Anti-Resolutions for Radical Wellness in 2016 - with musical accompaniment!
2015 was a mind-blowing year: I completed my master's degree, road tripped from San Francisco to South Carolina, became a certified doula and attended two amazing home births, started Strega Wellness, and topped it off by moving back to Brooklyn in November. As we make our way into a new year, everyone has opinions on what we all should and should not be doing for our health, self-improvement, and general living. A friend just introduced me to the concept of anti-resolutions, which I am personally finding much more exciting. So, here are my anti-resolutions for radical wellness and magical living in 2016 and beyond, complete with musical accompaniment:
I will not accept dietary dogma.
In 2016, I will not be vegan or paleo or only eat superfoods or never eat carbs. Coffee and I will absolutely not be parting ways, and I will likely (gasp!) eat refined flour and sugar at some point. I am fine with this now, but there were many years when I desperately bought into such dogma. Trying to follow rigid rules causes unnecessary stress. Stress leads to inflammation and inflammation is the root of disease, which is exactly the opposite of the point of said rigid health rules, no? Isn't it much more interesting to learn through our own awareness which foods energize and sustain us? Instead I will explore conscious consumption, continue to question our food systems, and reconnect to ancestral knowledge and legends around food cycles and cooking.
I will not cleanse.
Ok, so I am not anti-cleanse as much as I am pro-nourishment. Susun Weed explains this concept simply and beautifully in Healing Wise, which is one of my favorite books on natural health. Our bodies come with built-in systems of detoxification. When we support these systems with optimal nourishment, hydration and movement, efficient detoxing happens naturally. The more that we nourish ourselves with nutrient dense foods and herbal teas, drink clean water, get our butts moving every day and remember to breathe -- the smoother our inner garbage disposals operate. I like the 80/20 concept - if 80% of the time I power myself with the nutritional equivalent of unleaded premium, then 20% of the time I can sit around drinking wine and eating pastries without issue. And for the times that those numbers start to invert - no drastic measures need be taken: breathe, move, nourish, rest. Repeat.
I will not deny myself.
In 2015 I learned that a difference exists between self-discipline and self-denial. Working and finishing grad school is a great way to play fast and loose with all kinds of boundaries, but life as a perpetual dance between deadlines leaves little time for other pursuits. If there is a hard line between self-discipline and self-denial, I haven't found it yet, but my experience has been that confusing the two leads to listlessness at best and addictive patterns at worst. As much as my intellectual nature thrives in an academic environment, I have learned that I can no longer ignore my human needs and desires in exchange for what I think I should do. And so, in 2016, I will not give up my need for connection with others and with myself. I will move and breathe and dance and remember that a human body is more than just a vehicle for a brain. I will not give up the moments when I need introspection, deep rest, and possibly days of reading and/or Netflix until I am ready to interact with the world again. I will never stop working hard, but I also refuse to give up creativity, freedom, and play in the name of work.
I will not stop making bad decisions.
In 2016, I will not have everything figured out. I will not be perfect, and while I may never actually be ok with the fact that perfection is not real, I am a lot more ok with the idea of imperfection than ever before. Shadow work if you prefer. Instead of avoiding my feelings of shame, guilt, anger - I will most assuredly dive headfirst into provocative situations to see what unravels. As I confront these parts that feel ugly and controlling, the negative charge begins to chip away. I remember that I am powerful and not powerless. And so, in the name of growth and personal evolution, I will not stop getting into trouble in 2016.