Do you have the same resolutions every year—They go something like this:
• Lose Weight and Get Fit
• Quit Smoking
• Learn Something New
• Eat Healthier and Diet
• Get Out of Debt and Save Money
• Spend More Time with Family
• Travel to New Places
• Be Less Stressed
• Drink Less
Courtesy of Time Magazine
As Oscar Wilde said, “New Year’s resolutions go in one year and out another.”
Yes, indeedy. How long do you last before you throw your hands up in the air, grab a cookie (or several), head to the couch to binge watch something and consider yourself a miserable failure — again!? We’ve all been there.
There’s got to be a better way. A way to accomplish goals without all the shame and beating-myself-up that seems to go hand-in-hand with “New Year resolutions.” A way to feel good about what I do get accomplished instead of beating myself up about what I don’t get done — again.
Perhaps we should think about New Year intentions.
An intention recognizes that you are good enough as you are, that your desires and wants are there to lead you to what you most need to know. Instead of coming from a place of judgment and pressure, come from a place of curiosity and meaning.
Hmmmm. Now that’s something I think I can work with. Instead of setting a resolution that is loaded with negativity & self-flagellation maybe I could set an intention that is loaded with positivity and enjoyment.
I’m thinking the distinction between a resolution and an intention is mindset. Instead of setting a resolution to fix a flaw, maybe I could have an intention to improve myself. Instead of an all-or-nothing resolution (I’m going to lose that 20 pounds this year!) how about an intention to have a healthier lifestyle?
Since I like to eat healthier food, I’m already on the path of enjoying a healthier lifestyle.
How are your New Year Resolutions going? Is it time to switch to New Year Intentions?
In my next blog post I’m going to talk about my system for implementing small activities & tasks into my day that support my New Year Intentions.
Thanks for stopping by.
Happy New Year,
PS -- It's going to be incredibly cold in many parts of the US, including where I live. Stay warm.
During this time of year, when folks find out I’m a buddhist, one of the first questions they ask is, “do you celebrate Christmas?” And my reply is a resounding “Of course!”
Like most western buddhists I was not born or raised in the buddhist traditions and teachings. I was raised in a christian home which was over the top, all about Christmas. So the sights and sounds of Christmas are very dear to me.
Christmas time is a season of love, kindness & generosity — these are Buddhist virtues as well as Christian. I love this time of year. People seem a little friendlier & a little kinder. There seems to be joy in the air. Who wouldn’t celebrate, “Peace on earth, goodwill to all”?
Many Buddhists believe Jesus was a “Bodhisattva”, which is one who forgoes their own benefit to help others and has compassion, kindness, and love for all beings. Jesus showed the world immense compassion, kindness and love. He taught people how to incorporate love and kindness into their lives. Many Buddhists, including me, see Jesus as a blessing to the earth and all beings and have no problems celebrating the birth of such a being.
In the spirit of the season, here are some things a buddhist might do to celebrate.
Give small thoughtful gifts. So many of us are fed up with the commercialization of Christmas. But when you listen to a person and understand what they truly want, a small gift is very appropriate. Do you have a friend who is struggling this time of year? A great gift to them might be just giving them some of your time & undivided attention. Do you have a friend who is a deeply religious Christian? A small gift acknowledging and honoring their faith would be very meaningful to them.
Helping people in need. My friends & family used to give me a hard time when I would give money to people begging in the streets. I have several thoughts on this....”but for the grace of God, there go I” or “thank God I don’t have to make money by begging to feed my family” or “Who am I to judge?” or “I’m so grateful I am able to spare a few bucks to help this person.”
To me, giving a helping hand in whatever way you can is the spirit of Christmas
Simple acts of kindness. And in that same light, doing simple acts of kindness are a great way to be in the spirit of the season. Holding the door open for someone, smiling at people, saying please & thank you, helping someone carry their groceries, or helping them load their groceries into their car.... the list of acts of kindness is endless
So, as you can see, celebrating Christmas as a buddhist is easy. I just hope some of us will continue celebrating the love & compassion of Christmas throughout the new year.
Thanks for stopping by.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
This blog turned out a little longer than I expected, so grab a cuppa and settle in for a few minutes.
I traveled to California for Thanksgiving. I was gone two and a half weeks. Here’s some things I learned.
Coming home was a whole other adventure. Door to door was 12 hours! By the time I got home I was so tired I just climbed into bed and passed out. I think I slept 10 hours. But I felt puny for 3 days before I finally started felling like myself again.
The struggle is real. It’s just hard. So let’s be kind to our fellow travelers and realize it’s hard for everyone — maybe for different reasons, but still hard.
4. Distance does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder
It’s an interesting phenomenon in our house. Whenever I’m getting ready to be gone for a while, it seems my husband & I start snipping at each other. No overt hostilities. No shouting. But by the time I leave I think both of us are happy I’m gone. We need some space.
Of course we stay in contact. We text. We call. But I notice that after a couple of days the texts become more frequent and are lighter in mood. We start kidding each other and using our couple’s shorthand.
Then we start sending those silly heart emojis. 💜💕💘💖😻😘😍 And then we start missing each other. But it’s not that we just miss each other, we miss being together — just the two of us.
So, by the time I get home we are ready to be us again.
5. I felt so loved
When I go to California I want to see those who are dear to me. The ones I stay with clear their calendars so it’s all about us spending time together. Those who work take a couple days off so we’ll have more time together. If I can’t get to them, they give up some of their precious weekend time and come to me. Just to see me and visit.... with me.
This makes me feel so loved and valued. It truly makes me feel so special. I hope each one of them knows how very special they are to me. I love love love ❤️ 💜💖💕 them.
Thank you for sticking with me and letting me really think and write about all the stuff that happens when I travel to Thanksgiving.
Thanks for stopping by,
The view from my living room window. It has been snowing all day -- our first snow of the season. I am sitting inside by the fire, drinking warm tea & listening to Christmas carols with my sweetie. Life doesn't get any sweeter than this.
Stay warm & snuggly wherever you are.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the holidays being crazy on top of crazy. I want to slow down and really enjoy the joy and glad tidings of the season. And get back to a simple, meaningful celebration. I am going to be more intentional about my holidays this year.
OK..... what does that mean, exactly? Well, I have identified a few areas that I think I can simplify.
First, I am going to make a plan. Check out this planner layout I made in my grid notebook. First column is the holiday activities we have done in the past. Then we picked the top seven tha we really want to do this year. So I am going to make sure these seven activities are added to our family shared calendar. That way everyone knows when the activities are scheduled for and can plan accordingly.
The next column is for holiday decorating — outside & inside. We have really scaled down this year. We selected the decorations that are the most meaningful to us. When we were evaluating which decorations we wanted to use, a big factor was weighing the joy the decoration gives us vs. the ease of putting the decoration up.
The third column is a biggie. The Holiday Budget. It is amazing to me how much we spend on “The Holidays”. Between gifts, donations, food & beverage, decorations, clothing, etc etc etc —it’s a lot of money. So having a budget helps both my husband and me see exactly where all the money is going. It also helps us identify areas where we might want to economize. If nothing else, we can clearly set our intentions.
Now don’t get this next statement wrong, I like a bargain as well as the next person. However, I don’t drive myself crazy looking for the absolute best price I can find. I do my best but I think my time is worth something. So when we have found the item for what appears to be a good price, we make the purchase and move on. I don’t agonize over it for hours...days....weeks?????
Also, start early. Right after Thanksgiving (I just can’t bring myself to think of the Holidays before Thanksgiving has its day) but NOT Black Friday (I can’t buy into the consumer mania of that day) is a good time to start. Whether you like to get all your gift shopping done in one marathon shopping day or take a fews shorter trips to accomplish your shopping, be intentional and keep your patience and holiday spirit with you.
Planning the holidays with intention and reasonableness helps me find the perfect gift for someone (in my budget), helps me stay in the moment and even — drumroll, please — enjoy the whole holiday expereience. And isn't that what the holidays should be about?
Thanks for stopping by.