– Ralph Waldo Emerson
There’s something about autumn that feels like New Year’s to me. Maybe it’s watching kids go back to school, or the ancient traditions of fall harvest. And of course the feeling of renewal makes me think about New Year’s resolutions. Transformations don’t happen overnight, and certainly don’t happen if you simply say something on January 1 and then forget about it. I like to use this time of year as a reminder, a time to reflect on the changes I wanted to see at the beginning of the year and rededicate myself to them.
However, I’ve never liked the word “resolution.” As defined in the dictionary, resolution means “a firm decision to do or not do something, ” and anyone who’s every done, well, anything knows that life rarely works like that.
I prefer to think of them as solutions. Defined in the dictionary as “a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation,” solutions are useful and practical.
The first thing on many people’s resolution list? Their bodies. As a Body Image coach, I often hear stories of people who decide that they’ll be able to fix their bodies. They want to “fix” themselves; they want to look like their high school pictures or their super fit best friends or whoever’s on the cover of Vogue.
My first piece of advice for all of them? LET GO. This seems counterintuitive, ironic, cruel and maybe even ridiculous. You’ve just connected with a powerful desire about what you want your life to be like, and now I’m going to tell you that you have to move forward completely unattached to the outcome of whether you’ll get the life you want and will now be working toward.
The crux of this philosophy is that in order to get that which we want, we must let go of our need and desire for it. This may sound impossible, unattainable and completely contradictory; however, this is where freedom lies.
I know firsthand that letting go is the truth path to freedom and joy. My struggle with weight started when I was a toddler. When I got older, I thought that if I could only lose the extra weight, I would be happy.
I did release the weight – 100 lbs. – between my 24th and 25th birthdays. I had finally achieved what I thought was my goal; I was thin, so I should be happy. Right?
But I was more miserable than ever. I was so worried about gaining the weight back, so scared that I might relapse, that I couldn’t enjoy my newfound health. I was stuck living in fear that the future would not be what I wanted, that I would lose control, that my hard work would be for naught.
It was only when I figured out how to live in the present, how to be focus on the now and not concern myself with worrying about things that had not even yet happened, that I was able be happy. After learning to do that, not only was I content for the first time in my life, but I also was able to keep the weight off without worrying about it. I have kept that 100 lbs. off for 24 years.
We achieve the life we desire when we begin living for the moment, in the moment and because of the moment. Finding happiness will not be an outcome or a result. It is doing; it is being.
How can your foster this way of being in your life? It begins with looking at those things we desire most and finding the bliss in working toward them in the present – not in achieving them in the future. Achievement is still the goal, but ironically, you only get there by letting go of the need for it.
In other words, I invite you to fall in love with fall as a time for letting the transformation, growth and healing you are experiencing exist for its own worth. Let go of the outcome you want to achieve, be it weight loss, wealth, finding love, and find the beauty and bliss that comes with being in the moment.
My “solution” for letting go comes in daily reminding myself of the process. For the next 30 days, every morning when you awake up, I invited you to recite this prayer.
Prayer for Self Love
Today, I accept myself just the way I am.
Today, I accept my body the way it is.
Today, I accept my mind the way it is.
Today, I accept my heart the way it is.
Today, the love I have for myself is so strong that I embrace all that is me.
My self-love increases; blessing everyone I meet.
Self-love transforms my life from fear to joy.
Today, I share time with others and easily forgive any injustice I feel in my mind.
Today, all of my relationships are based on respect, love and joy.
Today, I allow the Divine Wisdom in me to direct all my thoughts, words and deeds.
Today, I allow Divine Love to give me the peace and joy that are my birthright.
Today, I remember I am one with all life, and I give thanks for being me.
# # #
Weight Release & Body Image Coach Laura Fenamore is on a mission to guide women around the world to love what they see in the mirror, one pinky at a time, so they can unlock the secrets to a healthy weight and start loving their lives as soon as possible. Learn more about her programs, invite her to speak or contribute to your program or conference, or place pre-orders for her book today at OnePinky.com.