• Melissa Valentine

Point of Departure – a new look at resolution

If you don’t choose a different present, then your past will choose it for you. Rod Stryker

As January 1st approaches we are again asked to reflect on the past and set our goals and intentions for the new year ahead. It seems cliche at this point. Regardless, the opportunity for a fresh start is tempting and in this post-Christmas holiday stupor, I could use a jolt of intentional energy. Honestly, it was never the banality of the tradition that kept me from setting those new goals. It was more likely the fear of failure, the all-too-perfect recall of “been there, asked for that!” or the memory of exhausted efforts with too little or transient pay-off. Sometimes it is so comfortable staying right where you are.

This past year has been different from any I have known. My mind was rested from a year of isolation. My body was healthy because I had more time to dedicate to myself. Even my home was in order. I saw the possibility of forging new ground, with new energy. However, I found myself straddling 2 paths. I was ready to embrace freedom from the constraints of the pandemic but not sure it was safe. Also, I was no longer comfortable with how things were before social-distancing. And yet, I kept returning to the words of my teacher “if we don’t choose a different present our past will choose it for us”.

The ambiguity of the past year was uncomfortable for me. It stirred up a need and a drive for clarity. Looking back on 2021, I celebrate the choices I made to step off the well-worn path. I offer gratitude for the individuals, words and works that kept me inspired. Here is a list of some of the places I found support, insight, inspiration and guidance:

  1. The Monk Manual, Steve Lawson

  2. The Four Desires book and workshop, Rod Stryker

  3. Tantra Shakti, course by Rod Stryker

  4. Secrets of the Sutras: Light on Self Mastery, course by Rod Stryker

  5. The Gottman Institute, John & Julie Gottman

  6. Yoga Nidra, course by Rod Stryker

  7. Celebrate Calm, Kirk Martin

  8. Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, musician

  9. The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo

  10. Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Joe Dispenza

  11. Insight Co-learning, Susan Hawes

  12. the grief and experience of my father’s passing

  13. my husband and my family and my life-long friends

I am starting to recognize the patterns that are holding me to the path set in place by my past. I can see how creating new patterns will help me set a point of departure. With each step in a new direction, the view of what lies ahead is more clear. Here are some of the steps I am taking on the new path:

  1. Whole-heartedly accept and give gratitude for the abundance in my life rather than wasting energy resenting or fearing the work that goes into it

  2. Accept support and love from those around me when I need it rather than pretending I am okay

  3. Plan priorities by who I want to be rather than what I need to do

  4. Be open to emotions, to discomfort, to ambiguity

  5. Be authentic and celebrate that I am enough rather than comparing myself to others

  6. Practice more than preach

  7. Throw myself into direct experience rather than letting expectations steal my attention

  8. Rest more, do less

There is much work to be done. However, the the work of forging a new path will be weighed against the cost of not following through. There must be some lessons we choose not to learn over and over again.

…and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin

Wishing you and yours vitality and clarity in the new year! We will meet January 2nd at 10AM EST for a brief guided Community Meditation to help calm your mind and clarify your intention for 2022. It is free and you can register here if interested.

#habits #intention #goal #meditation #yoga #inspiration

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