There is something sacred about the different calendars that the world follows. Our calendar here in the West holds a great deal of power and tradition.
We follow the calendar through the months, by the seasons and by where and when the light of the sun touches our earth, and we do so with great respect as the solstices come and go. It truly is amazing that the ancient rhythms, that guided our ancestors, continue to guide us today.
At this time of year especially, we put a great deal of pressure on what the new year will provide for us, and we raise our own personal expectations to match the heightened energy that surrounds us. Many of us tend to focus on all of the different things that we either didn’t accomplish during the last year, or on the things that we need to “fix” in this new year. We create lists of resolutions and make pacts that we will do better, be better and live fuller lives. The disconnect occurs when we spend little to no time basking either in our accomplishments or enjoying the fruits of all that we did well or achieved during the prior year. We forget to welcome those accomplishments into the new year with us.
We seem to fool ourselves into thinking that, with a new calendar, we must move on, move ahead and face the new day with little thought of the previous twelve months.
The truth is that we actually deserve to relish in the goodness that we’ve manifested, and with an open heart. It would serve us well to bring the joy created by our achievements into the new year with us, so that we become able to further nurture and grow those things that served us so well before. Naturally, it is important to create and pursue new goals, but it is also important to continue to celebrate the goals that we have already realized.
There is, in fact, something very refreshing about a new year. January brings with it a fresh start and a clean slate. During this month we want and need to aim higher and invite new challenges and experiences into our journey; however, we must remember to honor all of our hard work from yester-year and build on any momentum that will further our personal growth going forward.
There is a fine balance at play that requires us to use impeccable discernment when deciding how to begin a new year. We can charge into it with great hope and excitement, or we can greet the new year with the pressure to redefine ourselves with unachievable expectations (which may only lead to failure). We must remember that turning a page on a calendar, however freeing that ritual may feel, does not change who we authentically are. But it also doesn’t hold us back from who we are destined to become. The new year simply acts as a reminder of where we are in our journey. It highlights all that brings us joy, and it reminds us that there is no time like the present to change that which is not working for us. It invites us to take inventory of our bucket lists and it allows us to adjust the many lists in our lives accordingly.
While you are making renewed promises to yourself to practice yoga with regularity, to meditate daily, and to eat local organics whenever possible, remember that you are exactly where you are meant to be and doing exactly as you are meant to be doing right now. You are perfectly imperfect this year… just as you were last year. Any improvements you employ will be worth celebrating, and any moments that remind you that you are (after all) human are all as exquisitely amazing.
If you make yourself any promises in honor of the new year, allow it to be this: That you will be as kind to yourself as you are to the strangers that you meet. That you will find as much compassion for yourself in your perfection and imperfection, as you do for your friends and family. And, most of all, even as you spread your light and love into the world through your thoughts and gestures, remember to surround yourself in the same white light that you so generously give to others.
If we as a society could manage to keep this promise to ourselves, imagine the world we would live in! But it’s not necessary to try to manage the world, because you can only (and only need to) manage yourself. By allowing yourself to tread into 2014 with an open heart and self-compassion, accepting yourself exactly as you are, you are setting the intention that this will be a year filled with love and light… which we all innately deserve….
We truly can affect our community in this way, and perpetuate our light in ways that we cannot even fathom.
Happy New Year!
Tiffany is a North Vancouverite, married, mother of two young children, who has enjoyed a successful career as a jewelry designer. While her priority is nurturing her family, her other passions include, writing, creating and manifesting light and love where ever she goes.