Finding it hard to fulfill your New Year’s Resolution?
Look no further . . .
Recent research indicates that hidden reservations or unconscious agenda’s can totally sabotage our good intentions when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.
Look no further than some old advice that can teach us how to tackle unsuccessful New Year’s Resolutions; Recapitulation. Recapulation is looking back at the HIGHS and LOWS of your recent past in order to bring to mind any old baggage that is hanging around just waiting for a chance to lure you back to your old bad habits!
This idea of recapitulation isn’t new. Traditional Yogi Masters have been practicing recapitulation for hundreds of years and one old Master suggests keeping a diary and writing in it daily (He called it a self-correction register).
The weekend after New Years Day is a good time to gather a few good, close friends and ask each one to write down all their achievements & positive events over the past year. Also include a list things regretted; moments of conflict, anger or hurt, memories of times when maybe you hadn’t lived up to the best of yourself. Take a moment to think about, and feel good about, the positive things, and to also feel regretful about the mistakes.
Then everyone could share some of their accomplishments / very postive experiences they had during the past year. After that would be a good time to each read out one regret. It can feel very freeing to confess to the regret. Then, offer up the list. An action, such as burning it in the fireplace, is powerful. Ask that all that was accomplished bear fruit, and all the mistakes be forgiven.
If you are really ambitious, you could then write down what you want to accomplish in 2015. Seal it in a box and put it away until Jan 2016. Make a date to meet everyone and see how you all fared in 2015. It’s a great exercise and might keep you on task, knowing that you will be checking it out in a year. Most people forget what they wrote down, so that makes it even more interesting.
And be grateful for what you do have in your life. “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything they have.”
Sources for this article:
Wisdom, by Sally Kempton, December 2012, yogajournal.com
Regina Brett ’50 Lessons Life Taught Me’
Brooding on memories of actions we regret (past mistakes) creates a low level of anxiety that we will recreate that regretful failure. We then become stuck in a mire of unconsicious negative self-judgement which inhibits our freedom to move on, to move through life, to be as free as young children are. Think about it, most young children try new things all the time, almost every hour of every day. And most young children are present all the time, i.e. not stuck in the past; ‘I failed this before’, or worried about the future; ‘What if I fail again?’. They try new things for the experience of something new, the challenge and stimulation of something they have never tried before, and they generally try it with no self doubt, no self judgement, and no negativity. And if they fail, it doesn’t stop them from trying again, or trying something else. Young children fail all the time, and they keep at it until they master whatever they are trying to do; learn to eat from a spoon, learn to walk, learn to put a square peg into a square hole.
Recapitulation allows us to let go of that negativity, that self-judgement. How? I don’t really know. But maybe it is because we look back and give weight to what happened, give meaning to it without dwelling on it for very long, and then we symbolically get rid of it by throwing it in the fire. Perhaps this allows us to Move Forward.