“…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Heroin, I’ve heard, promises all kinds of good things. New things. Good feelings, hopeful, blissed out nirvana where the sun always shines and we get to start all over again.
The past is forgotten, there is only this moment of future possibilities.
And it feels so damn good. We’re on top of the world again, our sins erased, our failures inconsequential.
We’re in a state of no-thought.
In this moment of drug induced no-thought (a good place to be when reached via a meditation practice) anything is possible. Because when we’re high, by whatever means, the brain is open to positivity, no matter what.
New Years is like heroin, a seductive temptress who crooks her finger and leads us to believe that at the stroke of midnight, we will have stepped into a new reality, a parallel dimension where we are not really who we were back there—last year, last month, last minute—we are born again and have finally seen the light.
But time is not linear, although we perceive it to be, it is cyclical. And while New Year’s pretends that we have stepped forward, we are actually turning back to where we started the year before. Every New Year is a full turn of the wheel, and with each turn we are faced with ourselves once more.
We have expectations of the New Year: we expect to be renewed, re-inspired, more ambitious, more motivated.
Somehow, stepping over that imaginary threshold from one year to the next makes us deliriously confident about accomplishing what we couldn’t the year before.
I actually am a great believer in portals that move us between states of being.
I also believe that we are all capable of great and positive things.
The mind is a powerful ally that can be engaged into a partnership of sorts, where our bodies comply with the desires of the mind. But here is where I think we can do better with New Year’s Resolutions.
In a way, we see the New Year thing as a savior. This savior will come along—and it comes along every year ever so faithfully—so if we don’t make our changes this year there’s always the next year (hit)—no worries there’s more time for improvement.
We have handed over our power to The New Year drug. Instead of making our own decision about when, what, why and how, we wait for this “God of All Things New” to give us the key to our new best self.
We anticipate this hand-off of the baton. We disempower ourselves by disengaging from the Now, and allowing the Future to rule our being.
“The Trouble Is, You Think You Have Time” ~ Buddha
We can get high on hope. We can fly free from worry because tomorrow brings a new opportunity to live our best life.
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Why is it that we don’t start all those things we should be starting before New Year’s?
It’s simple. They’re un-appealing. It’s just not stuff we’re into. We’d be doing it if it was fun. We’ve gotten away with procrastinating for this long, we can do it a little longer.
What we “should” be doing has been programmed into our mind as the antithesis of what we “want” to be doing.
I think that being authentic is a lot more powerful than forcing ourselves into a lifestyle that we don’t connect with.
Am I saying we shouldn’t try to do what would make our health/finances/relationships better? No, I’m saying find a way to do those things in a way that resonates with you. And if you can’t find a way right now, give yourself permission to not set New Year’s Resolutions.
Setting oneself up for failure is not a positive way to live. Know yourself and honor your truth. Instead of making promises out of guilt, live from a position of self-empowerment.
3 Steps to Making Conscious Resolutions
One year, I decided to try something different.
This came after a few seasons of contemplating what was important to me and also how I viewed time.
Growing older taught me that time is nobody’s servant. I was not going to live forever in this holy temple I call my body. So did I really have tomorrow? No. Everything, even in the past or future, happens in a “now” moment.
Step 1: Remember that it’s now or never.
Choosing between now or never took away my obsession with doing it “tomorrow” or at New Years. That option was not available.
Then I asked myself what I was honestly going to be able to commit to. Running to stay in shape? Never. Not even though it was good for me or that I should. I just crossed off anything that I could not be inspired by.
Step 2: Determine what it is you are inspired to do—willingly and with joy.
Let’s take food for instance. I can ask myself what healthy food choices make me excited to create a fit, healthy body.
If you know you should eat spinach but it makes you gag, just forget about how good it is for you and that you “should” eat it.
Now find all available options for healthy eating that make your heart sing and put them on your healthy lifestyle list. If that includes only bananas, but you will eat them, then so be it. Forget about what everyone else is doing. Only choose what triggers healthy habits for you.
You know what? As you commit to this one thing, and begin to feel better, you will be inspired to add more healthy choices as self-confidence grows.
Do the same for finances and exercise or whatever. Choose what gives you a rush of inspiration.
Step 3: Remember that it’s okay to end a conversation with ourselves.
On the days that I feel like I don’t care about these choices, I get real with myself and say “not today.” After that I do not say “but tomorrow I will.” Since to me tomorrow is now an illusion, I wait until tomorrow is today and ask myself whether I can be give good things to myself.
I don’t beat myself up. I just consciously ask myself why I cannot make the choice today, and if I find myself making self-destructive excuses that do not honor my authenticity, I kindly ask myself to shut up.
Being mindful of the way that we converse with ourselves is key to real follow through.
Don’t deal in bullsh*t with yourself—simply allow for where you’re at, and move forward to something more empowering when ego quiets down.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ~ Brene Brown
It’s not about becoming something we should be or something we’re not now—it’s about embracing who we truly are and living our best life as that.
It all comes down to this question: Is this my best self and my best “now”?
Whatever the answer, it must be honest and dealt with in kindness towards yourself.
We all need to make changes here and there, but we also need to stop fighting with ourselves. Just allow your true needs and desires to surface and address them as best as you can.
You’re alright. You are loved.
I hope your Now is joyful and empowered. New Year’s will take care of itself.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wiki Commons