Americans l.o.v.e. to make New Years resolutions. Fully 40% of us make New Year’s Resolutions each year. Barely 8% of us keep them; only half are still unbroken 6 months later. There’s a reason for this: New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. Made with conviction and the best intentions, shouldn’t the odds of success be better than these dismal stats?
They should but they aren't because the whole premise of resolutions are wrong at the start. Resolutions do not acknowledge our divinity. Actually, they do just the opposite, dwelling on what the tantra dharma calls anavamala, our feelings of unworthiness, our preconscious suspicion that there is something deeply wrong with us. According to statisticbrain.com, the most popular resolutions last year were largely to address our alleged human failings. In the number one spot, we resolved to lose weight and eat better. We pledged to improve ourselves, make better financial decisions, quit smoking, do more exciting things, spend more time with family, work out, read more, do more good deeds, fall in love and get a better job. All of these speak to our unhappiness with self, our dis-ease with being human. We see ourselves, apparently, as flawed: fat, broke, unhealthy, boring, neglectful, unloved and under-employed. With that as the ground for “resolution,” no wonder we fail.
Classical Tantra dharma takes a different approach. It proclaims that we are divine first and that the purpose of life is to unfold that divinity in all the delight and mess and richness of being human. The German poet Ranier Maria Rilke understood that notion of unfolding. In one of his many poems to God, he says,
“I want to unfold.
Nowhere do I want to stay folded
because there I am untrue, where I am folded.”
Rilke acknowledges that where he is folded, he does not acknowledge his own divinity, the intimacy and revelation that is true human relationship and equivalency with the Divine. Pretty potent stuff.
On Monday, January 1st, 2018, 11-1PM, at Yoga Great Barrington, we’ll unfold the New Year with the help of Rilke, the tantra dharma, a vigorous flowing vinyasa and an incredible playlist by DJ Drez. Register below and we’ll see you on the mat for a new years master class where we resolve to evolve.