A few years ago, I wrote a blog about no longer wanting to make New Year’s Resolutions. Like most people, my goals for the New Year had primarily been focused on my body and the food I was consuming. As I deepened my eating disorder recovery, I decided to make New Year’s ReSOULutions — concentrating on things that bring value to my life. My ReSOULutions have worked out so well that I’m doing it again this year! Won’t you join me?
"When you do things for the soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." - Rumi
We often resolve to become healthier each New Year. We pledge to join a gym, eat less junk food and lose weight.
Before I sought treatment for an eating disorder
, I had these — or similar —Resolutions. Every. Single. Year.
When I got into recovery, I felt I no longer needed
those Resolutions because I was committed to not dieting in eating disorder recovery
. Before recovery, it never occurred to me to have a New Year’s Resolution outside of my body. Ha! Seriously — never!
Over the past few years, though, I have pledged to not make resolutions but instead to make ReSOULutions. Last year, my ReSOULution was to work on my anxiety
and travel the country with my family for an entire year. This ReSOULution was not just to enhance my own recovery; I wanted to make a difference by making mental illness and addiction part of an everyday conversation around the country. And: Check. We did it.
It changed me and my family forever. And I know, with community involvement and so much great support, we helped bring about change in many lives around the country.
In 2020, my ReSOULution is to delve deeper into my soul and claim the space that I longed for when I had an eating disorder.
I am writing this blog from Australia, where I returned for my father’s memorial service. I admit that this experience takes the ReSOULution concept to a new level. There’s nothing like the death of a dear loved one that encourages us to reflect on how we want to move on in life.
My Dad was an amazing artist; he was talented and prolific. As children, we could always find him in the garage painting with oils or creating a fort from matchsticks or building something from wood. His art was how he expressed his soul and the life he had lived or hoped to live. It was his way of allowing his soul to come out to play.
My dad inspires me. So, I promise to live more in an artistic way in 2020, allowing myself to play more, to let my soul come out, and not focus so much on how to better myself. I can easily get swept up in bettering myself, doing more, and being more. That comes far too easily to me but maybe this is the year I can overcome some of that.
Whether you are in long term recovery or just starting out, it is never too soon to invest in your soul’s playful side. This soul work can become part of your recovery. And it can help us all find that river of joy that Rumi writes about.
Happy New Year, everyone.
What’s your New Year’s ReSOULution?
Internationally-recognized author and speaker, Robyn Cruze published Making Peace with Your Plate (Central Recovery Press) with Espra Andrus, LCSW, which will enter its second edition in January 2020. Robyn is the Co-Founder of a family mental health awareness initiative, Wide Wonder, that aims to make mental health and addiction recovery an everyday conversation. She also serves as the Director of Advocacy consultant at Eating Recovery Center.