While New Year’s Eve often ensures that most of us wake up feeling a little less than 100%, the new year is usually a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. It just so happens too, that January 1st 2014 is a new moon; a time for rebirth, growth and manifestation throughout the waxing lunar phase.
Before you make all of those new years resolutions though, here are just a few things to remember:
1. You are already good enough.
We put so much energy in to telling ourselves we ‘need to do better’, or thinking ‘I’ll be happy when’. Honestly, that ‘when’ never ever comes. There is always something else to chase after and beat ourselves up about. Maybe the first resolution should be to stop looking to things outside of ourselves for happiness, and instead to look inward, because true happiness is actually already there. It’s always within us. We always have the ability and the right to be the best we can be, to be at peace and to be happy, we just forget about it sometimes.
2. We put on lots of masks, but who we truly are underneath never changes
How many different masks do you wear in any one day? How many times have you woken up and decided that today is the day you’ll change?
While self-improvement is always a good thing if it’s done in the right way, just remember that being something we’re not will never lead to happiness. Realise that what you really, truly are is good, and then express the good person you actually are. When we can finally take off the masks and show our truth, – vulnerable as it may feel – we can be free.
3. It’s all in the mind
If you want to make positive changes to your life, consider not just what you do but – maybe more importantly – what you think.
The way we think impacts our lives profoundly. In the philosophical Yoga texts, what you truly believe or have faith in is known as your shraddha. Your shraddha can determine how your entire life plays out. The Buddha said; ‘All we are is the result of what we have thought’. What we think, we become. If we think positively, believing that what we put our minds to will be positive, then it’s a whole lot more likely to turn out that way. So set your focus on what you want, not what you don’t.
From a more physical viewpoint – it is well known that positive thinking, can actually cure very serious illnesses. People have been known to recover fully from life threatening illnesses because they actually believed they would. Take a look at the amazing book ‘Mind over Medicine’ by Dr. Lissa Rankin, which I am reading and fascinated with at the moment! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Over-Medicine-Scientific-Yourself/dp/184850960X
4. Keep it up
If you’ve made a resolution to get up earlier each day; To exercise in the mornings, to go running or practice yoga, to meditate or to read something inspiring each day, then just do it! and don’t stop….
It can take around 21 days to form a habit. So set the intention to do this one positive thing for yourself each day for 21 days (doing it at the same time each day makes it even easier to fit in, and more likely you’ll keep it up) and by the end of those 21 days, you’ll have likely built up a habit. And we know how difficult it is to stop a habit….
This is one habit we can think about starting instead of stopping!
5. Learn from last year….
Every decision you have ever made has lead to you sitting here reading this right now.
Maybe some things happened last year that you’d rather forget about, and while its tempting to press the reset button come January first and become a ‘new you’, there’s no getting away from the fact that 2013 happened! Don’t forget all the lessons you’ve learned throughout the years before this one, they helped you become the person you are today. By all means grow and evolve in 2014, but appreciate how you got to this point and what you learned.
There are going to be times when everything works out the way we intended them to, and there are going to be times when we’re challenged. We’ll meet new people, visit new places, and have new experiences, just like we have done every year. Maybe this year though, we’ll do it all with open eyes and that sense of mindfulness so we can actually be present to what is.
How we live next year is up to us. Think positive and the rest will follow.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind”
– The Dhammapada