My 2022 New Year’s Intention Is to Simply Be
Anyone up for setting their New Year’s resolutions? Not me. Normally, I’d use these days in January to conjure up resolutions, create new daily routines, and set personal goals for the year ahead. But after the past two years of roller-coaster events that blew holes in my resolutions, I feel safer simply setting intentions.
But intentions are OK. In fact, they’re essential.
In the past, my resolutions and goals helped me get things done, especially now that I live with ALS. Intentions are how we live. They all may have similar objectives, but intentions do it in a less pressured way.
What is my 2022 intention? To simply be. To be in the present moment, to be aware of myself and the people and things around me. To not get pulled into the distractions or negative vibes that I might come across.
Isn’t ‘being’ the same thing as mindfulness?
When I’m practicing mindfulness, it helps me pay attention to walking, eating, and moving throughout the house, which is important with ALS. I’m avoiding falls, choking, and other near-disasters that happen when I’m lost in my thoughts. Mindfulness has been shown to be beneficial for patients with ALS.
For me, the state of being goes beyond attentiveness to actions. It also includes a constant awareness of my body, breathing, and emotional state.
You can try it now
Focus your mind on awareness of your fingers, hands, and feet. Then feel your body breathing. Maintain those sensations and add awareness of the room or space around you. You have simultaneous awareness of breathing, your body, and the environment you’re in.
The challenge is to drop into this state of being as often and as long as possible.
Let me show you how I plan to use this intention.
- When I wake up in the morning, I’ll devote a few minutes to the steps I described above and try to maintain the awareness of being as I go through my morning activities.
- When out and about, before entering a store, I will go through the steps again. Plus, add an intention not to be distracted by worries about other people not wearing face masks, or the energy of the crowds around me.
- When opening social media or turning on the TV news, I’ll let what I hear or read wash over me and not stick. I’ll check in often to sense my breathing and be alert for body tension.
Of course, distractions are everywhere. I’m a realist about not being able to hold on to a state of being and awareness for more than five minutes at a time.
But remember, it’s an intention. Not a make-or-break resolution. Giving myself permission to drop in and out of a state of being is a step in the right direction toward taking care of me.
Have I got you interested in learning mindfulness? To learn more about the practical aspects of meditation and how to transition from being in the present moment to daily living, I recommend the book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
For more tips on how I reenergize my life, I suggest my columns “Evaluating What’s Working in My Life, and What’s Not” and “Positive Rituals and My Evolving Morning Routine.”
Let’s help each other learn to live well while living with ALS.
Note: ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ALS News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ALS.