Gestalt New Years Resolutions for 2017
The root of the word resolution is to loosen, to become free of (as to resolve). Here are eight Gestalt-inspired resolutions you can choose from to begin 2017 with more freedom.
- Change your expectations of others for 2017 Expectations are based on only one thing – our own values. The surest road to frustration and disappointment is to expect any other human being to have the same values as you. You can replace expectation with faith in people’s track records — their consistent actions over time. You may or may not change your friends based on this approach, but you will certainly feel free of frustration with them.
- Make a Here and Now Agreement with a loved oneThis is an agreement about arguing that says that if we don’t catch the problem in the moment, we have lost the opportunity and will not bring it up again. This is based on the understanding that there is no way to change the past, and that if something is present it will surely turn up again. If you are a person who cannot easily put a present problem into words you can agree to use a code word or simply say: something is wrong and I would like to discuss this later when I have the words.
- Tolerate someone’s difference that will clearly not change We are often attracted to people who are different from us but how open are we really to difference? Difference presents us with opportunity to expand our own sense of who we are, to grow. However In some instances another’s habit or behavior irritates us beyond acceptance. Where this occurs here is a resolution to lighten the response: Share with a friend or loved one about something that each of you habitually do that is intolerable to the other. Make an agreement that you will each give that thing up for a week as a trade.
- Give up one of your “back doors” for a month We all have a favourite “escape hatch” or “back door” phrase or thought that allows us to use and abuse, to not face up, or otherwise to get out of a painful situation before it is resolved. Identify one of these and give it up for a month. See what happens!
- Learn to really listenReally listening means with curiosity, to learn something new, as if you had no idea what the speaker means to tell you. It requires good support for yourself and an intention to listen so you are able to exhibit a genuine interest. For extra points do this when someone is complaining about you. See what happens!
- Variations on opening yourself to be loved Choose your level: Relationships are measured not by how much you love but by how open you are to being loved. Our years of life are often littered with the ones who tried to love us but we could not let their love in. We are born with the ability to being open to being loved. To reclaim that ability involves a relaxation of the muscles around our heart – for each of these variations that is the way. Think of how you let the sun’s warmth touch you on a relaxing holiday.
- Variation one: Spend a day noticing who is interested in you.
- Variation two: When the opportunity arises that someone thanks you or appreciates you, just say thank you.
- Variation three: If there is a person in your life who says they love you, then let them do it in whatever way they choose and allow yourself to accept that. Do this for a month.
- Variation four: When any person(s) who loves you looks at you with love, open your heart by breathing it in. Say nothing. Practice this until your heart can feel it.
- For Couples: Keeping Passion and Lust AliveAt the beginning of a relationship the fires of passion burn brightly. Then if not tended life comes along in the form of work, children, family pressures, personal changes, and there may be only a few shimmering coals in the heart of passion. Re-igniting our passion is key to our sense of well being. One evening a week one partner creates a sexual experience or fantasy for the other. The agreement is that the other agrees to say yes! to it all. (Alternate: Creation of a day on the town – “my way.”) The couple alternates the role the following week.
For Singles: One hour a week be in a place with people and be Magnetic This is not about sexy clothes or attitude. The only action to take is this one: Think to yourself “I am the hottest one in this room and they can’t take their eyes off me.” See what happens and how you feel.
- Develop faith in the Process of lifeExcerpt from the final journal entries of Paul Goodman: “Have faith that there will always be a place in the world for you… That the Next Step is not the brink of a precipice, but that it has consequences you can draw on. Faith that the world has… a horizon rather than bars… that it is ‘roomy enough’ for all of our experience.” Imagine this as your default position for life.
Copyright 2016 Jay Tropianskaia