Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year Is Almost Upon Us...
...Only ONE Resolution For 2014

The Christmas carol Deck The Halls contains the line "Fast away the old year passes..." Time indeed passes swiftly, but 2012 and 2013 seemed to me to pass in the blink of an eye.  Though 2013 was a successful year for me in many respects, there were several resolutions that fell by the wayside.

Upon reflection, I realized part of the problem.  Several Eastern philosophies remind us of the importance of living in the moment.  Learning from the past is important, but dwelling on the past is a time suck, and while it is important to have goals and plans, you can 'tomorrow' yourself through an entire year before you know it!

So, while I do have the usual goals and plans for the impending year, I have only one resolution: to savor each day. Yes, we all have tedium and the demands of others to contend with each day, but throughout the day we are also exposed to beauty, humor, and kindness -- those are the moments we should focus on.

This November, like many Facebook users, each day I posted something that I was grateful for.  It's a good exercise, and though I am not posting them, each day I find some blessing for which I am thankful. The more you appreciate things, the more things there are to appreciate, sounds trite, but it definitely rings true to me.

When I lived in Upstate NY, I studied Reiki. Part of the training is learning the Five Principles. What I like best about them, you are encouraged to focus on the present -- don't worry about yesterday's failings or tomorrow's obstacles.  There are variations of the principles out there but the basic message is to:

At least for today:
Do not be angry,
Do not worry,
Be grateful,
Work with diligence,
Be kind to people.

Yes, the first two in particular can be hard, but being aware of your anger and worries gives you an opportunity to work through them, analyze their cause, and set them aside. Yes that guy that passed me on the left at a stop sign is rude, but dwelling on it is wasting precious time that could be used for something else, and besides, if he is that harried, his life must be one giant stress ball and I feel sorry for him. Yes, I say that, and no, I don't always practice it, but I am human after all -- the trick is to keep trying to practice  compassion, eventually it will be come habit.

I hope we are all able to not only take 2014 one day a time, but to appreciate all of the wonderful moments each day offers, from that first first sip of coffee in the morning to curling up in a nice, warm bed at the end of the day and everything in between.  Happy New Year!

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