New Year's day?
What’s new about New Year’s Day? We’ve certainly been here before, over and over again. Happy or sad, tipsy or dry, lonely or sharing life with a partner, we’ve celebrated (or refused to celebrate) this chance at a new beginning in many ways. And our resolutions, mostly forgotten, can sometimes make us blush. Like the startle-effect of a loud gong, the first day of the New Year represents a wake-up call to the passage of time. Wow! Where did the year go?
Okay. This is serious! What’s it really about? Each time a year passes, I get a shock. Yet each day begins with new energy. And like the thousand mile journey that begins with the first step, the new day, like the New Year, always offers another chance to begin again.
We’ve certainly tried that a number of times, too! But it’s never easy to stop in our tracks long enough to take stock and embark on a new direction. So, how to move into a new life or even just deepen our appreciation of the life we already have? I, for one, don’t plan to start a new job or write a fifth book (I’ve already published two, have a third coming out in May 2015, and another half-way ready).
Whatever we plan or hope for, if there’s a real desire to act on this challenge of a new beginning, we need to live more deeply, more consciously, more sensitively in this life we already have. Blessed with energy, lucky to be alive, here I am; here you are. But how to remember? That’s the big megillah. I don’t want to go back to sleep for another whole year!
Here’s a yoga exercise that might help. Just as each year begins with the shock of looking backward and forward at the same time, just as each day begins with new energy and then leads us toward rest time at night, each breath also represents a cycle. It’s smaller, it’s in the present, it’s right here and now. So let’s breathe in the New Year, the new day, and the new moment. And when we breathe out, we can let go of those old complaints and annoyances, that nagging sense of failure, and all those judgmental attitudes that hold us back from a life of inner freedom.
Out with the Old, in with the New!