Can you feel it? It’s that time of the year again.
Fresh resolves and good intentions hang thick in the air. The promise of new hope surpasses the disappointments of this year. Have you been thinking of your new year’s resolution for 2014?
You know that fresh renewed feeling you have after a holiday? That feeling of being clear like you could achieve all the goals that you set out for yourself? For me personally, that feeling goes away far too quickly once I settle back into my daily work routine.
By the 2nd week of January, Christmas seems like it happened in August the year before. In order to avoid this, I begin the new year with my personal goal for 40 days, which is roughly six weeks.
Why 40 Days?
Yoga Scriptures tell us that it takes 40 days to change a habit. Many societies use 40 days as a period of transformation. There is the 40 day religious period of lent, a 40 day cultural tradition of mourning or caring for a newborn, and even a six week training period for armies or corporations.
Commitment to the Goal—Not the Problem.
The idea behind having a daily practice is so that we can decrease a negative type of thinking such as fear or anger, or eliminate something physical like a debt, weight gain or an illness.
Alternatively we can set a goal so that we develop a particular strength such as confidence or patience, or work towards something tangible like a promotion, saving for a car/holiday or finishing a course.
On a cerebral level, most of us already know that what we focus on the most is what we will invariably create. Having a daily practice ensures that we can do this on a practical level as well.
What if Your Goal Needs an Update?
So you got that job but realize it’s not you? Or you cleared your debt, but now you’ve gone back to your old spending habits?
I’ve found that it’s a great way to keep myself honest and accountable. There have been a few occasions when I discovered that what I thought I wanted, did not actually make me happy at all.
Yes, I’m looking at you Latin Dance career. My old samba costume only gets taken out for dress up parties these days. Besides, those sequins have a pesky habit of getting caught up in the most unglamorous of places…but I digress.
But I’m So Busy and Don’t Have Time.
Well guess what? You’re in luck! If you’re already over committed and feel like this is too much, think of it in a different way. Isn’t the burden of carrying around your fears and insecurities already too much? Surely setting a few minutes a day aside each day to focus on your goal, harness your energy and reprogram your cellular memory is more like an investment in your happiness?
According to the science of Kundalini Yoga, meditating either silently, with a mantra, or with a positive affirmation for specific periods of time alters our mind’s consciousness.
3 mins—affects the electromagnetic field and circulation & stability of the blood
5 mins—brain patterns begin to shift & the magnetic field surrounding the body strengthens
11 mins—changes the nerves and the glandular system
22 mins—the positive, negative and neutral mind work together to clear the subconscious
31 mins—allows the gland, breath and concentration to affect all the rhythms of the body. Endocrine secretions are completely balanced
62 mins—changes the grey matter in the brain. The frontal lobe gets stimulated as do the pituitary and pineal glands
2.5 hours—changes the psyche so that shifts continue throughout the day and are reflected by positive changes in your mood and behaviour.
A sadhana is translated as a “daily conscious spiritual practice”, and this is reflective of where we’re at in our life. For some people this means maintaining a daily meditation/yoga practice, and for others it’s about being mindful of how they eat or raise their children.
Starting your day with a conscious intention helps us take responsibility for ourselves and sets the tone for each day by clearing the debris in our head. It’s also about setting aside the time to process any uncomfortable emotions so that we don’t carry around any heaviness during the day.
Setting aside even 5 minutes a day will help you manifest enormous shifts. If you’ve never meditated before and find it difficult to sit still for long period of time, start your practice with a 5 minute breath meditation so that your body begins to feel comfortable with stillness and repetition of sound in conjunction to your breath. You’ll find that soon enough, you will begin to feel comfortable sitting for longer periods of time.
What’s your new year’s resolution for 2014? Do you have something special that you’re hoping to manifest?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Daniel Garcia/Editor: Bryonie Wise