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Enjoy a Mindful New Year

            This New Year’s message is complements of Beth Cook and Leila Nabors, cofounders of the Alabama Institute for Mindfulness

Making Room For the New

            Several weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend about the upcoming holidays, including the new year. Our discussion centered around new year’s resolutions and intentions. She mentioned something she had read recently that really resonated with her about this being a season of reflection rather than a time for resolutions. Our usual modus operandi is to make resolutions that address what we do not like about ourselves or something we perceive to be a short coming. What would it be like if we took more time to reflect on what is no longer needed in our lives?

            We have the perfect opportunity for this type of reflection, as we approach the first day of the new year. And as my friend pointed out, winter is a time for dying away, for taking stock and pruning. The dying away might happen as relationships end, interest changes, or a dream is not realized. But just because one branch dies or does not bear fruit doesn’t mean the whole organism is lost. Once we have taken stock, it takes courage to prune, even if what we are pruning has no life or is no longer serving us well. It is in the removing or the cutting away of branches at cross purposes that we let in the air and light. This clearing out or opening is vital for new growth. 

            So before coming up with the 2020 “new and improved” version, consider how it might be beneficial to notice what needs to be pruned. The pruning or letting go, with all its sadness or uncertainty, may well be what opens us up to new growth and opportunity. The courage to “take stock” of our current life situation may not be as easy as compiling a list of resolutions but it may result in a life lived more in line with our values. 

            Beth Cook and Leila Nabors

            Alabama Institute for Mindfulness

More about Mindfulness

            The Alabama Institute for Mindfulness will be offering an 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction class in February.  Click here for more information.

Need More Ideas?

            Still need an inspirational idea to kickstart 2020?  Perhaps what you need was covered in one of the following newsletters from previous encounters with the challenges of a new year.

            Nancy Neighbors, MD

Curried Acorn Squash Hummus With Crudités

            This hearty vegan hummus recipe featuring the flavors of acorn squash and a hint of curry. For a festive presentation, use the scooped-out squash shell as a serving bowl for your hummus, and surround it with your favorite crudités and/or crackers for dipping.  Click here for the recipe.

By Nancy Neighbors, MD

... Dr. Neighbors provides a blend of traditional family medicine and evidence-based lifestyle medicine in Huntsville, Alabama. When indicated, lifestyle change is recommended as the first line of therapy.

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