At the beginning of this year, I decided that instead of creating resolutions, I would come up with a mantra for 2010. One statement that would sum up my goals and inspire me to drive towards them enthusiastically. I decided that this year would be the year of "doing and discovering." Vague, yet empowering. The fact that these three words encompass so much, meant that I was setting myself up to succeed, rather than setting myself up to fail.
Perhaps that's why new year's resolutions have never really worked for me. The beginning of a new year seems like a good place to start but, you might not be ready to make life changes just because it's time to replace your calendar. There's all this pressure surrounding the period and it's so easy to get pulled into what you should do, forgetting that 'should' is probably the most dangerous and self-harming word in existence. Why do I think so? 'Should' seeds are often always planted by somebody else and as such, do not take into consideration your particular needs, your situation and your goals.
You should be married by your age. You should be following this career path. Africa should be following this model of development. And so on and so on…
Rarely are these suggestions given with your true best interests at heart. Even when they come from your own mouth or mind!
So in the spirit of doing and discovering, I cut my hair off in August, in what I now appreciate as a conspicuous symbol of change*. It was my announcement of commitment and a challenge for me to back the gesture up with further action. Interestingly, it was not a symbol marking the start of change but rather a milestone that was the culmination of months of several small changes. Incremental advances that themselves are a great accomplishment for me – as impulsive and impatient as I can be.
What are these changes? They largely relate to health in all its many facets – nutrition, exercise, sanity etc. Greatly inspired by Natalia Rose's Raw Food Detox Diet (which is more holistic than the title suggests and in fact goes beyond the body to detoxification of your lifestyle), I begun having raw breakfasts and primarily raw lunches. More recently, I joined a gym and have been averaging about 4 visits a week. A record for me and something that I actually look forward to as part of a typical day. I guess being realistic with myself is probably the most important change that has facilitated all the other changes. For example: I love sleep too much to go to the gym at dawn and I enjoy relaxing at home in the evenings so, attempting to go then would be inviting failure (I can be a master excuse-crafter when it comes to myself). So I go in the middle of the day. It's a welcome break from work and gives me an excuse to get some fresh air and Vitamin D too.
You could say that I have the luxury of these midday visits because I work from home and I work for myself. Well, I set myself up this way professionally, for exactly this purpose in mind: to improve my health and well-being. And while it was not front-of-mind that one particular step would lead to the next, that almost subconscious reminder, about doing and discovering, strings it all together. Plus, I think I've been helped by being open to the synchronicity that the universe makes happen.
Two inklings that have been confirmed:
- we really do have the power to change our lives
- things come to you when you're ready for them
What are you ready for?
* Interestingly, in my natural hair obsession, I've discovered many bloggers and vloggers who in their hair journeys have been inspired to make other life changes. For example, K-Curly of NewlyNatural.com and YouTuber CharyJay who decided to shed the pounds when they shed the processed hair. And others who, in discovering the value of using natural products on their hair, have started looking closer into what they put inside their bodies too.