New year’s resolutions

Category : General advice, Philosophy 6th January 2020

Inside Yoga 289 (6/1/2020)

We are back to the beginning again, with a near year, and this time it’s a new decade, so we are possibly filled with greater expectations? But does a new year make any difference?

The start of another year is usually filled with resolutions to “start as we mean to go on”, to make changes, and to improve XYZ; or, simply put, we use the New Year as a chance to improve our quality of life. So New Year is just a catalyst or an excuse to make a change to our lives for the better?

And why not? We all want to feel better, enjoy our lives more, and feel fulfilled, but most of the time we struggle to find the energy or time to make a change, but then along comes a new year. And with so many people around us feeling similarly inspired, perhaps we can do something this time?

But is the start of the year any different from other times of the year? Why do we place such importance on the New Year as an opportunity to make changes? Surely we can do this any other time of the year? But instead we place a lot of importance and pressure on ourselves to use January as a launching pad towards something better in our life.

There is, however, a lot of truth in the power of collective activity and thought, because we are not the only one making New Year’s resolutions and this collective energy to make change can help lift us and carry us forward towards our goal more than other times of the year. You could say that there’s a buzz in the air, saying now is your time to make changes, step up to the mark, move forward and so forth. Carl Jung spoke about collective consciousness as a force and energy, with all around us thinking in similar ways, ie new year resolutions, it is like we are hooked up to the same collective mind or computer.

So, on this basis it is certainly a good time of the year to make resolutions and see them work. So unsurprisingly, January is one of the busiest times of the year for me with people starting yoga or returning to yoga – spot the hint – come to class this week, next week, or, as soon as possible! My door is always open.

The New Year is clearly a powerful time of the year for feeling fresh and ready for change, with so many round us who are equally motivated to make changes or try harder, it is a supportive environment. So why not take advantage of the collective mood to start 2020 with good intentions.

And when the power of the new year starts to fade, consider this: there is a very good reason to keep it up, every day, all year, as if every day is New Year’s Day.

Philosophically speaking in terms of both Yoga and Buddhist thought every new day is an opportunity to start afresh as if we have been reborn, because every new day has never happened before, making it fresh like a new birth. We might think we have done it all before, which means we might be “going through the motions” on autopilot, but each new day has never happened before, because each new moment is new.

We have a memory of previous days and experiences which lead us to believe we are repeating our actions and days, but in reality every new moment has never happened before. We bring into each new moment, each new day, each New Year, memories and plans, which make us believe we are entering a repeat episode.

Change this view by realising that although we might have experience and memories, as we move forward we are entering new territory each and every moment. Like an artist with a clean canvas we can fill our lives with what we want.

If we look at every day as opportunity to start again, even if we feel we know what is going to happen because we have a routine and did the same last week or yesterday, we can embrace the feeling of New Year’s resolutions every day of the year!

Start each and every day as you mean to go on… not just New Year’s Day.

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