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Hedra News    December 2016

Resolution vs. Realization - It's All In Your Perspective...                         by Maddie Loiacono

It's that time of year again.  The time when, with the closing of the calendar year, and beginning of the new year, that we look both backwards and forwards.  Back through the previous year to see what nuggets of goodness we want to bring forward with us, and what we really want to leave behind (and we all have some of that, don't we?).  Most everyone uses the calendar year to mark their new year cycle, but, if you are one who uses the Wheel of the Year for your new year cycle, you can also find some benefit to reading this article.  Yes, it's already a month into the new year for you folks, but, hey better to start at some point, right? 

So, if you're like me, you kind of dread hearing all about everyone's "resolutions," let alone making my own.  It seems we all make them and then most of them never come to fruition, right?  Maybe it's because we aren't looking at them through the right lens, or from the right perspective.  Personally, the term "resolution" never sat real well with me - it just didn't feel comfortable to me.  By definition a resolution is: 1) a firm decision to do or not to do something; 2) the action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter.  Just looking at the definition of the word gave me the feeling of a black and whiteness, a finality, a right or wrong-ness.  Maybe that's why when we "fall short" or don't "hold up" our resolution we feel like we have failed somehow - at least, that's how I felt.  Resolutions seem so concrete and unyielding - either you "do it" or "make it" or "achieve it" or, you don't.  No gray area, no halfsies, no "nice attempt" or "good on you for trying."  Nope - you were successful with your resolution or, you weren't.  That just never felt right to me.  Then it came to me one night lying in bed - what if we didn't look at areas we are less then happy with as an all or nothing resolution, but, rather, as a realization that this is something I need to change or work on.  Hmmmm.... 

Funny, there are two definitions to realization, too: 1) an act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact; 2) the fulfillment or achievement of something desired or anticipated.  WOW!!  Now that was something I could wrap my head around and resonated with my inner being.  There are many areas of my life that I can become fully aware of as a fact: I need to get healthier; I need to help bring more harmony into all lives and the world; I need to lose weight; I need to find more "me" time;  I need to be more present at each moment of the day with whomever is with me; and the list goes on.  Then, there's the fulfillment or achievement of something desired or anticipated.  Oh yeah, just reading that statement of positivity flipped my whole perspective.  It isn't just black and white, like a resolution.  A realization opens a whole world of gray, and color, and possibility, and opportunity.  It made it seem attainable, do-able, possible. 

So I began to look at some of my "resolutions" through this new lens - with a new perspective.  With some reflection, it became pretty apparent to me that it was relatively simple - it all comes down to "awareness."  If you are aware of the changes you need to make (realize what is not working for you), then you are more able to be open to the possibility of change and look for the opportunities that present themselves to help you "realize" that change.  Holy cow - that meets both definitions right there!  It's all about opening up to the possibilities and making yourself aware of when you're being presented with an opportunity to grow or take a step towards fulfilling the change you wish to make.

That may seem like a "boy are you a dummy" or "duh" epiphany, but, it was huge for me.  It took away the dread, the stress, the uncertainty (and accompanying fear of failure) that "resolution" had for me and opened up a whole new road to accomplishment.  I can take each moment that comes and be open to the possibility and opportunity in that one small moment rather than looking ahead to this daunting process.  Hey - doesn't that mean I'm being more aware and present in each moment.  Look at that - I just realized one of my areas I wanted to work on without even trying! 

So, although, it may seem like something so obvious and simple, why do we stick to the same old verbage of "resolution" and not say "my New Year's realizations."  I know that's what I'll be saying from now on, and how I'm looking ahead to the new year.  What "realizations" do I have about myself, and what "realizations" do I hope to achieve in the future year?  No stress, no black and white, no right or wrong, no pass-fail - just limitless possibilities and opportunities.  I'd like to suggest that, if you dread the "resolutions," too, that you change your perspective just a bit, and look at the past year and coming year through the lens of "realizations," instead.  It just might make all the difference for you, as it has for me.  Turn that dread or fretting into hope and enthusiasm.  It makes for a much brighter view!