Serene Karplus, Nederland. New Year’s Resolutions are broken and swept away as quickly as the glass ornaments the cat knocked off the tree. So, why make them? We continuously grow and change throughout our lives. Just as our body’s cells regenerate continuously, so must our spirits.
A gentler, more enduring approach might be to create and hold Intentions. With Intentions, we do not give up on ourselves the moment we slip a little. We are more flexible with the many interruptions life throws at us. Instead of setting tough new rules for more discipline, we envision the best results such directions could produce. Holding this positive portrait of ourselves becoming a little more of who we want to be and shedding some of the load of carrying what we like less, we inch forward in good directions.
Rather than scheduling self-improvement tasks that loom over us like so many other unfinished items on the to-do list, envisioning the best for ourselves can always remain at the top. Or it can be the reward for the many other things we accomplish. A walk outdoors becomes no longer a task, but a priority or a celebration.
We can ease into new ways of being, bit by bit, by simply holding the good intention and seeing it before us every day. Too harried for a healthy breakfast every day? Maybe a nice meal on Sunday morning includes setting aside leftovers to microwave on more hurried days. Can’t get motivated to change into workout clothes and drive to the gym? Maybe sneaking in a quick fifteen minute “un-coffee break” stretch or walk outdoors can help. Once we create a good habit that nourishes us, we want more of a good thing.
Renewing our spirit includes reserving the time and energy we need in our friendships and relationships, too. When we are under stress, we shortchange those we love the most. Part of self-improvement means looking at ourselves honestly, how we affect those around us, and striving to be just a little more aware of our impact all the time. Observing ourselves as others see us, we gently shift to our vision of the more kind and loving person we want to be.
Sometimes the recipients of our heart shifts can be more than just the people immediately surrounding us. We reach out to those in the generations that follow us by extending our energy now towards the long-term effects of our people on our land and national persona, bucking trends that will disappear and holding true to our long-held values. We must stand strong against the sway of those who would pull us in directions of change that do not align with our beliefs.
Let’s envision the best for ourselves and our communities, both local and worldwide. We can carry the light and help our friends who lose their way. When we slip from our intentions, we step softly back on track and keep moving forward.
However small we may feel as just one person, we each make a difference for everyone when we hold a positive vision and inch towards it every day.
Happy New Intentions, Everyone!
All adults are welcome at all Mountain MidLife and Nederland Area Seniors events, attended mostly by folks over age 50. Everyone is invited to luncheons every Monday and Wednesday, breakfast on most second Saturdays, and dinners on third Fridays in fall at the Nederland Community Center. Please call two days ahead for reservations (further ahead for dinners and breakfasts, if possible) to 303-258-0799. (Missed the deadline? Call anyway.) Cost shown lists first the over-age-60 requested contribution, then the cost for under-age-60.