It’s over. New Year’s resolutions. Making standard-issue resolutions was last week’s news, we’re now on with the show of 2014. The enthusiasm for your fill-in-the-blank resolution no longer has the spark of December 31’s fireworks. What was so exciting, so determination-filled, is now…deterred.
Your resolve has dissolved. Where did it go? If it failed (as anywhere from 80%-92% of cookie-cutter resolutions do), chances are it was society made. And like an old-school rub-his-nose-in-it puppy training, it was was a punishment. It wasn’t you. It was trite, something many people tried on for size. Somewhere deep inside you felt like a Bad Dog, your finger pointing right in your own face.
Where did you go wrong? One week into the new year, are you feeling like, Another year, another failure? Asking, Why didn’t my resolution stick?
Because it wasn’t your resolution. It was created by the media, and that lousy character builder known as shame. So, if you’ve lost your motivation for your New Year’s resolution, and it’s due to picking one of a hat, what is the alternative? What could be more enduring? One answer: Ask your soul, your soul knows what needs “fixing” like no other. And it’s sticky. If you listen to and administer it’s resolve (sankalpa*), it sticks. If you zero in on the resolution of your soul, it fits you like a charm.
But it would be so much easier to just pick a resolution that you think you are supposed to do. You don’t have to look to hard for that (you could just hit the Repeat button from last year). Tapping into the soul’s desires can be trickier, but it resonates.
How do you do that, how do you find your soul’s essence? ParaYoga teacher and founder Yogarupa Rod Stryker notes that “New Year’s resolutions are pointless.” They are “not going to impact that essence that is you.” Stryker shares some thoughts on finding impact and how to plant your “new reality” on his Youtube channel.
I won’t leave you without offering a hand. Meditation. This is why I weave meditation and “witness consciousness” into my yoga teachings. One of my hopes for 2014 is to help many of you with just this.
* Rod Stryker explains: kalpa means vow, or “the rule to be followed above all other rules.” San, he says, refers to a connection with the highest truth, then, is a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth. “By definition, a sankalpa should honor the deeper meaning of our life. A sankalpa speaks to the larger arc of our lives, our dharma—our overriding purpose for being here.” The sankalpa becomes a statement you can call upon to remind you of your true nature and guide your choices.
Group classes in Sonoma:
Tantric Hatha Yoga with Yoga Nidra, Level II, Wednesdays 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Beginning Yoga, Sundays 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Gentle Yoga with Yoga Nidra, Sundays 11:00-12:30 p.m.
For those of you who would rather improve your odds in a more matter-of-fact way, listen to “The Science of Willpower” with Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal