The beginning of the year is the time for resolutions… which very often don’t “hold water”! Do you recommend taking it, despite everything?
The essence of a resolution is that it cannot be kept. Consequently, making resolutions means setting yourself up for failure from the start of the year. I advise instead to ask ourselves: what do my resolutions say about my essential aspirations, my deep desire? Because very often, these resolutions (which generally relate to physical beauty, health, sport, our life in society) are a mixture of inner injunctions, good conscience and “political correctness”. Responding to psychological, religious or social prescriptions, they do not come from our deep self. So, maybe you can replace the question “Where do I want to go this year?” with “Where am I?”. Take stock before choosing a course.
If we had to note three essential values on our road map for maintaining good “spiritual health”, what would they be?
Sobriety, openness to others, rootedness. These are the three fundamentals of inner balance and spiritual growth that we find in all spiritualities, and in particular in the Christian tradition. Sobriety, so that our interior life is not too polluted by various external solicitations; openness to others, which also invites openness to the Other; rooting which, like the tree, allows it to draw the nourishment necessary to expand.
When we walk, we lean on a bumblebee. What stick could support our march in the months to come?
An inspiring word or person, chosen from the secular or sacred repertoire. That is to say a quote on which we can rely to move forward, or a character that we admire (from Nelson Mandela to Carlo Acutis, the choice is wide!), about whom we will like to think, about whom we will read a book, which will support us and give us strength.
Faced with the bad weather that is sure to arise, how can we protect ourselves?
When we are walking and it starts to rain, we look for shelter. Likewise, during the year, to know where to shelter from the storms that are sure to arise, you must first identify your security options. These can be external (material, relational, etc.) or internal (psychological, spiritual, etc.) – and ideally both. At the beginning of the year, therefore, we can identify relationships with whom we can find security and comfort.
And if we are tempted to give in to discouragement, that our bag is too heavy to carry, what do you advise?
I would first say that if you experience this feeling, it’s a good sign! When you walk with a bag that is too heavy, you have to unload and lighten up. Likewise, during the year, if you experience discouragement, it is perhaps an invitation to detach yourself from a certain number of things that weigh you down, on a material level but especially on a psychological or spiritual (overinvestments, toxic or non-supportive relationships, etc.). This is also an invitation to lighten up!
The pilgrim sees both very close (the stage of the day) and very far (the goal of the path). What concrete application can this provision take throughout the year?
During a pilgrimage, it happens that, too tired to think or meditate, we just have the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Yet, we move forward, pushed by something beyond us. During the year, it will also happen that our attention is focused on a schedule that is too busy or pain that is too present. In these moments, some salutary advice: let yourself be carried by a higher aspiration. Look into the distance to move forward step by step!
If this year was a path and you were at the start of this road, as you do in your support as a coach, what would you want to tell us?
“Have a good trip!”, of course. And also: “I hope we will have the opportunity to meet.” When we wander, we are fundamentally alone. It is me who walks with what defines me, inhabits me, passes through me. It is an ontologically solitary activity, like life. But the path is also an opportunity for encounters, and these human relationships contribute greatly to its richness. On the road to the coming year, you will also meet many people. Pay attention to them, so that they add meaning to each of your days. This year could therefore be an invitation to pay attention: to oneself, but also to others. Because we cross it alone, but sharing it with fellow travelers who will be sure to introduce themselves!