I happen to be one of those people who makes a New Year’s resolution each year. To be truthful, there’s usually a whole list of things that I’d like to accomplish during the year: lose 10 pounds, exercise more, master Spanish, visit my folks more often, and learn how to cook tasty low-fat meals. But I might as well just have this same list on my computer and print it out every year, since the same five resolutions always seem to make their way on there. I always have incredibly high hopes for myself. However, in my thirty-odd years of making resolutions, I have learned that if I really want to make a change, it’s best to tackle it one resolution at a time.
This year, in addition to my standard list, I’ve added meditation. I’ve been sort of dabbling with this notion for a while now, after having accidentally picked up a copy of David Lynch’s “Catching the Big Fish.” What I thought was a behind-the-scenes peek at the movie, actually turned out to be Lynch’s musings on the act of meditation. Mr. Lynch attributes the practice to helping him clarify his thoughts, temper his anger, and attain a level of calm during stressful periods; all things I can definitely benefit from given my hectic schedule!
I actually started checking into it more thoroughly last year... scanning YouTube for videos on how to meditate, checking out books from the library, even going so far as to sign up for a class... which was sadly cancelled due to lack of interest. But this year, I’ve decided to make it my goal and resolution: meditate every day. I’ve found a little book that is actually an eight week course in simple meditation, and I’m resolved to follow it from beginning to end.
Which brings me to the reason for writing this blog in the first place.
One of the issues I find with resolutions is that it’s easy to break them because no one is holding me accountable... except, of course, myself. I need a way to jump start my intentions should I start to lag...
It was my sister, Freda, who actually gave me the solution. Evidently, when she was a camp counselor, she would have the kids write letters to themselves, encouraging them to “check in” with the progress they were making in their lives to that point, and to rekindle the belief that they had begun over the summer. The kids would write the letters, seal them, self address them, and then Freda had the responsibility of sending them out six months later. Freda remembers doing this herself when she was a camper, and she said that it was awesome to receive this letter from yourself when you least expected it. She said that the effect it had on her was always a good one, giving her a little nudge or jolt when she needed it.
In any event, I can’t send things to myself. That won’t work. However, I think I’ve come up with a solution...
Every year, someone inevitably gives me a calendar for the holidays. This year I got three! So what I’ve decided to do is write six letters to myself, and attach them with a paper clip to the front page of each month. I suppose If I got one of those desk calendars I could do it once a week, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever. In any event, I’m hoping that the effect will be the same as a letter received in the mail -- a little nudge in the ribs that will be just enough to rekindle my desire to achieve my goal. The letters will be short, sweet and to the point: “Are you keeping up with your resolution?”
Who knows... if it works for this one goal, then maybe I can start attacking the rest of my never-changing list one item at a time... that would be muy bueno!
Calendar image via My Essentia