is not who I really am. Fortunately, I have a whole year to exercise on that and bring about my intention to connect and see where it will lead me. I am curious to explore how my life will change and unfold when I make tiny moderations in my approach to connecting to and with other people. First thing to do for my goal is to
more often. Smiling at people in the street, smiling when I am listening, instead of concentration too much and frowning and looking grim, I am going to remind myself to smile. It is so easy to do that; I just need to lift both corners of my mouth a bit. Try it out! I had already some days to exercise smiling more, and guess what? In 99% of the situations I got a smile back. The response made me FEEL GOOD. 🙂
As I said before, we all want to feel good about ourselves. And here we are, it is so simple, I smile, somebody smiles back – et voilà: Both of us feel good. Great moment! No strings attached, nothing to follow. Just smiling!
The other intention I will carry out during this year is
I intend to communicate my wishes and wants in a gentle, but clearer way than before. Even in situations where I am not exactly decided whether it is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, I will take a decision, not waver, but give a yes or no that is closest to my feelings. I am prepared having to revise my stand later, but that is okay. It makes me feel good to know, that I have a “NO” in my backpack, and of course also a “YES”.
Clarity requires engagement; I have to do the things I say yes to, I have to follow up on things as well. A ‘yes’ means involvement and commitment. At times a ‘yes’ requires a bit more discipline and it definitely requires showing up in person, becoming visible and seen. My teacher Joy used to say, “make your self visible on the market place”. I guess 2017 is finally the year where I will carry out her suggestion from long ago and be seen on the market place. I avoided it for so long, because I feared the criticism and dislikes of others. So, hiding was a safer place to be, but it was also dissatisfactory, because I denied a big part of who I am. Becoming a Facebook freak and interacting at online platforms taught me to give up pleasing people.
A clear ‘no’ is not always easy. People might not like it, and yet, if I use it, I can feel my boundaries, I can feel where I end and thus experience a clearer vision of myself at that moment.
Now, over to you: In order to feel good about yourself in the year 2017, which of the many attitudes and feelings would you like to experience more often?
Some possibilities are
Letting go of criticizing yourself and others
Dancing in your house to your favourite music
Singing in the rain
Walking in nature
Communicating with yourself by writing a dairy (Writing a dairy is a great opportunity to be in direct communication with your self on a regular basis! It clarifies your thoughts, calms your emotions, and enables you to take responsibility for your actions.)
Whatever it is that you would like to do more of in the year that just started, it is easy to do. You just go and do it. Unlike giving up smoking or loosing weight, which is drastic and needs mental preparation and a clear determination, being friendlier and smiling goes smooth and almost unnoticed (at first). And it has a lasting and strong effect. After a while it becomes a HABIT, a very pleasant habit, which enables you to feel better.
Mindful observation of your feelings and checking once in a while if you take action is required to stay on track. Observing yourself, your sensations and actions will help you to notice if you are still smiling, dancing, or writing. If you decide, like I did, to smile more, you will notice that the baker, the butcher, and the stationary merchant will smile back; maybe not all of them and not all of time, but a lot of them and most of the time.
If you like, let me know what your intended feelings are for the New Year, how you get along and whether you need or wish my assistance in your process. I am there for you – with a big smile, or if needed – because of the subject – without a smile. email@example.com
Wishing you GOOD LUCK with all of your intentions, your hopes and wishes for a brand-new year. This year is the YEAR of the ROOSTER according to the Chinese calendar. So, in this respect: Cock-a-doodle-doo!!