Happy New Year, everybody– It’s resolution time!
Last year, for whatever reason, instead of my usual lofty list of goals, hopes, and dreams for the new year, I made a simple list of three Things To Do in 2008. I wanted only to read more books, to go to the Gulf Islands, and to take a vacation. (Go big or go home, right? Heh.) Well, that’s all fine and dandy– after all, it’s easier to keep New Year’s resolutions if they’re simple and small– but this year, my resolutions are going back to BIG.
As usual, I have a plethora of things I would like to accomplish and/or stick to in 2009, ranging from the very mundane (e.g. I would like to learn how to swim) to the very deep and introspective. There is no question in my mind that this year, my biggest focus will be on developing and maintaining a spiritual practice I can call my own.
I resolve to honour my intuition and to cultivate a daily spiritual practice.
This might not seem like such a big deal for many people, but for me, it’s something huge. After all, I grew up very Catholic and then spent most of my teenage and adult life to date resisting organized spirituality in all forms (but especially the Christian and Catholic ones). For the most part, I was and have been hyper-critical of religious dogma, very skeptical of church and/or mass, and positively allergic to the words ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’, to name a few.
That said, I have always had respect and admiration for other people’s faith(s) and have been able to appreciate religious rites and rituals from the outside, just as a scholar appreciates her subjects of observation. I love visiting churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques, and I have an ongoing fascination with all sorts of religious icons. But for a decade or so, my own religious practices have consisted of reading a few new age books and nursing an earnest but vague sense of love and awe for something I call the Universe. So for me to feel drawn to a semi-organized form of spirituality again is a very big thing. At least it seems that way to me.
I will not be going back to church or reading the Bible again (and part of my new year’s resolution is to stop apologizing for that!). But I will be starting to meditate and chant regularly with a group of other like-minded individuals. Plus, I have enrolled in a course with Marty to learn ways of incorporating spiritual principles into everyday practices, and it is my hope that, throughout 2009, spirituality will become a less impersonal and fearful entity to me than it is right now (and has been in the past).
And you? What are your resolutions for 2009, if any?