Last year, for the first time in many years, I set some goals and resolutions. I’ve never been much of a resolution-maker, thinking that making them just sets you up for disappointment when they get broken. A bit of a perfectionist, (understatement of the year,) I never saw the point in setting goals unless there was absolute assurance that they would be completed to the very best of my ability and with 110% satisfaction. Oh how things change in a year!
One of the big lessons I’ve learned in 2010 is to cut myself some slack. Not everything has to be perfect. This is especially true when I really WANT things to be perfect. “Perfect” means perfect for me, (hello narcissism) with the outcome I want and with me in control. (Man, this self reflection stuff can be brutal.) I learned that I can’t force things to happen. I can’t force feelings or relationships or the future. Life is the ultimate organic force and while our daily choices shape our experiences, you simply can’t force it to do or be what you want. We get what we need, not what we want.
I’ve also learned to trust my instincts. We all have that little voice inside us that tells us what we need to do, but we often drown out that voice, that gut feeling, because of what we think we SHOULD do or feel. A good friend who works as an eating disorder counselor once shared the she tells her students to “stop shoulding all over themselves.” I’ve shared these words before here on Perusals because they have had serious impact. This year, I’ve started to learn to stop shoulding all over myself. Yoga has taught me to take that pause, to listen to my deepest heart and to my gut. In the end, I really do know what is the right choice for me. And if I make a mistake, so what? Guaranteed I’ll have learned something important from that experience.
In 2010 I set a goal to teach at least four permanent yoga classes by the end of the year. I reached that goal in September, but in December I decided to let one of the classes go. Working full time and teaching four classes didn’t leave much time for running, practicing yoga or “me” time. So while I achieved my goal, I realized it wasn’t right for me. So I renegotiated with myself, made some healthy compromises and feel good about the decision to let a class go.
Fittingly, 2010, as the close of a decade, was filled with big life lessons and big life changes. The funny thing is that in 2009, I couldn’t WAIT for 2010 to get started. This year, I’m content to be in the day that I have. I have confidence that the future is going to be bright and filled with experiences to learn from, but rather than rushing into it, I want to stay with today and not miss a moment of what today has in store.
“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” — Thich Nhat Hanh