Is Making a New Year’s Resolution Really Gentle?

How often do we (who are in the midst of grieving) feel we must follow the calendar?

Making a New Year’s resolution, writing goals, buying a gym membership could be just the thing to move us forward. But what if even the thought of them sends us deeper under the covers? Well, if that’s the case, listen to yourself. Maybe this year instead of a resolution, you choose the mindset of “Gentle January.” Then you begin to define what that looks like. Could a “Gentle January” be going to bed thirty minutes earlier with that book you have been intending to read? Could it be a permission slip that your best friend writes for you to invite her over to clean the kitchen with you on Saturday morning and then go to a movie and eat popcorn for lunch? What does “Gentle January” sound like? Hopefully it’s not mentally berating yourself. You know those ‘I shoulds’, ‘I coulds’ and ‘I musts’ that really are mean to say to anyone, let alone your grieving self. Could “Gentle January” sound like listening to recorded or actual ocean waves as you drift off to sleep? What does “Gentle January” feel like? Is it a new blanket to nest and rest within? Could it feel like a friend bringing warm cookies and then painting your nails bright red? Notice in several of these options others are present to support you with their presence and their presents.

Is It Time for Gentleness with a New Journal?

Is it time to start a  new journal where you ask a question, taking the pen or pencil in your non-dominant hand, placing it down on the paper and closing your eyes, and you ‘drawing’ the answer? My friend, Carolyn Winkler shared this technique with me. She’s received only “Gentle Guidance.” Walk the dog. Go to a bar with friends. There’s nothing like shedding 30 pounds or cleaning out your closet. Is there someone who has been wanting to do something for you? Gentleness has many faces. Go on line, find a journal you love and then send them an email with the heading: Here is Something You Can Do for Me from the comfort of your home.


So What Would You Like to Have Happen?

Would you like to beat yourself up because you just do not Feel like starting the year off with a bang as expected? Look at nature. The trees in the northwest are bare. The dead leaves continue to turn to compost. The bulbs are still asleep under the soil. Could you simply chill? Just rest your body. Relax your mind. Refresh your emotions  and renew your spirit with a mindset of gentleness. There is still time to allow “Gentle January” in your life now.