I don’t remember when my former New Years tradition began but I am guessing it lasted for at least 20 years.
Gearing up to the big day I would get intoxicated with excitement about my resolve to be perfect in my eating and exercise habits. I would completely convince myself that this was THE YEAR, that come New Years Day by life would be forever transformed.
The resolution would always be born out of disgust in the state of my body and remorse about the gorging that would have happened in the prior weeks during the Christmas sugar haze. Then, like every other year before and every other diet I had ever been on I would eventually fall off course and return to old ways drenching myself in shame and defeat.
You know that saying about the definition of insanity don’t you? That’s right, doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Finally 5 years ago I woke up. I realized that I was going to die dieting and body hating if something fundamental didn’t shift. I decided that I could not allow my journey here to be characterized by hating myself and daily obsessive thoughts about my weight.
Instead I created a diet for myself of compassionate self awareness, body embrace and connection, freedom with food and aligned living. This was the beginning of my Deeper Cravings journey and is now the foundation for my 12 week curriculum The Deeper Cravings Path™.
It was also the beginning of a new kind of New Years tradition… loving myself into alignment in my body, mind and spirit.
You see change born of self-hate can not lead to eventual self-love. It doesn’t work like that. If we start the journey in negativity we will likely find ourselves walking in negativity throughout.
This doesn’t mean we should give up on a desire for change in our lives, including or physical condition, nor maintain unhealthy patterns. It does, however, mean we should examine our starting premise.
Much of the time change regimes are based on rejection, dissatisfaction and feelings of inadequacy. How different would it feel if love, acceptance and gratitude were the foundation for the changes you are intent on making this year instead?
Here’s how it could look for you:
LOVE: Loving, no adoring, the body you currently have enough to listen to it. When you see your body as a loving friend or as your beloved responsibility you are much more likely to cherish it, to treat it kindly, including giving it the food and movement it seeks.
ACCEPTANCE: Embracing yourself enough to reclaim your right to be free. You owe it to yourself to not live day in and day out miserable about your body. Let this be the year you vow to wake up to your inherent beauty, to know that despite our culture’s messages to the contrary, your shape does not degrade your value in any way nor give you less of a right to be happy and fulfilled.
GRATITUDE: Total appreciation for the gift of life. Another year means you’ve been gifted with the privilege of getting more time to play in this amazing playground of life. Often some aspect of our relationship with our body, mind or spirit limits us from the fullness of life we deserve. You know when you are out of alignment with yourself. Seek out your own cooperation to return to the person you are meant to show up here as. Let your gratitude for the gift of your life guide you towards the changes you need to make.
Try this: take 10 minutes out of your day tomorrow to write yourself a love letter. Tell yourself how precious you are, how you deserve to be free, and speak to yourself about your true longings, your deeper cravings. Commit to a daily walk in love, acceptance and gratitude…and then wait and see what might open up for you and kind of year 2016 will be!
The Deeper Cravings Path™ is a 12 session journey to making peace with your body and finding total freedom with food.
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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/56801034@N02/6073908284″>Feux d’artifices d’Argelès-sur-Mer – P8170055</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>