The late Fred Rogers, that iconic star of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” television show for children, once said, “Love is at the root of everything. All learning, all parenting, all relationships – love or the lack of it.” As we pursue our lives in the New Year, his inspiring words can serve as a compass, a reminder to ask ourselves, ‘Does this word or deed bring me, and those around me, closer to love or away from it?’
Life isn’t always so easy to navigate, often it’s not. And yet if we listen to that deep, quiet place within – our hearts never lie. This year, let’s choose to listen more often to our dependable old tickers – and with American Heart Month just around the corner in February, what better time to start than now!
In that spirit, folks, we’re not going to list the typical New Year’s resolutions – lose weight and exercise more. Boring! We’re going to focus on what we like to call ‘soul-food,’ resolutions we hope will bring more joy and peace to your life and those around you, filling your corner of Planet Earth with lots of light and love.
- Remember, the ordinary is extraordinary. This nugget was contributed by a hospice nurse, inspired by one of her patients, and is one of our favorites. Because the ordinary is extraordinary. Think savoring your coffee as you watch the sunrise. Or snuggling with your kitty cat on a rainy afternoon. Or enjoying a delicious meal with your family. Now, imagine life without any of these.
Yup, the ordinary is extraordinary!
- Learning about new worlds through reading is great, but so is actual travel; there’s nothing quite like experiencing a new culture through all five senses. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel far. New worlds can be within driving distance, and you can learn about them when you visit certain museums, ethnic restaurants, historical landmarks and the like.
- Give that friend a call you’ve had a falling out with or just haven’t spoken to in a while. We humans are social animals and connecting with others is not only what has allowed our species to survive, but thrive! And nurturing those bonds is like a love letter to the soul.
- Be the reason someone feels welcomed, seen, heard, valued and loved.
- Shine a light on what’s working well in your life – and rejoice in the positive progress you’ve made.
- Practice gratitude. It’s not only good for the soul, but good for your mental health. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude experience more positive emotions and express more compassion for others.
- Read some books this year, ideally at least one a month. Reading is not only a good way to improve your vocabulary, but you can explore new worlds and spark your imagination in a brain-stimulating way that staring at a TV or computer screen cannot do.
- If you’ve got the blues, that’s OK. Let yourself experience your sad feelings and don’t feel guilty about that. Being down doesn’t mean you lack gratitude for all the blessings in your life, it just means you’re human and having a bad day. (Please note, if these negative emotions persist, you may want to consult a mental health professional.)
- Spend ample time in nature, there’s something magical and rejuvenating about immersing yourself in Mother Earth’s beauty.
- Try something new. You know that flamenco dance class you’ve wanted to try or book club you’ve thought about joining? This year, go for it, even if that means getting out of your comfort zone.
- Spend more time with your loved ones. In the end, that’s all that really counts.
- Lastly, hang up expectations for what you ‘should’ be and embrace radical self-acceptance – you are already enough. Or, as Mr. Rogers would say, “I like you as you are. Exactly and precisely. I think you turned out nicely. And I like you as you are.”