On the cusp of a “new year,” what shall we plan to create? I have a love-hate relationship with the cheerleadery “new year/new you” notion that’s so rampant. So much promise! So much pressure to do/be better/more this year!
I like the reflections my yoga teacher brought to class this past week. She turned the focus from goals to intentions, and asked how we wanted to be in the new year.
So a better question than “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” might be “How do you want to show up in 2019, for yourself, for your community, for the world?”
Resolutions generally involve some measure of force. We must deny ourselves something, or push ourselves to do something. But if we choose a state of being to guide behavior, positive actions flow naturally from that intention.
Not that we won’t fall short. But we can return to the intention time and again, while resolutions go out to the curb with the crumpled-up wrapping paper.
For me, it’s helpful to choose a word to encapsulate my focus for the year. This year’s theme was alignment. Last year’s, transformation. For 2019, it feels like the word resonance has chosen me.
I’m intending to sink into who I am, resonate my soul’s essence, and bring that resonance to any interaction. (Always holding this gently, with the caveats when I remember, when I can…knowing that this might be more often than I expect.)
The poet-philosopher David Whyte nails it when he says humans are the only part of nature capable of refusing to be what we are. We are so adept at pretending to be something other-than-us, we can even come to believe that we are that thing we’re pretending to be.
I’ve been down that route and it doesn’t work well for my constitution. In this second half-century of my life, I’m over fakery.
It’s chancy to show up. To be fully human is to be vulnerable. It means experiencing pain and loss and doing the best I can with it. It means risking exposure and shame. And risking deep joy and connection as well.
When I look up resonance, I find several definitions:
1. The state or quality of being resonant (resounding or echoing, as sounds: the resonant thundering of cannons being fired.)
2. the prolongation of sound by reflection; reverberation.
3. Phonetics: amplification of the range of audibility of any source of speech sounds… (more)
4. Physics: the state of a system in which an abnormally large vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same, as the natural vibration frequency of the system.
So it’s about sound, speech, words, but also vibration.
I find it interesting that there is a scientific phenomenon (if I understand the physics definition) by which vibration appears to be amplified when frequencies align or nearly align.
Something to try, if you like: Walk into any group of people and resonate your truest being. You may be invisible to some who are not on your wavelength. No matter. Who sees you? Who finds you? You are drawing your people based on your vibration.
You are also, I believe, shifting the overall frequency in subtle ways, making it easier for others to resonate who they are as well. To show up as yourself is a daring act and might tempt others to reveal more of themselves than they would otherwise.
You are reverberating, resounding, perhaps at a frequency beyond the capacity of human ears to hear, but make no mistake: the effect is real.
Here’s to a soul-resonant new year.