I used to make New Year's resolutions. I used to write down how I wanted the year to proceed and was very specific, with metrics and timeline. The whole bit. It worked. I endorse resolutions and goals. I'm just not into them as much lately.
Lately, I think about qualities I'd like more of in my life. This year it's patience. I want to be more patient with, for example:
- my family
- my friends
- the weather
- the pandemic
- the unplanned and unexpected
- difficult people
How this works is I say the word to myself several times during the day. Patience.
Walking, I think the word as I'm moving along. It calms me. A driver went through a red light as I was crossing a busy street. I thought (patience) and (lo and behold) I became more patient, let him pass, and kept walking.
I think it in the morning as I wake. As I'm exercising, showering, making breakfast, and ... you get the idea. I keep it top of mind.
I forget. That's part of it. And I remember and ... get patient with myself.
My winter coat falls off the hanger, I drop my apple, forget my backpack, slip on the ice, get rankled by something my husband says, become frustrated because of a flight delay. Patience. These may seem like small stuff, but "small stuff" makes for great practice opportunities. The more I practice thinking patience, the more I'm ready for the bigger stuff, or what seems bigger anyway.
Saying patience to myself is another way of centering myself. You may think that because I've been teaching centering for 28 years that I'd be pretty centered all the time. Not. Stuff happens. Life happens. I forget. That's part of it. Because I've been teaching centering for 28 years, I remember sooner now, it's true. Which is why I like to have a word, like patience, that brings me back. It's another way to practice.
The word can be any quality I'd like more of in my life. I just decided patience was a good one for me this year. And since I've been trying it out, I'm convinced I picked the right one.
Other qualities that come to mind are:
I'd love to hear what your qualities are. What word will you choose? What qualities are not on the list?
A hint: The quality is something you find in yourself. I will find the quality of patience in myself, not expect others to provide it. They may, and that would be nice, but the quality I want more of in my life will be one I generate.
What quality would you like to have more of this year ... in your life.
Wishing you joy, health, love, and peace in 2022!