January 2, 2014

Do Less, Be More: 8 Resolutions from a Yogi. ~ Kristen Brotemarkle

This year I’m changing it up—I’m resolving to do less so I can be more.

Resolutions have never been a big issue for me. I’m fairly good at setting goals and reaching them; in fact I often force myself to surpass the goals I set. As I continue on my spiritual journey, I am discovering how much my conditioning has created this story in my head that the more I do, the happier I’ll be.

Fortunately, I am beginning to deconstruct the illusion created by society that productivity equals success and understand that less might actually mean more. Very simple in concept, but, as my teacher says, it will mean undoing a lifetime of doing. Here it goes.

1. Say Yes Less & Say No More

While I do see the value in saying yes to life, I’ve been saying yes my whole life and you know where it’s gotten me… at the bottom of a large hole of exhaustion. Because every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Often times that something is you. This resolution is about people pleasing less, and Kristen pleasing more. It may sound selfish, but I’ve learned that if I want to serve the world in the best capacity (be the best teacher, baker, writer, lover of life that I can be), I must be careful not to run out of energy to give.

So instead, I’m saying no to all soul sucking and energy draining, and saying yes to the things that fill me up: yoga, sleeping, singing, reading and all those light filled people and things that I open myself up to by saying no.

2.  Talk Less, Listen More

When we talk, we eliminate the potential to learn. I’ve been working on this the last year, and I’ve observed that genuine questions and honest listening lead to the coolest stories and most inspiring knowledge. This year, I will talk less and listen to my Self more.

3. Judge Less, Love More

When we judge people, we don’t leave room to really see them. Instead of assuming someone’s story or intentions, I resolve to let them show me for themselves. By judging less, we open up a whole bunch of our energy to be better focused on something else… like love! The same can be said for how we spend our energy on ourselves. Are we judging and critiquing or are we accepting and loving?  I’ve resolved to say once every day, “I accept myself unconditionally, right now.”

4. Expect Less, Rejoice More

This is the fun one. It means being grateful for every single thing that comes my way.  I will say “thank you, more please” to all people and occurrences, gracious gifts and testing teachers alike. Instead of basking in the comparisons (or should haves) that come with expectations, I will live in my reality moment by moment, knowing that everything is exactly as its supposed to be.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Lao Tzu

5. Worry Less, Live More

When we worry about the small things, we miss experiencing the big ones. I will spend less time in my head and more time in the world.

6. Fear Less, Release More

My fears are only illusions obscuring my soul’s true purpose. Fears block us from the true reality, one of infinite possibilities. I will visualize these illusions, breathe in and release them. Those barriers do not stand in the way of my dreams.

7. Hurry Less, Breathe More

This is the hardest practice by far: slow down. There is no rush to accomplish all my goals right now. If I get wrapped up in a never-ending list of dreams and resolutions, life will pass me by. So instead of overachieving, rushing and doing, I will stop to breathe, really breathe. I will sleep and rest. So that when I am out in the world, I can be present, do my work and make the world a beautiful place. Oh…and enjoy the journey, too.

8. Do Less, Be More

My good friend and mentor says, “We are human beings, not human doings.” We often get that confused, I know I do. I have spent a long time determining my value by how much I do. As if the more I do and the faster I do it, the happier I’ll be. I don’t think I even have proof for that assumption! But I do have proof that the more I rest and take care of myself, the happier I am. Food for thought.

Here’s to an abundant, restful, and joyful 2014. May we count it’s success, not by productivity, but by the love and happiness in life!

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Assistant Editor: Jennifer Moore/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Kristen Brotemarkle

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