Rather than pledge to give up certain food stuffs, perpetuating the idea that we aren’t enough or need to change ourselves to be happy (everything will be ok when you're one dress size smaller right?) why not start 2018 by accepting we have the capacity to change so much more than ourselves?
I’ve always loved stories. As adults we often get caught up reading fiction, self help guides (especially this time of year), books on diets, detoxing and the latest fitness trends. We attempt to put into practice what we learn with varying degrees of success.
There is a story of a disorganised young man who lived alone in a small apartment. The man never cleaned or did housework or chores. His kitchen sink was overflowing with dirty dishes. The man knew his place was a complete mess, but as he didn’t invite anyone over, no one would know.
He met a woman at work one day and started to fall in love with her. Taking her on dates, but of course, never taking her back to his apartment. They strolled in the park, alongside the river, and one day the woman plucked a beautiful red rose and gave it to him.
It was a gift of love, and even this man who lived in squalor knew that it had to be preserved with dignity. So he bought the red rose home, and after rummaging through his huge pile of dirty dishes, he found a vase. He cleaned it and filled it with fresh water for the rose. Now he needed somewhere nice to display the rose, so he cleaned the dining table. It didn’t stop there, the dining table would look so much better in a tidy room, and so began a chain reaction which only ended when the apartment had been entirely cleaned and tidied. The woman’s one small act of love in giving him a rose, turned out to be life changing!
Mahatma Ghandi shared this story with his young grandson Arun, and explained that we should be the rose in the world. We can all provide a bit of brightness and hope. We create change with a gentle nudge, rather than forcing or applying strict conditions.
The world doesn't need more people who can touch their toes or headstand, it needs more people who are emotionally resilient, practice patience and cultivate compassion. Be the rose first for yourself, and then be a rose in the world.
Make 2018 the year where you do more of what you love, and when you do, it’s said it helps you to find your ‘Buddha Nature.’
But how to be a rose? Do more of what lights you up! ‘Like attracts like;’ so give yourself a gentle nudge in the right direction.
I personally don’t make New Years Resolutions, (here’s why). But if you find them helpful, here are some tips on how to make mindful resolutions.
Start something new. Rather than write a list of things you’re going to give up, write a list of things you’d like to try, new habits you’d like to form in 2018.
Be reasonable. If you’re not a morning person then setting a 6am workout/ journalling exercise/ meditation practice as a goal isn’t going to end well. Use what you’ve learned about yourself through Yoga to make appropriate requests on your time and energy.
Every day is a new beginning. So you didn’t manage to walk 10,000 steps in a day, which was a goal of yours. It's ok; Buddhist teachings remind us how lucky we are that we get to start over again tomorrow.
Rosie Iles-Jonas teaches public and 1:1 Yoga sessions in Hove and retreats.