|Posted by DGS on January 1, 2013 at 12:30 AM|
Have you heard anything like "New Year. New You" lately?
Seems slogans like this are as plentiful this time of year as scarves at a yoga studio. Why is that? (slogans I mean. not scarves)
Several reasons come to mind. Starting of course with the ever present idea that we are dissatisfied with ourselves and wish to be someone else.
The magazines and popular media prey on our predilection for self-deprecation. It's a multi-billion dollar a year business making us feel like we are not quite enough, not yet anyway. Not until we buy, or buy into their new new thing.
Isn't it odd that in a society consumed with ego, we should think so little of ourselves? Or perhaps this is a perfect example of the way karma is working. That even if we believe ourselves to be an innocent and unappreciated hidden treasure, our self centered nature forces us to tend to see in ourselves mostly our faults.
But perhaps there is a far less cynical way of looking at this odd tendency we have.
Perhaps with some effort we could shift the energy we spend on wishing to be something, or somewhere, or someone else, and think of it as recognition that we are inherently more than we see in ourselves now.
Perhaps our yearly bouts of high aspirations, no matter how short lived, are a recurring sign of our in-built desire to attain our highest form, our greatest potential.
"This year I'm REALLY going to…____________________."
What do you fill in that blank with? What is it that you hold so precious for yourself that you are prepared to swear a vow to reach it?
And don't be fooled by the seeming pettiness of your goals. Even the goal of losing weight can be seen in the light of more than just looking more sexy, but perhaps as being more capable, able to be more helpful, able to be around long enough to make a a real difference. Or at the very least, just the best possible version of "you".
This time of year is a reminder that we DEEPLY crave freedom from what burdens us. And it is also a reminder of something much more important.
That it IS possible.
The very fact that we try again and again to remake ourselves is, it seems to me, a recognition that there is NO PART OF US WHICH IS NOT POTENTIALLY CHANGEABLE. Or put another way, there is no part of us which is not just "potential".
Potential for what though? Now that's up to you. It can be something petty. Something worldly and self focused. Something which won't last anyway, like a more fit and tone physique.
Or it can be for something meaningful and useful, like the health which will allow you to be more helpful to others. Or the wisdom which will allow you to see only the best potential in others.
Either type of goal is a possibility because you are neither one from your own side.
You are completely re-makeable, and if you can recognize that you are utterly remarkable. But guess what, so is everyone else. Each of us equally has this power. As Lama Cindy Lee says, "If you think you are special, you are just like everyone else. But if you realize you are just like everyone else, then you are quite special."
And I think that is why each of us equally hears the whispers at this time of year, to make this year THE year. To make this time THE time to really make the changes we somehow KNOW are possible.
So don't frown or avoid New Year's resolutions this year. Embrace them.
And don't worry if you don't quite end up reaching your goal. Just try hard to set a good one and to keep it. Set a goal which has an intention which has ramifications which lie outside of your physical form and its comforts.
On artificial calendar days like this the whole world pauses to ponder what they COULD be, if they tried. That's got to be a great sentiment to ride, and to add your own personal flavor to.
How will YOU tip the balance of this great movement?
In what direction does your "New You" face?
Tips for a New Year practice.
This is a great time to do a perfect world meditation, where you sit down and call your holiest conceptions to you. And then in their presence you just try to envision yourself, your entire world, and everything in it as absolutely perfect. It's sometimes surprising how hard this can be actually. But try to get used to it, and send that image forward into the new year for yourself and every being you can comprehend.
Also, if you know how to do a Fire Puja, this is a great time to do one. Or you can just wing it by writing down on a piece of paper, either the things you wish to get rid of, or the goals you would like to achieve, or both. Then if you can do it safely you can make a nice fire somehow, small or large. And then offer your wishes up into the fire.
If you're not comfortable with fire, you can equally offer it out into water or land. Don't litter of course. In water you can shred it or sink it with a rock. in land, you can bury it.
The important thing is to feel that you have sent those intentions out far and wide in a grand and meaningful way.
And then the MOST important thing, is to feel really really good about it when you are doing it and after you've done it.
One good way to do that is as you are doing it to try to recall any and all good deeds or good intentions you have had this year. They can be big things like volunteering or studying sacred material, or seemingly small things like opening doors for people, or donating a dollar.
If nothing else, you can just focus on the good intentions of your New Year's act itself. Just the wish to be better for yourself and others. That is a magnificent intention and the goodness of it is immeasurable.
So rejoice in your ?New Year New You" intentions. And above all, be content!
P.S. If you're looking to start a daily practice in the new year, here's a great resource for you.
Categories: Thoughts to Ponder