Resolution: Chill the Hell Out

There's this phenomenon that's happened to me a half dozen times now where I momentarily peruse instagram and see a quote that someone has posted, and I have the response, "OH MY GOD! YES! THIS!" There's something about the quote that really hits home and is so spot on that I'm filled with gratitude that I stumbled across it. And then I see that the quote is attributed to me. WHAT?!?

It's such a funny and surreal experience. I have the feeling that some unseen force is playing a practical joke on me or that I've gone crazy and I'm imagining things. But then I read the comments below and see that the quote was posted by a client who is sharing a note they took about something I said during one of our sessions, or someone who's read something of mine or come to a talk or a training I've given and is sharing something that resonated with them. And then I get this warm, sweet feeling and think, "I guess I do know some stuff. And I'm so glad I've said those words to someone else and they got back to me to read because it's sure as hell a lot better than the stuff that I normally hear in my head!"

Side note: this reminds me of a time about eight years ago when I saw yoga teacher Erich Schiffmann giving a talk. Someone in the audience quoted something to him and Erich exclaimed that he loved it asked what it came from. The person was taken aback and said "You--you wrote it in your book." And Erich assumed a look of quiet delight on his face, sat up a little straighter and he said, "That's brilliant!"

Anyway, all that to say this morning I found something that I had written at new years enough years ago that I had entirely forgotten what I had written. Because I had no recollection of what I said, I got to read it as if someone else had written it. And I found myself thinking, "I said that?!" I was surprised because it was good, and surprised because I seem to have forgotten this message and needed to be reminded.

I'm including a link to the piece here because I think it's a worthwhile reminder at the new year. And because the whole process of stumbling upon it and having some awe and appreciation for my past self reminds me of the message I most appreciate hearing at this time of year, which is essentially chill the hell out. Said another way, the message I like to hear is: consider practicing accepting who you are. Easier said than done, I know. So you can think of it this way: Set resolutions or intentions if you want to, but watch out for getting all urgent and frantic and overzealous about how x, y and z are going to be different in the new year because you're going to start doing this or stop doing that.

If you're not sure what to look for, a good marker is if you feel like you can't breathe or you feel all spun out and a bit hyper when you think about your resolution or intention or the promise of 2019, it's probably coming from fear or shame or attachment to you being different in order to be ok, and so it's probably not going to do much good. If that happens, try coming back to feeling your feet on the ground. Or looking around the room you're in to check in with reality in the present moment. Try practicing being who you are, and see what spontaneously arises as the best thing to do in the moment.

If, however, you find yourself super hooked in to the need for a better version of you in the year ahead and it's hard to find any steady ground in the present, you might try taking some time to look back to appreciate the best versions of you from your past. Perhaps to a few years ago when you had a courageous conversation or made a particularly bold or vulnerable move. Maybe to a piece of art or thing you built years ago that you still marvel at. Maybe think back to your childhood and touch in with how it felt when you knew how to have more fun or to love less self-consciously. Let yourself be surprised by something you did or a way that you were that gives you a quiet delight and makes you sit up a bit taller and be able to truly feel, "I'm brilliant."

Because just as sure as a "better" version of you awaits you in the future, so too does it live in you already, if in different ways. And just as there's always things you can work on, there's also always things you can celebrate.

Here's to your brilliance and whatever 2019 may have in store!

Jay Fields