I am not a New Years person. In my mind, New Years People are the sort who don't eat dessert, who own a lot of work out clothes, and who aren't late. Some have thigh gaps, others have color coded bullet journals. I am a December person - nostalgia and warmth and a lot of baking... reminiscing, not resolving. But this News Years was a little different. I didn't resolve to lose a bunch of weight or whatever you're supposed to resolve. I scribbled down a few simple goals: Listen to more Willie Nelson. Learn to make great coffee at home. Wash my hair more often. But my one big resolution for 2018? Make more conscious decisions. Maybe another translation is, to cultivate a more intentional life. I so often find myself stumbling through my day, from one unconscious decision to another - coffee, park, shep lunch, shep nap, my lunch, a few emails, gilmore girls, make dinner, fall asleep on the couch, brush teeth at 3am, bed. I want to be more awake, more grounded, more connected, more aware of the ways in which a few conscious decisions - whether that be to unplug the TV for a while, or to brush my teeth immediately after dinner to avoid the 3am brushing- can make for a richer life.
Another part of why I am not a new years person is because I am not good at telling myself "no." I believe this is defined as gluttony, and it doesn't only apply to food (although if someone hands me a chocolate sprinkle donut I'm certainly not going to refuse). We did a Whole 30 a few months ago, because I knew I needed to discipline my body. I needed to stop stuffing myself with the things that didn't nourish me and neglecting the things that would. I needed to stop having chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. And that felt so good, it led me to look at other areas of my life that needed some discipline- not a harsh, angry-eyed discipline, but more so a tending... like pruning back rosebushes. This led me to the spiritual disciplines.
There are 12 spiritual disciplines outlined in my guide to this project, Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline: Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study, Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service, Confession, Worship, Guidance, and Celebration. I will focus on one discipline each month, digging deep into the practice and heart of the discipline, and share with you at the end of each month how I incorporated it into my everyday life- how it taught me and shaped me and challenged me. I hope that it will encourage you to incorporate some of these disciplines into your own walk. That you'll tend lovingly to your spirit by telling it no when it runs to the things that make it feel frantic and hyper instead of grounded and loved.
First up, meditation! I'm four days in and already loving it so much. Can't wait to share with you!
I hope that all your resolutions are coming true, or that you are eating cake with your best friend instead.