There are many rituals around the world to help bring the New Year in, making "New Year Resolutions" seems to be one of the most common. Let's bring in a different slant on this and make "New Year's Intentions". Intentions are a way of bringing what you want into your life.
Here are some examples for you to go on:
1. Be more present
Lay down an intention to be more present. An easy way to start this is when someone talks to you, put down whatever you are doing and really focus on them. If you can't put it down, look them in the eye and say, "What you have to say is really important to me, can you wait 5 minutes so I can finish this and give you my undivided attention?". This can make whoever it is, your partner, your child, your colleague, feel important and that they matter to you. Then when you do listen to them practice active listening. Here is a great article on how to do this.
2. Put your phone down
Make this new year the right opportunity to become a more disconnected (from phone/screens) connected (to people and your life) you. I need to take heed of my own advice and do this! If you have a phone attachment like so many people do these days, make a concerted effort to put it down. Or not pick it up. Turn your notifications off. Set specific times to check your phone during the day. Don't pick your phone up in the morning until you have physically and verbally connected with your whole family. Leave your phone behind sometimes. Reclaim your connected authentic life.
3. Start a regular self-care and or spiritual practice
Perhaps you already had a spiritual or self-care practice but you let it slide because life or babies happened. Perhaps you are looking to introduce something new. A few options are:
- Mindfulness - this encompasses many things - meditation, breathing, being present, taking personal space and self-awareness are some. You would need to look into it and figure out what it means to you and how you would like to embrace and incorporate it into your life.
- Learn to manifest - learning the art of manifestation or how to 'vision' what you want to bring in to your life are powerful tools to empower yourself with.
- Yoga - There is an amazing initiative of 30 days of free yoga practice with Adriene, you can find it here. It starts January 1st so is a fabulous time to initiate your new daily practice!
- Fasting - A number of studies have shown that intermittent fasting has multiple health benefits, you can read a few here. If you have any pre-existing health conditions, please check with your care provider whether fasting is right for you. And note that fasting is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Eat consciously - be mindful of the food you are putting into your body. Eat real food. Be present throughout the actual act of eating. Savour the food. Experience the flavours. Make it more than a mechanical process that we must do to survive. Honour the food you are eating for giving your body nutrients.
- Outdoor love - I do not mean making love outdoors although that would definitely count. I mean making nature your teacher. Really immersing yourself in it. Spending at least 30 minutes outside every day whether it be grounding your bare feet on the grass, sand or dirt. You could walk, hike, meditate or just be.
4. Heal an inner wound
This may be a hard one but we all have inner child wounds that need tending to and healing. Start a practice of talking to your inner child especially when you notice a reaction from yourself that is probably stemming from your inner child. These could be strong 'child-like' feelings that are triggered in response to someone (usually a loved one but sometimes work colleagues or even strangers) and their actions and or words. You may feel a strong physical reaction. You may feel your inner self pouting, stamping your foot or screaming 'It's not fair!'. For example, your partner says 'Honey, I am struggling a little bit with the spiciness of dinner, did you put any chili in it?'. Now, this seems like a completely reasonable and valid question from your partner but invokes a response in you of criticism and that they don't like your cooking and you have been judged unfairly. This is probably your inner child reacting and perhaps you were criticised as a child by your mother or father. What does your little person need to hear at this point? Do a little exercise. Sit with them for a little bit, put your arm around them, reassure them, 'You haven't done anything wrong', 'You are OK', 'John just does not like too spicy food', 'Next time, we will just put a teeny amount of chili in'.
Or maybe your inner child feels unsafe or fearful in situations where someone is angry and they cannot deal with conflict. Conflict is a normal part of relationships and it is how we deal with it, how we repair and reconnect and nurture our inner children within that process. This is a beautiful article about starting the journey to healing your inner child.
5. Express yourself
Grow your hair. Cut your hair. Dread your hair. Change up your style. Be your authentic self. Speak up. Sing and dance. Express your emotions. Learn a new communication model such as Compassionate Communication - it can be life changing especially if your partner learns it with you.
6. Make and nurture social connections
It doesn't have to be hard to make new friends as an adult. Many of the friends we do tend to make as adults can be through our children or also online. If you do make them online, endeavour to make local friends online so you can actually meet them in real life and do things together. Make an intention to reach out to and meet up with a friend or friends on a regular basis - whatever that looks like to you. It may be once a week or once a month but make it regular. Also, as we get older surrounding ourselves with like-minded people, people that 'get us', people that we would be happy to leave our children with gets more and more important so keep that in mind when making new friends or nurturing old friendships. You may have current friendships that just are not serving you and you may need to let go of them in order to honour your authentic self.
7. Raise your vibration
You may be wondering, what is my vibration and why should I raise it? Your vibration is essentially your energy frequency or state of being and the higher it is the more positivity that flows through your life. The lower it is, the heavier life seems and the more negativity can manifest. Doing any or all of the things noted above will raise your vibration. Random and unexpected acts of kindness. As my 9 year old son says, 'try to be kind always'. Practice daily gratitude. Introduce regular honouring at your family dinner table, make them specific and current - 'I honour you for your patient parenting and ability to give the kids your undivided attention' or 'I honour you for your tenacity and not giving up when trying to fix your bike today'.
We would love to hear what are your New Year's intentions or areas of focus for 2018?
All of us here at Empowered Parenthood are so excited for the new year, all the love, excitement and good times ahead. We are wishing you a safe and happy holidays.