Jan 2, 2010

A Beginner's Mind

Why do we love the New Year so much?  What makes Jan 1st every year seem like a new start?  Seriously, from a rational perspective it is really just another day.  I think we love it because we bring with us "A Beginner's Mind"

I love yoga... I exercise because I have to, but I really love yoga.  If I was naturally thin, I would do yoga exclusively, but alas my complete love of all things fat and salty coupled with a natural propensity to be Mrs. 5' X 5' keeps me on the bike, stair climber, kickboxing class, and the completely god awful interval training class at the YMCA. 

I have learned a lot in Yoga class. One thing they teach is the concept of "A Beginner's Mind".  It is simple really, you approach each practice with the mind of a beginner, you accept your body where it is that day.  You do not judge yourself against yesterday.  Circumstances will dictate that some days you will be strong and flexible, some days you will be sore and stiff, other days you will be weak and tired, but with each practice you accept where you are and build from there.

The New Year seems to inspire this in everyone - we set goals, we start fresh, we accept where we are and set out to improve it.  Almost everyone fails to carry their good intentions through the year.  Why?  Because life happens:  you get sick, you get hurt, you get crazy at work, you loose someone, or you just get tired of being hungry and pig out.  Since there is no New Year to tell us to reset, we say we've blown it and just give up.  I am as guilty as the rest.

I got on the scale today and after an initial weight loss of 47 pounds, I have gained back 14 lbs.  It has taken 16 months.  It's not a lot, from a calorie stand point, it is a mere 100 calories a day more for the period of time.  Honestly, I had a hard time getting back in the swing because I kept judging myself on where I once was.  I have not allowed myself to say, okay, let's start again.  I have let my previous accomplishments hold me back and beat me down.

So I am not making New Year's resolutions so much as I am going to adopt "The Beginner's Mind" this year.  Each day will be new, I will strive to do my best, and I will allow myself to remember that God's mercies are renewed everyday, who am I to hold a higher standard for myself than God does?