A few years ago, I published a blog post about New Year’s resolutions and my admission that I generally don’t make them. Even though traditionally the 1st of January is believed to be a great time for a fresh start, I would like to think that improvements to one’s life can be made anytime that it makes sense.
However I might be inclined to make an exception in 2017. My resolution seems to be more of an overarching goal than a single activity. It is a collective of several activities that need to be orchestrated to work together to be effective. My resolution for 2017 is the protection of my inner peace.
On the journey of life, we face adversity stemming from things over which we have little to no control. But for those things that are within our control, why shouldn’t we protect ourselves from factors that undermine our happiness? Why should we take on more adversity than we really need to when the choice is offered to us? In other words, why shouldn’t we pick our battles?
Through life’s natural ebb and flow, we go through busy times, we go through quieter times and we have the times in-between. I don’t know if it is because I am getting older or just the fact that challenging times have followed me around like my shadow in the last couple of years, but I now seem to find myself uncharacteristically overprotective of my free time and my free thought.
I would like to think it is just a normal reflex, in trying to heal from the turbulence and to restore balance to my energy flow. This reflex seems to have helped me prioritize the activities in life that are dearer to me, helped me feel confident in choosing activities that better contribute to the bottom line of my overall inner peace, and helped me to limit the ones that might be taxing to my well-being. I believe this reflex has also been invaluable in helping me learn to pace myself and take a break when I need to.
I would like to think of this resolution as my compass for metaphorically hitting the pause or the delete button, where I have the ability to do so, to make room for activities that are more energizing, nourishing and nurturing for mind, body and soul.
Those activities include more time for creativity, for reading, for regular physical activity, for enjoying nature, for laughing and, as obvious as it may seem, more time for breathing. As the king of shallow breathing, I am surprised at how often I have been catching myself not taking full breaths. I am even more surprised that I haven’t passed out yet from a lack of oxygen!
Also, intuitively, I do not seem to have a problem with stopping to reflect on the many things in life for which I am grateful and to reflect on how fortunate I have been in so many respects. Continuing with this practice also contributes to feeling more grounded and with the flow of life, rather than against it.
In making decisions in alignment with my resolution, I have found myself deleting television programs I have not been looking forward to anymore, I have shopped around for new favourite radio stations and I have been somewhat tapering my consumption of news.
There are many external factors that can tap into our energy reserves without our realizing it. My goal for 2017 is to take the time to take stock of what those are and to make the choices that align strategically with my pursuit of happiness and my overall well-being.
I would like to think that those choices will help me feel less rattled over things that may not matter, to feel more in the moment and to feel more present to experience the things that really do matter.
If life happens to deal me a hand of cards that requires me to be on red alert again, I hope that my resolution will also help me pace myself in facing any new challenges, and to do so with acceptance, strength and grace.
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Have a great day,