The end of the year is in sight, the New Year approaching – hurray.
You may be like me and looking forward to a brand new year. A chance to reflect, evaluate and reset what we give our attention to in the year ahead. Yes time for setting – New Years resolutions or New Year goals. A new year, a new chance to be healthy and exercise and become the best version of ourselves.
What will your New Years resolution be?
Several years ago one of my resolutions would have been something like ‘exercise more’ or ‘exercise more consistently’.
The problem with this resolution was that as soon as I missed an exercise session, because ‘I just didn’t feel like it’ the guilt kicked in. Alongside the guilt a mindset crept in that was along the lines of
- ‘I am not the best version of myself, because I am not exercising.’ or even worse
- ‘Being the best version of myself is totally out of reach, because I can not even stick to the resolution I set myself’.
Both pretty disheartening, right?
But what if the best version of ourselves is already there? What if we stopped putting pressure on ourselves? What if we stopped aiming for an ideal that is projected as something we should be or have from external sources? Yes, I am talking about how we are told constantly that ‘exercise is good for your health’, ‘walk 10000 steps for better heart health’, ‘do yoga’, ‘run’….. (Yes I realise that science says so, but hear me out…)
How can any of these be good for our health, if we constantly feel like we are in a battle with ourselves? We force, push and put pressure on ourselves to reach an externally prescribed ideal, which always feels painfully out of reach. And then makes us feel like we can’t trust ourselves to achieve what we set out to achieve. It is just frustrating.
I believe there is a different way. What if the New Years resolution was
Be kind to yourself (body and mind) and listen
What am I listening for, I hear you ask. Well if you ask every body part how it is feeling you will be surprised by the answers you will get. Give it a go….
Ask…’Hello left foot, how are you?’ Tune into your foot and wait for the answer. Note the answer down.
What does your body have to say?
You will soon find the parts of the body that say they are tense, areas that feel forgotten, areas that feel painful, areas that are full of energy.
This is all information that you can be used to be kind to yourself and provide your body with the movement it actually needs, without it being forced.
You may well find that a part of your body is asking you to do the most incredible stretches to release some tension or because it wants to expand into the world in some way or another. So this is where finding the exercise that feels right and kind to you comes in…If your body wants to stretch, of course yoga is allowed.
It might be that your body wants to move as fast as it possibly can – a suggestion would be dance wildly, play tennis, run.
Equally your body might just say that it wants to contract into a ball and be still, so be kind to yourself, listen and curl up on the couch.
A body part that feels forgotten might just want to express itself, loudly and take the lead. Be kind to yourself and find out where your feet (for example) would take you if they could just express themselves.
And so by listening to our body we can create a way of moving and being that is totally aligned with what our body and our core being needs.
It is a way of being kind to ourselves, moving in a manner that allows for expression, variety and creativity. It takes the guilt and pressure away and suddenly becomes an enjoyable thing to do, because body and mind are working together in harmony and in balance, which is healthy!
So, join me and make ‘be kind to yourself and listen’ your 2023 New Years resolution and observe what your body and mind can achieve together in the moment.
Learn to connect and listen to your body
If you are unsure about where to start to listen to your body or would just like to be guided through the process of listening to your body. Join my next free Ground yourself Workshop to get you started.