I don’t know about you, but I’m not a great fan of New Year’s resolutions. There’s nothing particularly bad about them; making lists of goals to achieve, personal qualities to develop, behaviours to improve upon are all noble pursuits. It’s just that resolutions are future based and thus have the unwelcome habit of whisking me away from the richness of my present moment experience and into the murky realm of ‘if only’ and wishful thinking.
If only I could….lose a few pounds, exercise more, spend more quality time with my children, have better work life balance, be more considerate, less reactive, improve my relationships etc etc (insert wishful thought here)……then everything in my life would be perfect, rosy, peachy keen!
The list of course is endless and however valiant the attempt to ‘get all my ducks in a row’ I am in some fundamental sense, creating anxiety for myself by wanting and wishing things to be different from the way that they are. What’s more I am apt to fall into thoughts of self blame and judgement when, at some not too distant point in the future, I’m faced with the rapidly widening gulf between my ‘hoped for achievements’ and the reality of my efforts!
So what to do this year? Well my resolution this year is about exploring the richness of present moment experience through a series of mindfulness practices that can be found in this little book. There is a practice for each week of the year and it is my intention to attempt to practice all 52 of them over the course of 2012 and share my adventures with those practices in this blog.
Each new weekly practice will be posted here on Sunday afternoons, the first starting 1st January 2012. I very much hope you will get curious and join me to try some of them out, thereby experiencing some new and creative ways of bringing mindfulness into your daily life.
These practices are taken directly from How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Aventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays. You can find out more, read my review of and purchase this book from my Mindfulness Library (page 2).