Edmonton·Opinion

When enough is enough: Edmonton lifestyle teacher reveals fresh approach to New Year's resolutions

There’s magic in the air. A new year is approaching and with it the promise of a new start.

5 simple steps to discover your ‘enough-ness’ in 2017

Today is a wonderful time to decide on New Year's resolutions, writes guest columnist Geha Gonthier.

There's magic in the air.

A new year is approaching and with it the promise of a new start.

It's a wonderful time to decide on our New Year's resolutions, and affirm each other in our quest to get in better shape, lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, get out of debt, save money, quit smoking, enjoy more, and be less stressed.
When we heal ourselves we contribute to healing the planet, Gonthier says. (Supplied)

January is a breeze, and motivation gives us wings. February is a bit more challenging to fulfil the commitments we have made to ourselves.

And by March, more often than not, we have a plethora of justifications why the visits to the gym and the yoga studio have decreased or stopped altogether, why the extra pounds are sneaking back on, and why stress has us once again tightly in its grip, inviting the whole flurry of habits we had sworn off just a few months ago.

Why have New Year's resolutions?

Why do we have New Year's resolutions in the first place? What is the inner dialogue that lets us not take care of ourselves in the most supportive and nourishing ways all year long?

Looking beneath the facade of self-confidence and enthusiasm for change, we stumble upon a small belief that seems to mess it all up. The belief that "I am not enough."

It is a belief that we rarely admit to, yet it pervades much of our internal monologue.The underlying belief of not being enough — may it be smart enough, thin enough, worthy enough, tall enough, rich enough, young enough, or any of the many variations of not being enough — is one of the greatest hurdles we face.

With all the various messages of the popular self-help movement designed to inspire and empower us, it seems an odd one to encounter.

Yet it is the most basic message we can give ourselves: "I am enough."

'I am enough'

A simple and profound insight we can learn is that we actually have the capacity to take full responsibility for how we run our minds. In other words, the messages we tell ourselves, and the pictures we associate with our words, will create our experience.

That's good news. I know it sounds so simple. So simple it gets overlooked. In our quest to be special and extraordinary, we forget that first we have to know that "I am enough."

Play with those words "I am enough," and see how this simple phrase has the power to change your world. Put it on your mirror, on your phone. Repeat it to yourself on your way to work, during a challenging meeting or family encounter, and see what happens.

See what happens to your New Year's resolutions when they are born from the understanding that "I am enough," instead of a gnawing feeling of lacking something, or insecurity. Discover your "enough-ness" and flex that inner muscle of simple contentment with who you are, and where you are right now, and watch what unfolds.

5 steps to enough-ness

There is a short morning meditation and visualization that helps to integrate and deepen the healing you experience from inviting enough-ness into your life. Morning is the best time, as it will set the tone for the rest of the day, but anytime you have 10-15 minutes quietly by yourself, will be just fine.

It has five parts and it goes like this:

Find a comfortable place to sit.

1) Begin with saying to yourself "I am enough."

Place your hands over your heart and let "I am enough" grow into love and compassion.

First fill your heart with love and compassion, then your entire body, head to toe.

With your mind's eye touch all the members of your family with love and compassion.

Then fill your room, your house, your neighbourhood with love and compassion; then your city, your country, your continent and finally the whole planet.

Sit with that for a moment as you feel the whole planet enveloped with your love and compassion.

2) Then think of your previous day and find three things to be grateful for.

They could be delightful incidents at work, with friends or family, a nice walk, a mindful cup of tea. Let that feeling of gratitude fill your heart.

3) Think of a person you feel wronged by and forgive that person.

Take a moment and think about why he/she might have behaved the way they did. Taking their perspective helps to understand and helps to forgive. In your mind's eye give them a hug and forgive them.

4) Envision your day and see all your interactions unfolding harmoniously in a beautiful flow.

5) Complete your visualization by feeling supported and protected by light — white, pink, golden — whatever colour is meaningful to you.

When we know "I am enough," we begin to heal and can consciously create our life's vision.
And when we heal ourselves we contribute to healing the planet.

Happy New Year!

Geha Gonthier, B.A., R.Ac, RYT-500, is an Edmonton acupuncturist, yoga and lifestyle teacher.

CBC Edmonton accepts occasional community guest columns of up to 800 words, which will be edited if they are accepted for publication. Please send suggestions to webedmonton@cbc.ca clearly marked as a suggested guest column for the web.

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