Saturday, January 1, 2011
New Year's Day is just a Day....
For the record, I am quite likely one of the closest things to the polar opposite of a "Debby Downer" you may meet. Not unrealistic or naïve, mind you...more like the kind of person who works at being positive as much as possible. I'm not always succesful. Being human does that...all that imperfectionism and all.
Which brings me to the whole, often anticlimactic, expectation oriented "New Year's Resolution" mind set that seems to be such an overlying theme every year around this time. For many years, I was a victim to this type of thinking, and, in fact, I can easily fall back into it if I'm not mindful of the moment and my own reality.
I am not judging nor criticizing those who use the arbitrary date of January 1st as a time of beginning anew. If it works for someone, then I think that is awesome and it should be implemented wholeheartedly. For me, though, well, history shows that it has rarely worked and often has led me to failure. Additionally, my observations of others around this time shows that my experience is fairly common. All those January months over the years at the gym or yoga studio where classes were overfilled and exercise equipment had waiting lists of people who were, once and for all, going to get fit....the same people who, for the months prior, had been indulging in lifestyle habits that were far less than optimal while proclaiming "after the new year, I am going to get in shape and make some changes!" Hey, I know...I've been this person. Of course, these are often the same people who by February, if not earlier, had sunk back into the old habits...a misnomer since "old" would imply they are no longer practiced. Evidently they once again are "current habits".
Again, I speak from my own experience both as the "old habits" practicing New-Year's-Resolutioner and the observers of friends and acquaintances who seem to have similar patterns.
Twenty five years ago today, my father passed away, and for many years after, I would get depressed and indulge in behaviors that were self destructive and unhealthy. Every year I set myself up for this type of failure, until one year, after the Jewish calendar Yahrzeit anniversary, which was never on the same day two years in a row, I realized that my mindset was a decision based on a man-made and quite random day each year.
So, today, and each day...no, make that each moment...is a new one...a chance, an opportunity to decide to create the life and reality I want. Sure, it's great to have goals and intentions, and if January 1st works for you, then I am certainly not going to condemn that decision. However, for me, it has shown to add to self judgment, even resentment, and as 2011 begins, much in the manner that 2010 began 365 days ago, I will once again begin my day with the same intention as I do pretty much everyday....to have the intentions and willingness to take actions towards that will lead to a place of optimal health on all levels.
One more thing..if you DO set resolutions, please remember...you are human. Each moment is precious and unique and everything generally will eventually work out. Beating ourselves up for being imperfect or judging our actions or even worse, our SELVES as failures is never a good practice and will not lead us to the results we deserve. A new moment, day, or year can be at ANY moment day or time you choose.
Now...just praying that there are NO more half price sales on Ben and Jerry's...and praying for the willingness to set positive intentions to align myself with all things that serve me best!