It is a bright, shiny new year…definitely one of our culture’s most enduring symbols of a “clean slate”. It is a great time to rededicate ourselves to self-improvement, more commitment to others (partner, family, friends, community), and goals such as having more happiness or contentment in our lives. Some, however, have given up on this “exercise” of creating New Year’s Resolutions, as they never seem to be able to make them “stick”…that is, they fail to follow through on manifesting them in their life, even though they sincerely believed in the value of this new direction, attitude or behavior.
So, what happens between formulating a resolution and allowing it to fade into oblivion?? In my experience, I see a few things contributing to this…some may resonate with you, some may not be so pertinent, as I think that has a lot to do with our personality, our situation and our path. But, it might be helpful to consider some of the factors, and essences that can help us stay true to our New Year’s intentions.
Clarity of Intention
Sometimes, we have a general notion of what we would like to accomplish, or what we would like to change in our lives. Now, this is where my corporate background helps me a little…when I used to teach goal-setting to executives, one of the things I stressed was how important it was to be clear and specific on what we wanted to do, and to have some behavioral component to it. I found that, if people did those two things, they were much more likely to be successful in achieving their goals.
So, for example, you might wish to be healthier in 2015. It is good to break that down into more specific goals, such as eating healthier, exercising, losing weight. Any one of those, then, can be brought to a behavior level, like (for eating healthier) buying only organic food, eating at home at least five nights a week (you can see where MY weakness lies on this one!), reducing sweets, going gluten-free, etc. This will depend upon what would represent “healthier eating” for YOU, but you can see where I am going with the action-oriented nature of clarity.
An essence that really helps us to be clearer is Fragonia…I love to apply her to my crown chakra and over my heart. For being more action-oriented, I especially like Nutmeg or Juniper Berry (Berries Only). Nutmeg is a great chi warmer and mover. She supports us in finding a “new way of being” and staying the course, until it is “our” way of being. As far as Juniper Berry is concerned, berries are seeds…the drivers of creation, the beginnings of things. So, Juniper Berry essence carries that energy and sense of new beginnings.
The Power of Voice
I, personally, have found that, if I speak my intention, resolution or goal to others, that is, share them publically, I am more likely to follow through with them. Maybe it is a “Leo” thing, but once I have committed publicly to something, I feel more compelled to accomplish it. It works so powerfully with me, that I remember, years back, announcing to friends and family that I was going to get a Masters’ Degree, so that I would actually follow through and do it (and I did!).
An excellent essence for supporting the speaking of our goals is Blue Spruce, applied over the throat chakra.
Clearing out “Old Baggage”
And, something you hear a lot, but may not have considered relative to keeping New Year’s Resolutions is “you need to clear out the old to make space for the new.” As I think about it, the old adage concerning the New Year — “Ring out the old, ring in the new”– is quite apropos! So, rather than layer new commitments, in the guise of New Year’s Resolutions, over old ones, this may be the time to let go of responsibilities that no longer serve you.
A good “trick” to discern which you wish to let go of and which you wish to keep, is thinking about your current commitments and identifying the ones which “feel” like obligations. That means your heart isn’t in in. Maybe you need to let them go or delegate the responsibility to someone else. Another “clue” as to ones to let go include those where the “energy” seems to have gone out of the commitment. Maybe you and a friend decided to be “weight loss buddies”…but recently, she never returns your calls, or takes days to answer your email or FB post about your weight loss efforts…maybe this is a commitment whose “time” has come…let it go. Once you have created additional “space” in your life, you will find honoring your new commitments much easier.
A great essence for clearing things out is Kanuka. She helps you honor your past decisions and actions, but motivates you to let them go, and clear the way for new ones.
Last, but not least, is the important idea that many of us resist change…and many times, those close to us resist OUR changing in any significant way. I was shocked, when I chose to lose weight some years ago, how many of my friends and family tried to pressure me, via guilt or camaraderie, to eat something that wasn’t on my diet. “Oh,” a friend would lament, “I made this just for you!” Or, ‘Oh, everyone is having dessert! Don’t be a party-pooper!” Luckily, Weight Watchers had warned me about this, so I had practiced my “boundary setting” replies to such pressure!
And, that is what it is all about. Boundaries. Whether we have trouble honoring our OWN boundaries (“I know I said I wouldn’t eat “fast food”, but I am in a hurry this afternoon, and I don’t see any other option.”) or setting boundaries with others, this is a very important aspect of keeping our New Year’s Resolutions, because, after all, what are they about but change??
Our beautiful new Cork Bark Fir essence is a gem when it comes to helping us honor boundaries. She reminds us that boundaries do serve a purpose, and that it is important to clarify what ours are…and to honor them.
So there you have it…my thoughts on barriers to keeping (or even setting) some powerful intentions to take advantage of the hope and new beginnings represented by a new year.
Wisdom of the Earth Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class ($475; early registration (30 days in advance) $450
January 17-18, Arcata, CA (Northern CA) at Northcoast Essentials. Only room for 1 or 2 more students. Thank you for the great response!!
February 7-8, Sedona AZ (with Cynthia Olivera de Kapp, WOTE Education Director) Focussing on students from Arizona, as we seek to build a stronger community in our “home” state!
May 9-10, Santa Fe, NM One of two classes (other is September 12-13) I am offering at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy Studio this year
Monthly Aromatherapy Meet Up Gathering in Santa Fe
January 6, February 17, March 17, April 2, May 5, June 23.
We meet at the APG office in 50 Oshara Blvd., 7-8:30 pm
Topics to be announced via http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Area-Aromatherapy-Group/events/219029082/
Hope you can join us…it is a wonderful, warm group of people who believe in the plant essences and enjoy learning with and from each other!
Happy New Year to you, and thank you for your interest in and support of Shining Sun Aromatherapy! Please share this Essential Thought on your FB page, with your mailing list, or your friends, if you feel they would benefit from and enjoy the content.
Audre Gutierrez, Shining Sun Aromatherapy