New Years tradition dictates that once the feasting of the holidays is over we need to focus on new year’s resolutions and a “git-er-done” attitude. F*@k that!
Having been in the wellness / fitness industry for over 40 years, we have a running joke about the new year and the resolution driven gym / training floor crowds. “They will all be gone by end of February and we will have our space back.” I was at a loss to understand why we start out with the best of intentions but somehow lose steam, and fade away in such a short time, until I started studying the 5 Element Model of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
I strongly believe this “false start cycle” comes from our lack of seasonal awareness. Look around. What is nature doing right now? In the northern hemisphere, nature is in retreat from the cold. Animals are in dens, or hibernating. Deciduous trees have shed foliage and pulled all their energy down into growing healthy roots so that in springtime they can take that new found energy and build a stronger, broader canopy. From a Daoist philosophy, this IS “the way”. Observe nature and work with it, not against it.
Starting a rigorous January 1 training routine, in the middle of a down energy cycle, is ill advised for many reasons. This is our time to rest, nurture our internal landscape with meditative, quiescent training practices like gentle Qigong, Tai Chi or Yoga. Forcing yourself to push past this natural cycle invites further energetic draining. It is a lot like trying to run a marathon with a bungee cord attached that is almost certainly going to snap you backwards, painfully. It is far better to build your root system now and come out in the spring time recharged and ready to take on that list of resolutions.
Here are a few suggestions to take advantage of this powerful recharging time:
Take time alone to reflect on the year behind you, without judgement, guilt or shame.
Create a daily meditation routine
Gentle Exercise - Consistency is far more important than force
Release attachments / Make room for possibilities
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