January, a time for resolutions.
A chosen word, like a road map, which can guide and inspire our journey throughout a whole year.
Our making, planned out and neatly arranged within a grid of nine.
A whole year of knitting mittens or socks, perhaps?
Something to learn, to experience or to finally accomplish.
The desire to take the steps to live the life we dream of living.
I have been reflecting deeply on these practices as this new year unfolds.
These fresh starts, clean slates and unused canvases that come at the stroke of midnight.
No matter what area of our lives, we all crave the new, the improved...change.
We plan, we organise and we try to steer our life into a new direction for a new year.
The truth is, however, we as humans typically fail to keep these resolutions or to maintain the aims or the direction we set out for ourselves throughout a whole year.
We seem always to return to the habitual behaviours when the “new” of the new year wears off.
But that voice inside our head, “This year I will….this year!” is loud at the beginning of January.
In fact, this voice is so strong within me, that it seems to consume my every thought toward the end of December, until it quiets and I move along into the flow of living. Not this year.
This year, as part of the work to calm my fears and my anxiety, I stopped.
I stopped to reflect and to listen actively to this voice.
To clearly separate the voice of my emotional heart from the voice of my rational mind.
I know that making resolutions, big plans and dreams is heart talk.
But what is it that my rational mind was trying to say to me?
I needed to take the time to get quiet and to hear and to understand its message.
Because truthfully, my heart, is always the voice that speaks the loudest.
It is late January now as I write this.
This getting quiet, listening and reflecting has guided me to so many realisations about this new year.
It has already allowed me to make some changes.
Some very big and some very small.
Most importantly though, it has allowed me to put aside the idea of three hundred and sixty-five days and only focus on just ONE day…today, right now, this moment.
So far, I am feeling the rhythm of waking up and starting fresh again each morning.
Using this present day to accomplish only what I can accomplish right now.
Focusing on feeding and moving my body well on this day and this day only.
Thinking about only what is now and not what is to come in the days ahead.
I am hoping that making a resolution for each new day, one day only…I can quiet the debilitating anxiety within me.
This voice inside my head that constantly worries about tomorrow, down the road and the years to come.
The voice that speaks harshly of unaccomplished tasks or of not measuring up to the ideals of others.
The voice that incessantly focuses on things I cannot control or ever change.
What I am noticing in this process, is that, when I am focused on just this day, in all its wondrous possibility, the voice is gentler.
Pleased with my efforts, its feedback is even encouraging.
There is less worry contained within just one day as well.
There can be challenges, yes, but they are often fleeting and put aside for another day, if they cannot be puzzled out.
A new day means waking to a new perspective to sort things out and to try again.
My daily journaling within my knitting bag book continues to guide me.
Writing this, was sparked by my notes of the last 21 days.
But I have taken my journaling to a whole new level by stopping to reflect, to listen and to be present in this “one day, and one day only only” mindset, since the new year began.
I am reading the book “Peace is Every Step” by Thich Nhat Hanh
Twenty-Four Brand-New Hours
Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live.
What a precious gift!
We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy and happiness to ourselves and others.
Peace is present right here and now in ourselves and in every thing we do and see.
The question is whether or not we are in touch with it.
We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
We have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.
We need only to be awake, alive in this present moment.
Peace and happiness are available in every moment.
Peace is every step.