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A New Year; A New You?

Ritual is good. Ritual helps. The new year's ritual is making resolutions to yourself that you might or might not keep within the next week or month or two. But still, the thought must come before the act and at least the thought heads you in the right direction.

What do you want for yourself for the new year? A thinner self? A more prosperous self (or at least one less, not more, in debt)? A more contented self? All of these are worthy and often expressed resolutions heading into a new year.

Pretend you can construct a perfect, personal world. What does it look like? Do you live in a nicer place? Do you live in a more tidy place? Are you surrounded by people who love you? Are you adored by someone? Shouldn't you be?

The other day, I came across an assignation, completely unrelated to my practice. While no doubt thrilling for the couple, I thought how unfortunate that they couldn't be together openly, rather than hiding in a far corner of a parking lot, hoping that no one who knew them would spot them there. How unfortunate that they are no doubt married to people who do not spark such a drive in them, but rather they have to seek their fire elsewhere. How much better for them (and for their spouses) if they were to reconstruct their lives, re-balance their lives, so that their conduct was in line with their commitments.

We are a very purposeful species. We tend to create much of our own circumstance. And when things are too quiet, we often create a little self-inflicted drama to stir things up. Just as easily, we could create pathways to decrease our drama and construct the support systems to get where we want to go. You want tidy? You could organize tidy. You want love? You could find love.

This is the time of year set aside for just such wishful thinking and purposeful action. This is the time of year where you imagine where you want to go and then lay out a road map to get there. This is the time of year where you set yourself on a path to be a more self-actualized you. At this time of year, our culture makes that not only permissible, but perhaps even somewhat mandatory.

The world is still a vast place with myriad opportunities. What's your New Year's resolution. Now, how do you propose to get there?

Michael Manely 

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