Feel Good Resolutions


“Accentuate the positive.
Eliminate the negative.
Latch on to the affirmative.
Don’t mess with Mr. Inbetween”

Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate the Positive, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Harold Arlen.
Inspired by a Church Sermon. Nominated for an Academy Award in 1945.

No wonder people aren’t doing Resolutions. Too often we’re trying to “change” something about ourselves that we don’t like. “I’m overweight.” Unfortunately, this idea is too often accompanied by shame or blame or self loathing. It’s too much about “not good enough,” and not enough about what feels good. 

My friend Sarah told me at age 57 she has never felt better. No wonder. Three years ago she finally quit smoking after smoking most of her life. She was getting mouth surgery and knew she shouldn’t smoke during recovery. She called a smoking cessation group and emphatically stated she was not quitting smoking, she just wanted to stop for a few days and was definitely not quitting.

She said she was even rude, anticipating a litany of why she needed to quit forever, but instead the support person at the cessation group was kind and helpful. She got Sarah patches and all set up for 3 days of not smoking.

After only one day of not smoking, Sarah felt so much better she has not had another puff on a cigarette since.

“Right away, just after one day, I felt so much better, I knew I could never go back. And I haven’t. It wasn’t even that hard because I feel so, so good,” she told me with revelatory satisfaction. Sarah is aware she might pay for her smoking later in life, but right now,  she feels better than she has most of her life. Her hair, nails, skin, voice, breathing, all feel renewed, healthy and alive; the body’s astounding regenerative abilities are at work.

In my own experience, I know that following something that feels really good, is a lot easier than trying to change something that feels bad. In creating my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve been watching for what gets me excited; what creates a real desire for “more of that, please.”

I haven’t played the piano in a while, but inspired by the holiday, I sat down to play. I instantly recalled the high school realization that after practicing piano I felt more calm, focused, and alert. This realization kept me playing through college. Even though I never was, nor will be a particularly good pianist, practicing transforms tattered, scattered energy into a feeling of calm centeredness, ready-for-anything. So, playing the piano is on my list of resolutions.

Danny and I started juicing 3-5 times a week about five years ago and we haven’t looked back. We grow a garden with the intent of having lots of fresh greens, and gardening has become a delightful passion. From one good intention, another flourished.

As we practice ChiRunning and ChiWalking Danny and I still talk about what’s working and what we’re focusing on. I’ve been adding more and more hip hikes to my walks, along with walking and running backwards. Why? Because hip hikes give me a deep sense of inner strength that makes me feel able to handle anything. For a double focus I lift out of my pelvis while simultaneously letting my shoulders drop and rest on my pelvis. It works for me. Jogging backwards for a few minutes feels playful and awakens my senses. I feel my body align perfectly when I jog backwards. It just feels good!

If you don’t have your New Year’s Resolutions ready for Jan 1, resolve to use the month of January to find the small things that give you renewed positive energy and do them more often. Rediscover the awakening energy of true desire and deep, quiet excitement that is all yours. No ought's, or should's, but pure, “I want more of that.”

Turn toward the goodness in your life and let your resolutions unfold from a place of accentuating the positive, and you'll fully enjoy your New Year, all year!

Posted in Lifestyle

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