I’m going to set my resolution for the New Year. Instead of making lots of resolutions that I won’t keep, I’m going to make a resolution that I can actually keep: becoming a compassionate mess.

Instead of focusing on getting it right, I’ll focus on opening my heart. Even though it’s important to try and make needed changes in my life, I know that I may fail over and over again. This is of course is what it means to be human.

The most important thing is, can we be compassionate to ourselves in the midst of our failures and disappointments? Can we embrace the mess with warmth, understanding, support and kindness? If so, we will have achieved our goal.

We will never find lasting happiness in the circumstances of our lives. Even when we do manage to get it right for a while, things inevitably change.

So instead of thinking of success in terms of what happens, we can start to think of success in terms of how we relate to what happens. Are we being compassionate or not?

Our happiness is most reliably rooted in the loving quality that we bring to each moment of awareness, rather than whether or not we like what is happening at that moment.
But how do we become a compassionate mess? How do we keep our hearts open when things are scary or painful? Luckily there are many practices that have been developed to help us relate to any moment of difficulty with compassion. 

I would suggest that we start, with developing a simple practice for ourselves by taking time to sit and breathe. Begin with creating your own meditation space within your home. You should sit with an upright posture. Notice contact with the floor, notice contact with your seat, head upright, relax your shoulders and bring your attention to your breath. Notice the quality of your breath, notice how you breathe, no right way, no wrong way, no judging. As you breathe in, follow your in breath and as you breathe out let go of your out breath. See if you can notice where your in breath ends and your out breath begins. Then notice where your out breath ends and your in breath begins.
Remember to switch from doing mode to being mode. Just be present to your breath.
When I first began practicing mindfulness breathing my teacher told me to begin with, five minutes practice for a few weeks and then increase to ten, fifteen, twenty minutes.

I also like to include as part of my practice going for a walk after I sit, again starting with a short distance and increasing distance over time. This for me is the perfect start to the day, and somehow my life takes on new meaning, without me trying.

This is an act of kindness to ourselves and I know for me this is an ongoing job. It’s not about getting anywhere it’s about being here, right now, with a smile on my face, as I wake up to this new day, this new year, effortlessly.

As my mum used to tell me over and over again, ‘Keep it simple’. If it’s not simple it’s not mindfulness. Remember what the Dalai Lama says: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Here’s wishing you a happy new day.