New Year's resolutions aren't for everyone, I know. Back in January, when talking about our goals for the year ahead was perhaps more relevant than it is now, Moss of Spiral Path wrote an interesting post about the toxic standards and unrealistic pressures that pile onto us year on year.
Yet, during that curious, dark and still time between Yule and Imbolc, I wrote in my journal this list of intentions:
- I want to be fully myself; to discover, express and live my truth. This will mean setting boundaries, speaking my truth, spending less time online so that I can understand and develop my own clear-headed thoughts, opinions, feelings and ideas, being honest with myself, listening to my body and my intuition, honouring my own thoughts and feelings.
- Quitting Amazon. Over the coming year I will use the vouchers I earn from surveys to buy those things on my wishlist that are only available from Amazon; the remainder of my wishlist I will move to Bookshop.org. I will also stop adding books to my wishlist in 2023 - I will discover books through personal recommendations, physical bookshops and the library.
- I will continue my practices of yoga, meditation, grounding and centring.
- I will spend as much time outside as possible - I will put my bare feet and belly on the earth, I will swim in the sea.
- As well as the OBOD Bardic Grade and the Sisters of Rock and Root course which I am studying this year, I will continue to focus on my exploration of Druidry and the enchanted life through reading and practice.
- I will start re-reading books that I already own.
- I will slow down and invite simplicity, joy, connection with nature, contentment, peace, healing and grace.
- I will continue to honour nature, the passing of the seasons, and our cyclical nature. I hope to move deeper into these practices and grow my connections with deity, the ancestors and the world of spirit.
- I will complete at least one of my stockpile of crafts and models.
- Insofar as it is financially feasible, I will continue working towards a low impact, zero waste lifestyle.
- I will not cut or dye my hair.
It's March now, so I can share a little insight into how I'm doing with these things:
- a work in progress, but I am learning to set boundaries, stop carrying what does not belong to me, and to be honest even when it's uncomfortable. I was recently on a therapeutic retreat where I met some individuals on twelve-step programmes, and I was deeply impressed by their hard-earned ability to express their feelings honestly, unashamedly and with clarity. I've been online more than I wanted to be (mostly to promote my book) but I'm currently working on taking a bit more of a break.
- This is going well. I have added no new books to my wishlist this year so far, and because I am reading books I already own and using the library, I don't have such a towering TBR.
- I have practiced yoga and meditated every day so far this year and it feels SO GOOD. I've practiced yoga sporadically for years but it's only since developing this daily practice that I've been able to see noticeable changes in my strength and flexibility.
- This has been a struggle - it's been mostly cold and wet. I want to double down on this intention as I think it will make a huge difference to my experience this year if I can carry it out.
- Really enjoying the Bardic Grade so far, and currently reading Zen for Druids by Joanna van der Hoeven
- Re-reading some of my older books has been something I've planned to do for ages, it feels great to finally get on with it
- It's been an unusually busy year for me so far so slowing down has been harder than I anticipated over the winter when I was basically a hermit, so I need to take some time for rest when I can
- Haven't taken as much altar time as I would like this year, but I'm finding a disciplined meditation practice to be very beneficial
- I am currently knitting a hat from a kit Marc bought me in 2019 😂
- This is going well. We're having veg boxes delivered, eating locally and seasonally, buying from a nearby smallholding, using a local milkman, and have switched completely to natural non-toxic cleaning products. We also make use of a local food waste prevention discount store and community fridge, which pass on food from supermarkets and online stores that would otherwise go to landfill and use the profits for charitable causes, but this sometimes means we end up with a lot of plastic packaging. Luckily, our local zero waste refill store have a partnership with Terracycle, so they pick up all our hard-to-recycle plastics. It's not an ideal system, and sometimes I am tempted to slip a note in with the plastic recycling to explain where it has come from ("I'm not just a bad zero waster, I'm preventing food waste!"), but it feels like moving in the right direction.
- This is a random personal thing; since childhood I've wanted to know what would happen if I didn't cut my hair for a long period (say, a decade) but with my butterfly brain have never carried out the experiment. Thought I'd start small, with a year!
2023 is turning into a really interesting year for me. The confidence I have been building since I started working on myself in my first shopping ban is growing exponentially. My comfort zone is expanding, I'm calmer, I'm addressing some traumas from my past with help from therapy, and I'm really excited to see where things go!
As for shopping - well, I started a new shopping ban at Samhain, and I haven't broken it yet, which brings me to a personal best of 122 days without an unnecessary purchase. This time around, I'm definitely not finding it as difficult as I have in the past. I think I needed so many attempts to break the conditioning and habits that I had formed. This time, I think I will not only be able to achieve my 365-day goal (with some allowed purchases that I defined for myself at the beginning of the challenge), but also be under my annual budgets for the first time. Easy to say when it's only March 😂 but it just feels a lot more possible than it ever has before.