I have an addictive personality when it comes to resolutions and goal setting. One is never enough.  If I resolve to meditate in the mornings, then I need to commit to going to bed earlier…which means being more organized with meal planning….which would require a detailed electronic shopping list made a week in advance and food shopping on Mondays…which means I can’t go to yoga on Mondays and would need to commit to yoga on Wednesdays at 6 AM…of course if I am at yoga on Wednesday mornings then I am not at home meditating…

…which brings me back to Square One.

So this New Year I decided to tackle the whole resolution thing from a different angle.  Because regimented and inflexible goals leave me feeling like a total failure by February 1st, I compiled a loose framework of brainstorms for self-improvement in 2012.  Or, as we call them in my house, Braunstorms.

Braun∙storm (n): a potential life-enhancing idea that could possibly lead to joy, creativity, and personal growth. 

Jessie’s Top 5 Braunstorms for 2012

  1. Be a Honey Badger. From the moment I saw this You Tube video, I have been drawn to the relentless determination of the Crazy, Nastyass Honey Badger.  One may interpret “Honey Badger don’t care, Honey Badger don’t give a shit” as apathy or disregard for others.  For me it evokes the question(s): “What do I really want?” “Am I willing to go after something even if it’s not what my mom wants me to do popular?” The Honey Badger inspires me to do my own thing, risk making mistakes, and then try again.  So maybe once and a while I teach a ho-hum yoga class or write a shitty blog.  Perhaps I OCCASIONALLY exercise poor parental judgment as evidenced by my 2 year old’s daily outburst of “Jesus Christ!” Maybe I DID embarrass myself at a recent wedding by giving a little yoga demonstration of Natarajasana  in the middle of the dance floor while wearing a dress and Spanx. (It is called DANCER’S Pose, just sayin.)  By recognizing these things but then responding with “I don’t give a shit,” I grant myself what my yoga teachers at Live Love Teach call “Instant Forgiveness.”  I laugh and let go, and if someone doesn’t like it – doesn’t like ME – who cares?  No, really.  WHO CARES?  Not the Honey Badger, that sleepy f***.
  2. Take Some Magic Capsules.  I was giving the girls a bath when Emma threw some Magic Capsules into the water that Santa had put in her Christmas stocking.  They splashed and squealed as each capsule dissolved and morphed into a spongy dinosaur right before their eyes.   I couldn’t believe that those big sponges could fit into those itty bitty capsules, and began to ponder the idea of constriction vs. expansion.  I asked myself: “What makes me feel like a Stegosaurus squished into a gelatin casing?” The answer(s): Puffy coats, Spanx, skinny jeans, stupid rules, empty carbs, going to church, saying yes when I want to say no, treadmills, Trader Joe’s on Saturday mornings…..In 2012, I vow to seek out the things that make me feel lighter and less inhibited (writing, yoga, red wine, reading novels), and scale back on the things that make me feel like a fat guy in a little coat.
  3. Shake It Up.  When I am in a bitchy mood it means I need to move my body.  Before I had kids and lost my colon, exercise meant a 2 hour training run or 90 minute yoga class.  At this current stage of the game, these options are not always available to me…and because I don’t know what to do when I am not adhering to a rigid exercise schedule, I just do nothing, except continue to be a bitch. It’s not exactly a winning strategy.   So my fitness goal for 2012 is not an Ironman or marathon…no, it’s just to move.  Everyday.  Jumping jacks, walking the dog, cartwheels, some handstands, maybe a run or yoga class if the planets align.  Oh, and kitchen dancing also counts.
  4. Be Still.  Alternately, unrelenting frenetic movement (combined with a brain that mimics the activity of a pinball machine) also results in bitchiness. As previously admitted, a fierce commitment to becoming a Buddhist nun has proved counterproductive in years past.  In 2012, I vow to be still at some point everyday.  This includes sitting on the couch for 10 minutes with my eyes closed, or taking 30 deep breathes while sitting in traffic, or lying next to the dog and feeling her chest rise and fall as the air moves in and out of her body.  Or maybe I could follow the lead of my college roommate, who used to lie on her bed in the pitch black wearing a sinus mask while listening to Flashdance cranked up to full volume.  Just kidding.  That was actually bizarre.
  5. Be Here Now.  Philip Urso, one of the exceptional yoga teachers I have been lucky to study with said recently, “The single resolution that takes care of all the rest is to be present, best we can, with lightness and ease.” My past resolutions focused on some lofty goal set far off in the distant and faux-magical future.  Last year I vowed to become a “real” writer and get published. The problem with this was I developed goal-induced tunnel vision, blinding myself to see all the details that make writing (and life ) interesting.  This year my intention is to notice the details: Emma’s ears stick out like my grandfather’s when her hair is wet.  I need to rub my feet together before I can fall asleep.  Phoebe’s most ticklish spot is the crook of her neck. Natalie Goldberg calls this “capturing the moments you were awake enough to write down.”

So here’s to 2012: May it be a year of creative dabbling, boundless exploration, flagrant failures and instant forgiveness. 

Happy Braunstorming.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter