2016 is upon us, will all of the excitement and promise that comes with a new year. In our culture, January is also goal-setting season. Gym memberships soar alongside our desire for self-improvement as we commit to having a new body, a new mind, a new us. It’s as if we all collectively decide that we’re going to be better with a capital B! Better NOW! Better than EVER!!
This attitude can be inspiring and motivating. But it can also be overwhelming—and if your past efforts have been less than successful (and research shows that 92 percent of us have made and failed at New Year’s resolutions), it can bring up sour memories.
The Buddhist teacher Tara Brach says that awakening is a process of remembering and forgetting. January is a time to remember—the kind of life we’re committed to, the kinds of behaviors want to take on, who we want to be.
I like this because there’s room for our fallibility, and an underlying confidence that we’ll eventually get where we’re going. Even if by early March you “forget” that 6 a.m. spin class, that’s okay—because you’ll likely “remember” your resolve again in April, when you discover a granola recipe that replaces the croissant in your morning routine. It’s not about crash diets or punishing fitness routines; it’s about having faith that, more times than not, you’ll walk it, find five minutes for deep breathing or order the fresh fruit over the lava cake.
You get credit, in this system, for your commitment to getting it right. So whether you find yourself lumbering out to Zumba class in an ice storm or curling up on the couch to sip hot cocoa, you can honor your intention for wellness without beating yourself up. Research shows that people that relate to themselves in this way are the ones most likely to hit the elliptical once the streets are cleared.
Natural Awakenings offers “green tea” consciousness as an antidote to our Red Bull culture. It’s here within these pages every month, all year long (for six years and counting!), that you’ll find the information, teachers, healers, services, classes and events to meet you where you are on the way to lasting change, wholeness and longevity.
Together as contributors, readers and advertising partners, we’ll explore and co-create 2016, with the purpose of healing people and planet as our motivation. In each and every moment, we’ll continue waking up to ourselves and to each other.
With you in awakening,