Saturday, December 31, 2011


Every year for the last few years, I have picked a Sankalpa/intention word on New Year's Eve.
Or, I should say, it often picks me.

The word for 2012 that has appeared is Support.

Now, I know up front what I mean by that word, as it arose out of therapy, discussions and reflections on what I need most and want most next in my life. For me, right now, it means Supporting my core self - working on core physical strength, emotional resonance and clarity; doing yoga, meditation, writing and exercise, mainly.

However, I think that the reason these things have not stuck as much in the past in a regular way has to do with not having a common understanding under them, or having a common understanding that is skewed - eg "I must do these things to improve myself."

Now my sense has altered - I want to do them so I can be there for others. One of those "interdependence means that you always benefit others if you benefit yourself in a true way" ideas.
Not just an idea, to me, but truth. And it works.

When I am actively teaching, I take care of myself more. When I am not that tends to fall apart. So how to maintain that? Keeping it up for my own sake is important, too.

I expect the meaning of this word to change over time. That's why I pick such a broad word. Last years' was "Integration" and the year before that, the first year Dylan and I both did it, was "Consumption." Consumption started out as being about dieting, but changed into spending, etc (see here and here and here for instance). And in fact, a lot we did then that year is still coming into fruition now, and will next year and beyond. So it's not a "do it this year" idea. Last year, Integration, was mostly about connecting my inner selves to each other, and you can read a lot about how that changed and shifted over the year on this blog (here and here and here, for instance).

I also suspect/know this is about reaching out for support/accepting support from others. And in a lot of ways I started that this last year - making weekly dates to talk to my two closest bffs, for instance. But in the core sense, this is really an extension of integration. Finding out what is going on inside and creating communication between my inner selves and their agendas now means I can step out and support the parts of myself I want put first. For instance, observe the interchange between my firefighter and myself the other day during meditation:

Firefighter: Ok. I think we should leave at the next break. We have stuff to do.
Me: Nope. I committed to sitting here and I am staying.
Firefighter: But what if we don't get it all done?
Me: There is nothing to worry about and you know it.
Firefighter: But I am sure something will go wrong eventually and we have to be prepared.
Me: No, more like you are going to put something on fire just so you can put it out.
Firefighter: So what if I am? How else do we get meaning out of our lives.
Me: I don't believe in that anymore.
Firefighter: But. But. Just you see...

Integration helped/is helping me to get to the point, when I can do it, where I can support the wise self instead of the neurotic self, and make choices that help support my whole self and not just one actor or arbitrator or critic part. Reading Rita Carter's Multiplicity and Matt Ruff's Set This House In Order were both strong tools to nail down these roles and figure out who I want running the ship of me. (See the Retire the Firefighter post for another example of this).

Now I know which voices to support, strengthen and believe in, which I think underlies taking care of myself physically - for it is the wise voices that know what I need to do that, and the neurotic voices that try to make it all not happen.

There are a few resources I've been collecting on the internet, from blogs and trusted internet advisers.
But no matter how much structure or advice I consider, it all comes down to me. And the me I want to support more is the me who wants to support me more. So there it is. Simply said, not always so easily done. But that's what intention is for - not to resolve but to intend - open, consider, establish.

In case you'd like a set of resources, why don't you start here?
A lovely post on why to create anyway even when panicked (from Zen at Play)
A wise and clear post on how to set realistic exercise goals from Zen Habits
A whole month (January) of healthy-eating experimentation with Daily Bites
A thirty-day online yoga program with Marianne Elliot
All kinds of powerful small business wisdom from Tara Gentile
Powerful support for meditation and related practices free from Susan Piver

There's more, of course. Don't underestimate your own wisdom. Only take advice from parts of yourself or others that support your inner wisdom.

Thank you for all your support, my readers. I wouldn't be here without you.
Keep exploring Inside Spaces. See you next Calendar year.


  1. Joey and I have 1/2 hour yoga daily on our list. In fact, it's the only item on it. And we started today. And it was awesome.

    Happy New Year.

  2. Excellent and very clarifying. Thank you for the ideas and inspiration and exploration!