Staying Your Course in the New Year

I’m having a hard time knowing where to start and where to stop.  The lines have grown fuzzy, the waters muddy, and my focus keeps jumping the track.  I vacillate between feeling like I am overflowing and depleted.  I’m not sure that I can blame this on this most bizarre of years. Maybe it doesn’t really matter.  Here I am.  Here we are.

I’ve been making little notes for myself.  These notes are not to help my memory, although that time is peeking at me from around the corner.  I am writing little notes to myself as a way to be more generous to myself.  I am writing little notes to myself to help me stay on my own course.  

Some are questions.  “What happens when you soften your striving?”  

Some are statements.  “The source of all energy is the Sun.  We are all simply eating Sunshine.”

Some are reminders.  “Drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

This is the time of the year that I want to send lots of little notes to you.  Notes as little gifts to help you stay your course.  

Some are questions.  “What happens when you wear clothes that fit the body you are in?”

Some are statements.  “Your vulnerability is your superpower, not your idea of being strong.”

Some are reminders.  “Beginning again is where the magic lives.”

As you step across the threshold to your New Year and In the spirit of giving gifts, I offer these ideas that may help you stay your course.  Before you go any further know this,

You don’t need to shrink, be fixed or upgraded.  You do not need to push yourself to become a “better” version of yourself. Giving yourself permission to nurture and respect the you that exists right now, will invite you to unfold in all the ways you dream.

  1. Remind yourself of all of the reasons diet culture is toxic and restore your faith in Intuitive Eating by listening to Evelyn Tribole’s interview on the podcast Ten Percent Happier.  This podcast is a true gift and has been one of my most frequent recommendations this year.  This one is also great to share with loved ones who may want to understand your Intuitive Eating process.
  2. Allow someone to read a story to you. supports your local independent book store while being an excellent source for audiobooks. I highly recommend The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, read by Carey Mulligan.  I’m going to control myself and not say another word so you can discover this magical experience yourself.  No spoilers!
  3. Add skipping and dancing to your movement/play options.  This short cut to joy while also honoring your body’s natural urge to move is a life hack.  Here’s my Kitchen Dancin Playlist on Spotify if you need a starting place.
  4. Use playful rituals to help you reclaim your time. Create a weekend ritual of using a planner, with colored pencils and stickers, or whatever makes this feel creative and playful to you.  Check out Planners that you design yourself.  The options available to meet your own interests, needs, and sensibilities seem limitless.  Thanks for the recommendation Sarah.
  5. Do yourself a big favor and listen to Sonya Renee Taylor lay down big, transformational truths about body shame, divesting from diet culture and social justice in her interview on Brene Brown’s Podcast Unlocking Us.  I listened, then listened again and took notes y’all.
  6. Allow yourself to be deeply curious about morning rituals.  When you first open your eyes, try taking a nice big inhale and connect with yourself BEFORE you get hooked by your “to do” list and/or grab your phone.  If you are anything like me, it feels like there is a magnetic pull toward the busyness of the day from the very beginning.  I find that creating this little shift of intention supports a significant shift in my day. When I am able, I begin my day with a connection to myself.  This may look like placing my hands on my heart or offering a prayer of gratitude or simply allowing myself to sink into the softness of the morning.  I also try to ask myself, “How am I going to take care of myself today?”
  7. Take. A. Real. Lunch.  From where I sit, it looks like we have lost the fine art of taking a break and enjoying lunch.  Many of us stay in our work headspace by answering emails, running errands, or simply continuing to work through our lunch time. At our day’s midpoint, our bodies and brains need an opportunity to be nourished and refreshed.  If you cannot do this every day, that’s okay.  Perhaps try once or twice a week to really stop what you are doing and nourish yourself.  

8.    Use your life, just as it is, along with your senses, to remind you to connect with your body throughout the day.  Use your life’s interruptions to nudge you awake. When your phone dings, when you are at a stop light, or if you have natural breaks in your day- time to pick up the kids, between appointments, or classes be reminded to check in.  Notice where you are making contact with a surface, such as the floor, your chair, your device, the cup in your hands, or your steering wheel.  And then notice where you can find your breath-the rise and fall of your chest, the expansion and contraction of your belly, or the air entering and leaving your nostrils.  Try this short mantra as your reminder “Feel your seat or feet, find your breath”.  

9.    Try Yoga Nidra if you have a 20 minute break during your day or to help you more easily fall to sleep at bedtime.  I find this to be more restorative than a nap and also helps me fall asleep if my brain is caught in a busy loop.  My go to practice is available on the app Insight Timer.

10.    Carry all of this lightly!  There are no “have to” on this list.  If one or two of these ideas strikes you as a “get to” or a “want to” give yourself the gift. Many times receiving your own care and tending is the hardest thing of all.  And you can do hard things.  You are worth doing hard things for.  

I would love to hear how it goes if you play with some of these ideas and if you have some of your own ways to stay on course you are willing to share.

I hope this helps you Stay your course in your New Year!

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