Day One of the New Year: Start Where You are Right Now

I too love the feeling of newness—that fresh box of crayons, a blank journal and of course that brand new year lying out in front of us with all its possibilities.

 

By Sherrin Fitzer

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…Cue the confetti, party hats, noisemakers, kisses, and toasts. Happy New Year!

But the next day, when the party is over, it’s time to work on those New Year’s Resolutions. You know the ones—lose weight, read more, spend less money, get fit. You probably know them very well, because you’ve been making them for years now.  After all, studies show that about only 8 % of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals.

Now, I am not lookin’ to be the New Year’s Scrooge here.

“I’m not lookin’ to discourage you

Defeat you or compete with you

All I really wanna do

Is, baby, give hope to you.”

(Sung in my best Bob Dylan voice).

I too love the feeling of newness—that fresh box of crayons, a blank journal and of course that brand new year lying out in front of us with all its possibilities.

Perhaps a look at resolutions in connection with mindfulness may be of use. When I think of resolutions and mindfulness they seem to be at odds with one other. Resolutions are about the future—not the present. You are thinking and planning for the whole year, rather than simply the moment you are in. Mindfulness is about being present, now, here, right where you are.

Resolutions, in addition to being future-oriented, imply that there is something wrong with us and that we much change to be okay.

You don’t need to change. Solutions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. Mindfulness recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.” https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/

Being a person used to “fighting the power,” I had a difficult time trying to bring acceptance to my mindfulness practice. I equated it with giving up. I though acceptance was the same as resignation.

It is not.

Acceptance can be thought of as acknowledging where you are at this very moment. While this may appear illogical, if we do not accept/acknowledge where we are right now, change is not likely to happen.

So, make your resolutions; don’t make your resolutions. What I want you to remember is that at any time you can buy that new box of crayons. You do not have to fill all the pages of your current journal to begin a fresh clean one. Any month, day, hour, minute, second you can sit in acceptance that may lead to change.

Hope for new beginnings is there for you always.

 

if we do not accept/acknowledge where we are right now, change is not likely to happen. ~ Sherrin Fitzer Click To Tweet

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

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Sherrin Fitzer

Sherrin Fitzer works at a large women’s prison in the Midwest (a place she never would have expected to be, yet it is exactly where she is supposed to be). She has been involved in teaching incarcerated prisoners since 1991. In addition to helping incarcerated women with their children, she facilitates a theatre troupe and meditation classes. She believes in the importance of the arts in prisons and tries to implement this as much as possible. Sophia—seen in the picture—is often her editor and generally a quite harsh one.
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