Here we go; don't make new years resolutions - don't do what you think you have to do…
We live in a ‘yang’, masculine, thought driven culture, one where achievement and getting things done matter most. This is great for building hospitals, making machines and producing food e.t.c, but it's not always good for running our own lives. The pressure is to always add something to our selves, we end up believing that what we add will fulfil us; “I'll only be complete when I…."
- lose 2kg
- get a partner
- find a new job
- become nicer
- learn to play the violin
- stop being such a failure
- add your own to the list
This is the subtle push of the yang state through you, this is ego, this is the stuff of resolutions…of course we need to do new things, but they won't fulfil you. However, exploring the feminine, yin state will take you to fulfiliment…there's no ego there, you might see you're already complete, as you are!
Every January its resolution time, we think we should do things this year that we should have done the year before - says who? infact these thoughts aren't in themselves true, they're products of ego and our yang culture.
So if experiencing the femine or 'yin' state (I call it the receptive state) is fulfilling; how do I get there? We find it when we go to our inner space - often through good yoga or meditation. In the receptive state, thoughts exist within an expansive awareness, you can go beyond that place and rest in the mystery, the wellspring of deep peace and intuition. It's hard to write about the receptive state because unlike the active yang state, thoughts don't define or really matter in it. Time spent in the receptive state bears fruits though; intuitions, creative impulses, inspirations and common sense solutions can come from here. Ideas of good things to do and right actions (for you) bubble up from this deeper place, they often occur later.
So, if an idea or action bubbles up and it feels good and excites you, it's often right to do. If it makes sense then you can apply your yang state of planning and action towards it, and it will be fuelled, this time, by inspiration, ‘rightness’ and enthusiasm.
Maybe resolving to do new things this January (because you think you should) might not work, what you 'think' you should do might lack the passion and ‘rightness’ needed to really make it work. If so; rest deeply more, explore your inner space and see if the receptive (or ‘sacred feminine’) state yields some inspiration - something that makes you come alive, then go for it....the world needs people who have come alive. It doesn't matter what time of year it is.
I’ll finish with a quote that applies to resolutions as much as it does to yoga practice; it's from the yoga teacher B.K.S Iyengar:
“Nothing can be forced, receptivity is everything.”