New Year’s Resolutions

this photos belong to Anthon Cauper – all rights reserved by the author –

This is probably the first year I’ve seriously committed to anything like a New Year’s resolution. There isn’t anything super unique or special about this time of year in regards to making the decision to better one’s self in some way to me personally, but this year, the timing felt right, so I decided to use the new year as a marker for some major changes I wanted to make.

Over the last several months, I feel I’ve reached lots of new spaces in consciousness with the help of small things adding up over time: deciding to let my hair “go” and grow into free-form locks, finding a great teacher for Buddhist meditations and weekly talks, watching the most beautiful and impactful nature and climate change documentary I’ve ever seen (Our Planet).

By the end of the year, I decided I wanted to make some changes in line with these new values that were emerging. Around this time, I’d also decided to try streaming some yoga classes out of a local studio and realized that was something I loved, too.

All of these things fit together very well, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt so in harmony with myself. So what are my New Year’s resolutions? Number one: transition to becoming vegetarian.

Well, I haven’t had meat since December 31st. I wasn’t planning on going cold turkey on the vegetarian thing, but when I set the goal in place, I fell into a kind of focused zone, making tasty vegetarian recipes, meal planning, etc. Now, I feel good, my appetite feels like it’s literally cut in half, and I don’t miss meat. I’ve tried doing this before many times, so I feel strongly now that timing in one’s life for these changes has a lot to do with one’s success.

Number 2: Give up fast fashion. I will admit that I have an addiction to online clothes shopping. It’s therapeutic, it’s soothing, and there is nothing so thrilling as receiving a new “frock” (as lady Sybil says in Downton Abbey lol). I had a few favorites where I could routinely go, pick out something super cute that was “on sale” and way too cheap, then wear it a few times before it wore out and I had to throw it away or donate it because it wasn’t as cute as the picture with the size 2 model wearing it. Granted, I do a decent job of getting things together every season and donating them to Goodwill, but I spend way too much on clothes like this and it is very wasteful. So, I deleted these shopping apps from my phone and the bookmarks on my pc and started doing research on eco-friendly, ethically sourced clothing. I bought a kind of starter kit from Pact with money I received at Christmas, and it feels sooooo good to wear this clothing. Yes, I am definitely recommending Pact. The quality and comfort is so beyond all those cheap things I used to get all the time.

I was thinking aloud the other day to my husband about how I can remember a time when I would make fun of people who’d made similar changes. I would laugh and say, you can’t change the world by recycling that one can or taking your own bag to the grocery store, blah, blah, what difference does it make? Why am I now paying a lot more attention to things like turning off lights and shutting off water and separating trash? Well, besides the fact that when a whole lot of people change their behavior, it does have an impact, for me it’s about doing something positive.

As a woman on the spectrum, I know how easily I can get caught up in thoughts and feelings. To me, the options are simple: I can accept that things likely won’t change for the better, that there is nothing I can do, and place myself on a downward slope into depression and nihilism…or I can project positively in my actions, thoughts, and feelings through meditation, conscious behaviors that reflect my love and appreciation for this planet, and personal growth through yoga practice shared with others. Even my hair is a reminder that I hit a point in my life where I wanted to shed old paradigms and thought cycles and be born anew into something more free, more open, more filled with light.

I’d love to hear about your New Year’s resolutions. Share them in the comments, and thanks for reading. =)