New Years’ Resolutions are a bit like marmite I think – You either love them or hate them. In the past I have loved them but because I love ideas, beginnings , the birth of projects and new ideas but I lacked the skills to see them through and felt deflated when I gave up.
Having Seedwishes ( Sankalpa) instead of resolutions are something that I have borrowed from yoga. To start with an intention, a wish and to state it positively as if it were already true, we believe we are whole and perfectly in the right place and able to inhabit the change. A Sankalpa is practice we do with moon cycles but I think it’s so relevant this time of year. So it could be ‘I have a healthy body ’ or ‘I am enough’, ‘I am happily sober, ’ ‘ I have peace’ , ‘I am secure.’ ‘I am enjoying my time’.
My brain has struggled with this. How can I want to change and improve but be perfectly imperfect ? The image of the seed is a good one. If it’s in our nature to change then nothing is static. The seed must become a plant but it does’t mean there was anything wrong with the seed. It was perfect in it’s stage. Like us with daily good practice, love, care. water , sun it can blossom.
As I look back over this year ( I have avoided this as it’s been a hard year ) I read on a forum the idea of a reflective practice to close the old year – she called it doing a ‘Sacred Bow ‘ to the old year. I have been irritated by that for about two weeks and found myself yesterday googling pictures of Baboons’ butts to do a tongue in cheek post about my fricken sacred bow. However if I just stop , yes it’s sucked in many ways , we have had a close family bereavement which has sent the family into shock, my son started secondary school and has struggled to cope with the transition , my husband is being made redundant, and that’s after falling into deep grief and depression in the summer. The day job I was doing has also come to an end. I stayed sober through all of this despite wanting to run and hide so many times. To numb out the feelings, dial down the stress. I need to acknowledge that a bit more as I write this.
However I have to say, I am astonished to still find sunshine, that I have had days when I have laughed my socks off, that my son still got ‘learner of the week ‘ often and plays guitar like a thirty year old at eleven, my daughter lights up my heart every day and that the family has pulled together to support each other and we still have a roof over our heads .
If I look closer at my achievements , I got a lead role in a musical, made new friends, I trained as a life coach – this a dream that I have been wanting to do for years but couldn’t afford it. I did another year sober, I started a podcast with Mandy in the Spring. In December we re-pitched a book to publishers that I had started last year this time collaborating with Mandy and a publisher is interested in working with us. My husband bought a motorbike and started a band and is still the best dad ever. I have beautiful clients I now work with and I truly love my work. These have been dreams of ours, seed wishes that have grown despite the prevailing winds of hardship and loss.
And that’s another thing I love about the idea of seed wishes, seeds grow at their own time with care. There are always bigger cycles at work, wisdoms that we know little or nothing about as the planets turns and seasons change ,to know our place in these miraculous systems as tiny dots allows me to take some of the pressure off. I can do what I do , what is thing my sphere of influence and I can’t control the whole process. I can you make my best choices and do my learning right now.
Sankalpas or seed wishes are ancient wisdoms that mirror modern forms. Coaching techniques I have been learning this year can support these. Start with your goal, visualise it , inhabit it, taste it , feel it then break it down into little steps and keep going, checking in, getting support, taking breaks, and slowly slowly we blossom over time. Our shoots break through the earth, we have raised awareness , our confidence grows as we follow through and meet our goals. It’s old stuff with new words as far as I can see.
Also like the old Sankalpa wisdom neuroscience tells us now to set goals with a positive statement because our subconscious doesn’t register negatives so ‘I don’t want to drink’ becomes ‘I want to drink’ so your goal needs to be stated positively ‘ I am creating a happy alcohol free me’ for example. Look where you want to go , not where you don’t want to go.
Mandy and I were talking about our Word of The Year today and she chose ‘Serenity’ and I chose ‘Slow Grow’ . What’s your word of the year and what is your seed wish? Perhaps you like the idea of a sacred bow or a big old baboon’s arse? Did any of your dreams come true? What was the learning? What will you do differently?
If you managed some sober time, what worked ? Do more of the same. If you are struggling , what can you do differently, what do you need? Support? Daily routines? Quit lit? Reach out and keep trying.
However you mark a new year, I hope take a minute to congratulate yourself on what you achieved last year, and I will too we so often don’t acknowledge our efforts and have a think about your heart’s desires this year. You are so beautiful, precious, unique and yet we are the same. May 2019 be a good year for all of us.