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Beside Restful Waters

by Greg Hermann

“Progress, not perfection.”

Anonymous

Last week, we pondered the practice of setting a New Year’s Resolution. With my history of failed resolutions, I shared a personal challenge of re-shaping the resolution from a ‘to do’ statement to a ‘to be’ intention. I suggested that, for me at least, a ‘to be’ intention offers me an opportunity to observed the results of my acts of being rather than judging whether or not I did something. Self-study (a niyama, svadhaya) is an opportunity to reflect without judging. This attitude of observation has offered me a mindset that moves me forward and growing rather than passing or failing.


As I continue to reflect on a New Year’s intention of being, I am drawn to the niyamas again, specifically to santosha (contentment) and tapas (self-discipline). These offer a parallel to the Christian virtues as reflected in the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23).