Inside Yoga 325 (1/1/2023)
Happy new year to you all; may your dreams and aspirations come true; it is a new beginning, a fresh start, or, for some people, this is not a beginning, nor is an end, but just another day. But for the majority of us, the New Year means resolutions are made and expectations are heightened, but does a new year make any difference?
Maybe it is doesn’t really make a difference, but our belief that the New Year will, is an important catalyst to making something happen.
The power of intention is not to be ignored. 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 do anything about it, but then along comes a new year. And with so many people around us feeling similarly inspired, perhaps we can do something this time?
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 pressure on ourselves to use January as a launching pad towards something better in our life. Perhaps we could use the first of every month as an excuse to have a new month resolution, or perhaps, every Monday, a new weekly resolution? It might even stop the Monday Blues getting at us!?
If you can’t beat them, then join them. There is 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 goals more than other times of the year. You could say that there’s a buzz in the air; so now is the time to act. Carl Jung spoke about collective consciousness as a force and energy, with all around us thinking in similar ways, i.e. New Year resolutions, it is like we are hooked up to the same collective mind or computer.
So, on this basis it is a good time of the year to make resolutions and see if they work. Why not? We have nothing to lose?
Unsurprisingly, January is one of the busiest times of the year for me; with people starting yoga or returning to yoga – spot the hint, join me at yoga at your next available opportunity! And, recommend my yoga classes to others, please!
The New Year is clearly a powerful time of the year for feeling fresh and ready for change, which is ironic really, considering we’re in the depths of sleepy winter, with its cold and dark days, plus we’re recovering from Christmas, yet we want to make a new year resolution?!
So why not take advantage of the collective mood to start 2023 with good intentions.
And when the power of the New Year starts to fade, consider this: there is a 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 Buddhism, every new day is an opportunity to start afresh, because every new day has never happened before, making it new like being born again, and again and again. We might think we have done it all before, we have our routines; or, we wake with grumbling thoughts that it is Groundhog Day again and again; or, we might be “going through the motions” on autopilot, not really thinking about it all, but why live like this; why feed our mind and body with negativity? It doesn’t really help us. Instead we could see each new day as a fresh start, because each new day has never happened before: it is an opportunity.
As we move forward into each day, we can use all our experience and memories to add wisdom to what we do, to improve our day, our week…our life; by acting wisely and living each new day as if it is our first, a New Day.
Another image I like to illustrate this: Like an artist, when faced with a clean blank canvas is not worried by its emptiness, but instead is excited and inspired to create something beautiful; similarly, we can see the New Year as an opportunity.
And, start each day as you mean to go on… not just when it is New Year’s Day.
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