Typically, by mid-year (by the summer solstice for those of us in the northern hemisphere), new year’s resolutions are a thing of the past. Months after setting resolutions, it’s easy to have forgotten or moved through them—with seasons shifting our embodied needs, creating the conditions for new intentions to be named.
What are you being called to create or put into practice or do differently?
My list is fairly long and includes self-work linked with the new e-course “40 questions for 40 walks,” a program to support self-inquiry and alignment with everyday living for justice.
As a view into what I’m hoping to do, here are three of my summer resolutions, each based on small daily actions linked with BIG commitments toward nourishing myself, my local community, and the earth.
1. Drinking vegetable broth for personal nourishment.
For years, I’ve been focused on what I don’t want when it comes to food, telling myself to eat less sugar. And for years, too much of my attention has been pulled toward sugar itself (thinking about it, reading dessert recipes, regretting sugar binges, learning to make icing, and so on).
Going forward, instead of giving sugar so much attention, I’m investing in my body’s nourishment with vegetable broth. I’m beginning each day with a glass of warm broth, and I’m allowing myself more broth throughout the day, whenever in need of extra emotional support. Broth is not only warm and cozy (like a hug), but it also helps me build a relationship with food that focuses on nourishment (like the mantra “I care for myself for joy and ease”).
2. Buying Street Sense for social nourishment.
Since first learning about Street Sense newspapers more than a decade ago, I’ve wanted to support the contributors and vendors of this paper. Street Sense is produced by and supports people experiencing homelessness with the mission to end homelessness. Street Sense also offers content raising awareness about injustices, modeling the importance of speaking and writing UP.
In the past year, I’ve purchased papers when I happen to have cash, but I need a plan to make this a regular practice. And it feels important for this to be regular practice, as I navigate the streets and on-the-street interactions as a white woman with housing security and a lot of mobility and access afforded to me. With affordances come responsibilities.
Going forward, I’ll keep a bundle of $3 with me when leaving home. What I’ve learned is that I need to be intentional about setting aside dollar bills and having them with me when walking. My hope is that having a step-by-step plan will help me consistently show up for this work I believe in.
3. Composting for environmental nourishment.
With the exception of a few years in a house (when I didn’t know the first thing about gardening), I’ve lived my adult life in apartments without the means to compost. Now, however, I live next to a city market where there’s a weekly compost collection, and several friends have encouraged me to compost, reminding me of the potential of positive peer pressure.
I started composting a few months ago, and now it’s become habit to separate food matter from recyclables and trash. I’m still learning about compost and learning about how to keep it during the summer (when fruit flies flourish), but I’m excited about efforts to nourish the land and to create and share quality fertilizer across the city.
As these descriptions illustrate, moving to a new neighborhood invites new patterns, but we don’t have to move to make change. One question to keep asking (one I ask myself regularly) is: How can I better align with my commitments to live and strive toward justice (social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice)?
Such work involves, I believe, fueling the self so that we build and sustain momentum for the long haul. It also involves supporting organizations like Street Sense and getting involved in neighborhood efforts like DC’s Food Waste Drop-Off Program. And it involves an openness to different habits, rather than settling into a single way of doing things.
If we are to learn from the butterfly effect—how small flapping wings can create far-reaching impact—we need to remember that small and sustained actions matter. This is not to find a single action and stop there. Or to ignore what more is needed. But it is to step into a space of imagining change, which includes implementing different daily practices.
What small and sustained actions might be possible to start this summer?
What new resolutions could invigorate the days, weeks, and months to come?
What daily habits might reverberate throughout everyday life and into the collective?
This post is written by Beth Godbee for Heart-Head-Hands.com. For more posts like this one, you might try “My New Year’s Resolution = Self-Love for Countering White Fragility” and “Caterpillars and the Butterfly Effect: Noticing Small Signs and Taking Small Actions.”
If you appreciate this site, if you connect with the storytelling, or if you use any of the recipes or resources, consider making a one-time or sustaining donation. Please also consider subscribing to posts and liking this blog on FB. Thanks!