By Rev. Carol Bodeau
Happy New Year!
2023…what a surprise it is to already be in a new year. After years of pandemic and shut-down, I feel like I’ve lost a chunk of time that should somehow have felt more…solid. Maybe that’s just age, or maybe it’s the weirdness of the 2020’s.
It’s traditional at this time of year to make resolutions, to decide what we want to ‘improve’ on in our lives, or commit to in our world. But perhaps this year we can take a lighter approach. Rather than setting our sights high, and focusing on all the things we could/should/would do, maybe it’s time for a little bit of a rest. I don’t know about y’all, but it’s been a rough few years! My resolution this year is to take it easier, to laugh more often, and to rest with more conviction and commitment.
Here are some un-resolutions we might consider:
• Fix less of the world, and enjoy more little things
• Fret less about what isn’t working, and breathe deeply when something goes right
• Tell good stories, and let the bad ones rest unless they impact us directly
• Notice the things the news doesn’t tell us, about how great people are, how nice our neighbors can be, and how people find ways to connect across difference
• Opt out of drama, and into non-anxious presence
• Take more restorative yoga classes or walks or baths because they feel good
• Practice addition by subtraction (or “simplify to amplify”)
• say nice things to yourself
And at Westside, let’s do what brings us joy. Sure, let’s have the hard conversations—about cultural accountability and reproductive justice and climate change—but let’s do it with a sense of enhancing and tending to what we love. Let’s expand our definition of ‘loving’ (see upcoming services for more on that), and relax our over-reaching and trying to attend to everything all at once.
Most of all, let’s just show up with warm hearts, open minds, and caring hands. At the core of all world improvement, there is caring, consideration, and just simply showing up.
I look forward to practicing them all with you this year.
Rev. Carol Bodeau