This time, let’s look beyond our noses and, first and foremost, decide on what we DO NOT want to be part of our lives anymore.
I am a list-making expert. I love writing bullet pointed scripts to itemize stuff in a blank sheet of paper. Undoubtedly, I have filled up my workspace with post-it’s and apps that help me out organizing my listing obsession – from groceries to my favorite songs, going through daily to-do’s and of course; dreams to fulfill. And yes, I do mentally go over my ideal “goals-to-reach” every once in a while.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions – the very epitome of list-making obsessives the likes of me, my approach has evolved into making a different kind of list; one that clearly differentiates from the popularly formatted one of enunciating goals while engulfing grapes or other quasi-pagan rituals, starting on from the very first minute of January 1st. Since I strongly believe in the Law of manifestation and I have a highly optimistic spirit, I have decided to make a list of New Year’s “dissolutions”. The purpose of this list is to in some way enumerate the teachings I have learned up to this point in my life, which have taught me what I clearly no longer want to become manifested in it. By knowing what I DO NOT want I can clarify a list of what I DO want in a much more precise manner.
So here are the “dissolutions” I consider to be needed in my life, which in a way might help those around me as well.
- Stop looking for “happiness”. Such a concept is as easy to reach as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Happiness sprouts in moments and situations conditioned on being generated by us harmonizing with our immediate time and space. Becoming obsessed with “being happy” causes an enormous emotional and economic burden, that detracts our attention to those moments and situations of the here-and-now where happiness has blossomed.
- Renounce being in-the-know about everything. Exercising my right to information in a responsible manner includes avoiding to get filled up with media based rubbish that leaves me with a ballast of negativity and paralyzing anxiety. It is not a matter of ignoring what goes on in the world, it is about choosing the most possibly objective sources of information and content that enriches your mind and criteria, which stimulates positive, proactive thinking.
- Stop taking on every “opportunity”. This dissolution is thoughtfully dedicated to those work related so called “opportunities” that I continually keep getting offers for, and that end up NOT yielding any meaningful money and/or profit. By far I rather focus my time, efforts and knowledge into practicing, learning something new or, within my means, helping someone.
- No longer store money. Definitely not mean to squander by saying this, but I do not see the point on saving pennies under the mattress or in a bank account with laughable yields and exorbitant fees. I am banking on using money smartly by investing in learning, experiences, basic wardrobe, consulting plus mentorships, and also on investments that really get money to produce more significant amounts of money. (And precisely to that end I highly recommend learning about how to do that through Nely Galan’s book “Self Made” ) Because I took too long to follow the right steps to grow my nest egg I have lost too much for years, and I simply refuse to continue doing that.
- Stop being a fan. Those who know me are well aware that I am passionate. That whenever I commit I complete. However, I am not a collector nor do I frequently or commonly declare myself a fan of anything or anyone in particular. This year, I will continue reinforcing said behavior, because to dedicate yourself to admiring something objectively meaningless or comparing yourself with anyone who is to too busy on giving an impression of being something, instead of actually being someone (a common occurrence among certain profiles of Instagram users) is a massive energy drain. I rather dedicate my attention and efforts to emulate or collaborate with people and causes with true substance, depth, and which are fueled by collaboration or by an honest intent to improve our world someway. Ah! And I cannot avoid mentioning how much I get bothered by reading articles or blogs, or by watching video blogs where anything being reviewed is “wonderful”, and where whoever does the reviewing labels him/herself as “a fan” of such. This is an insult to the audience’s intelligence and I have never subscribed to making or consuming this sort of content.
- No more dietary restrictions. OK, I must make a confession here: It’s been quite long since I’ve done any sort of restrictive dieting. This has logically provided a weight increase since then. Admittedly, having hyperthyroidism doesn’t help, but I have mentally imposed limits on certain types of food just for the simple fact that I was not aware of how to prepare them or how much of them to consume. There are some kinds of food I have not eaten in years because I just remember not liking them, and I know that nowadays I could cook them in a way that makes them not only tolerable, but actually tasty. So I am officially closing this cycle of food related limitations and I welcome any knowledge necessary to eat better and more types of food, so that my body and spirit enjoy meals even more.
- Buy less books. One of the biggest challenges to my home organization skills is the perpetual lack of enough furniture to accommodate books. Not only mine but Mini’s (my daughter) and my adorable husband’s. It is not (only) a lack of willpower the reason why I have not been able to empty out boxes filled with printed volumes of great books in multiple languages, but our economy and spatial limitations are what prevents us from being able to accommodate them appropriately. Therefore, this year I intend to evolve into the wonderful world of e-books and audiobooks. I will also listen and watch more podcasts, which is a format I find highly amusing. Through these I will make the most out of the time I spend in my car, as well as all that time in the afternoon while waiting through Mini’s extracurricular activities.
- Focus on casual relationships. It is incredible how taxing it is to make friends. Seriously, I don’t think that even when I was nine years old, during my third change of school and city, I had devoted so much time and efforts to create profound bonds with people I consider valuable. And I know I am not alone when it comes to searching for meaningful relationships. In some cases, for the last few years (though much less since my divorce) I have achieved some success. Paraphrasing Saint-Exupery in “Le Petit Prince” – [Adults] are much more complicated, and we complicate everything. Which is why I consciously opted for anything that simplifies interpersonal relationships and their enrichment. I have actually started doing this some months ago and I have seen how I have been surrounding myself with more positive people which, little by little, are interested in forging deeper and more honest bonds of friendship. So the plan stands and I highly recommend it.
- Enough “Stop Suffering”. I am not referring to a religious sect [very popular in Latin America and Brazil, btw], but to the stoic attitude which leaves me physically and emotionally drained. And this has nothing to do with being “a victim” – I can and will complain more than every Zen discourse recommends, but that does not mean that I will completely yield the microphone to discomfort and free range to pain. So this year I intend to learn how to listen to my mind, body and soul when either one of them is suffering, because they are speaking in a tongue that becomes more and more convoluted the more we suppress it. Once I am done listening and tending their needs, I know that I will become a better friend of myself.
- Forget about my husband’s opinion. Let us be clear: My husband is a wonderful man, one whom I am madly in love with and who shows and proves me his love constantly. Having said that, I also want to point out that his thought processes are extremely different to mine. I discovered that, by my own call and no one else’s, I allowed his opinion about my plans and personal/work related affairs to weigh more within my decisions than my own intuition, and that by trying to apply his logic I end up getting a paralyzing “impostor’s syndrome”. Strangely, I can listen and apply counseling from mentors and experts, but I have given extreme weight and responsibility to his POV, one which he has never asked for or even knows about. So, enough of it – I will listen to my intuition more and leave behind the paralyzing fear of failure, since I already know he’s my favorite cheerleader. (And I believe this applies to anyone who fears disappointing or upsetting a significant other.)
These are my main dissolutions. I have a few more but, prioritizing, I think I have enough to begin the year with. I hope they serve you as some form of inspiration to maybe have you analyze and list yours. It is a worthy exercise because the foundation of any goal is the focus on the objective to be reached, while always bearing in mind what detracts you from it.
May your dissolutions come true!