Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year Resolutions and ahimsa

How are your new year resolutions going? Most resolutions have been broken by the end of January. 

New year resolutions tend to come from self-criticism.  For example 'I must lose weight' means that you think of yourself as overweight, 'I will get fitter' means that you think of yourself as unfit.  No sooner is Christmas over, than magazines are full of slimming and fitness articles, and Christmas was hardly over this year when leaflets advertising local slimming clubs were popping through my letter box.

Resolutions are often followed by unrealistic 'programs' to right the 'faults' that you perceive in yourself and make yourself into some 'perfect' person.  The truth is no such person exists - we are all human, with human failings and though we may try to follow Patanjali's eight fold path, we will fall sometimes.  

When your resolve is broken, your inner critic surfaces again 'You are weak willed', 'You are so lazy' etc.  This is not in keeping with ahimsa, non-harming, not only others but yourself too. Resolutions are destructive in that they lower your self-esteem when you cannot meet unrealistic expectations.

This year instead of resolutions why not set intentions from a place of loving kindness and acceptance.  Maybe your intention for 2016 could be 'I will take good care of myself', with fresh air, getting out in nature and healthy food - everything else will follow.

Please see also, 'New Year Sankalpa'-

Janet x

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