30 December 2008

New Year, Old Resolutions


Forget the noisy clubs, expensive champagne and drunk strangers in glittery outfits. It’s been a while since I’ve had a quiet New Years Eve at home and this year I am very excited to welcome 2009 with family and friends at my parents’ house. I am especially excited to participate in some of the traditions of a Mexican New Years Eve celebration. My favorite is the eating of the grapes. For those who are unaware of the grape eating madness - at the stroke of midnight you have to eat 12 grapes, and make a wish or a resolution for every grape which symbolizes each month of the year. It sounds simple enough, but its not easy to chew 12 individual grapes in less than a minute...a choking hazard really. In the past, I don’t think I ever made any grape wishes; I normally would just scarf all the grapes because they tasted good with the champagne. The other cool tradition is that you have to wear red underwear in order to bring love and good luck into your life for the New Year. I’m not sure if this is exclusively a Mexican tradition and most people usually laugh at the idea but, why risk it? Don't fight the red undies.

I’ve never been the type to make New Years resolutions. I always thought they were silly. Lose weight, learn to play guitar, eat healthy, blah, blah, blah. However, this year will be different. Not only am I making resolutions, but I am going so far as to write them down and maybe even prioritize them. As I started to think about some of my resolutions I realized that they weren’t really new. They were things I had wanted to do and accomplish for quite some time. I was just memorializing them by turning them into “resolutions.” I think my problem was that I believed resolutions required you to give something up, which is probably why I never made them because I couldn’t be bothered to forfeit or let go of anything. Now, I’m learning that resolutions are really just answers, or rather intentions to take a certain course of action (duh, hellooo - that’s kind of what resolution means).

So, now that I’ve had this little epiphany I have to approach my resolutions from a completely different perspective. For example, one of my resolutions was to bind in Marichyasana C. Well, “Binding in Marichyasana C” can’t be a resolution because binding is not the answer. Rather, my resolution should be “to open my shoulders, extend my spine, empty out my belly and let go of the fear that prevents me from binding in Marichyasana C.” Not being able to do any of those things is what keeps me from binding in the first place. I simply can’t resolve to bind in an asana. I have to bring my awareness to so many more places and tweak other parts of myself before I can get there. It makes way more sense now. A resolution should be composed of the foundational necessities required to obtain the means and an intention to eliminate the barriers that block us from the ultimate goal. The only way to actualize our resolutions is to work hard for them and fully accept the responsibilities that come with them, regardless of whether there is hardship and pain. Its way more work doing it this way, but it will benefit us in the long run! Happy resolution drafting!

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Loka Samasta Sukino Bhavantu
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti…

May all beings be happy, healthy and free.
Om Peace, peace, peace

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