As we contemplate the New Year many of us find ourselves reflecting on what lies ahead. It’s also time to look back on the year just past, gaining satisfaction from our achievements and trying to make sense, and learn from, the things we didn’t get completely right.
It’s also a good time for taking stock of our lives. We need to look both outwards and inwards. At our place in the material world, our work, public roles, relationships and material assets. And at our levels of happiness, satisfaction, contentment and sense of purpose and fulfillment. As human beings we are privileged to occupy two worlds (the physical and the Spiritual) but obliged to give our best in both.
At this time many folk make resolutions, and set targets. Such practices have become something of a joke for how quickly they are abandoned, but they can actually be useful tools. The New Year isn’t just some arbitrary milepost, it marks the point (more or less) where daylight begins to lengthen and a new cycle begins. It really is time for a new start if only we are ready to grasp the opportunity.
How we approach the New Year is largely determined by our character. And in particular we tend to fall into two groups – those that hope and those that fear.
The group that hope see the new year as a blank page in the book of life, an opportunity to start afresh, full of unbounded potential capped only by the limits of our own creativity and effort.
Those that fear see only the potential (ie not yet existing) pitfalls waiting to ensnare them. For these unfortunates the New Year isn’t a blank page filled with opportunity, it is a dark page crammed with one (potential) disaster after another.
In actuality the New Year is just how you see it, filled with either hope or fear. Sure, there are numerous things that might just go wrong. The fact is they most likely won’t; and if they do, well, you just deal with them at the time. There are also numerous positives that might just happen – if only you open your heart and mind to their possibility. The best selling book and movie The Secret (and countless wise words before it) suggest that we tend to get whatever we focus on. So focus on the positive by embracing hope and rejecting fear.
Take a few moments to think about your New Year goals and resolutions. Don’t make them so unrealistic as to set yourself up for failure, but do make them challenging enough to invigorate your sense of purpose. And start working towards them with hope. A new year is truly an adventure to be enjoyed to the full.
Happy New Year, whatever you choose to make of it.
Johnny is the editor of New Age Spirituality – exploring the idea that this life, this world, is not the totality of our existence. In fact, it might be just one small part of something much bigger, just one tiny step along an infinite journey… Have your say on our forum the hang out and blog A Spiritual Voice.
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