January 3, 2010

My Resolutions for 2010

Making resolutions this time of year seems kind of, well, corny and insincere. Well-meaning individuals purchasing fitness club memberships as part of a resolution to "get buff" be warned. A 2006 British consumer report found that 220m pounds ($375m) was wasted every year in the UK on unused club memberships. And the guilt? Priceless.

Ideally I would be in a constant state of assessing my performance as a functioning human being, rather than possibly once a year. Out of jail? Check. Feeding, clothing, and sheltering self, and loved ones? Check. Doing the least amount of harm to self, others, and planet? Check. Exercising for 30 minutes per day, and expunging the word 'fuck' from my vocabulary? Sound of needle scratching across vinyl, then silence.

I have been trying to check in with myself more often. Then I can begin self-correcting right away by setting small goals for practice and improvement. However, any time we pause to self-reflect and set goals is a good thing, and I wish all of those making pledges for 2010 complete success. I will even jump in with a few of my own:
  1. Get rid of more possessions. The times in my life I have felt completely liberated were while living out of a backpack. A few days in the backcountry of Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park or traveling overseas for months, stripping life to the bare essentials taught me that the world is a wondrous, safe place full of amazing people, and you can carry everything you need to enjoy it all.
  2. Allow a natural, easy flow of money in to, and out of, my life. Money comes. Money goes. Nothing good comes from worrying about it. Everything is going to be alright. We will help each other.
  3. Become more involved in my community. I will become more cooperative within the greater community by volunteering my time in a school, food bank, or where ever else my help is needed.
  4. Start cultivating an allotment in a new community garden area. I miss having a garden. In Sooke and across Vancouver Island great things are happening in the area of farming and food security. I want to grow a green tangle of magnificent munchables, and help others do the same.
  5. Meditate more. Even in my simple lifestyle I am amazed at how I manage to keep busy 99% of the time. I know the Dalai Lama says that sleep is the best meditation, but I would like to be a little more active than that this year.
  6. Go for longer, slower walks. Driving is way to fast, at any speed. Sometimes riding a bike is to fast. I want to see life unfold, manifest, come into being. I find that walking, with frequent stops, is a good pace. Ambling, wayfaring, wandering, getting lost - this is where the magic happens.
  7. Quit drinking coffee. Will 2010 see the end of hot, sweet, milky fair trade coffee? Cut out coffee, cream, and sugar and switch to green tea. I do like green tea.
  8. Practice compassion. This slays the flaming dragons of judgment, outrage, and offense. It fosters acceptance and forgiveness.
  9. Write more letters. Hand written letters have always been special, but are even more so now since the advent of instant communication. For the last few years of my 95 year old grandma's life we corresponded via snail mail. She told my mom every time I wrote, and I enjoyed going to the mailbox to get grandma's cards and letters, always written in perfect script. Grandma passed on in 2009.
  10. Laugh a lot. When I take myself and/or life to seriously it becomes less enjoyable, and I become less effective. I will cultivate mirth, and laugh with abandon more often this year. After all, if it's not fun, it's not sustainable.
Affirmation to start off new year: "I am meeting all of my goals easily and joyfully in 2010." Say it. Repeat as often as necessary. Let's have some fun this year.

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