Here’s some ruminations from Jason Miller, appearing in his Monday Magic newsletter:
At some point over the last several weeks you have probably seen some variation of a “NEW YEAR/NEW YOU!” type of marketing. “Now Is The Time!”, these adverts and articles say, for you to join the new program that will get you fit, reduce your stress, make you rich, get you laid, unlock your divinity or at least your bodhi-nature. And if you don’t do it NOW, then your whole year might just be shit! So SIGN UP!!
This type of pushy and hyperbolic marketing produces it’s own backlash. So now you have just as many people telling you that New Years is just another fucking day, and ignore to anyone and everyone who thinks you should make a resolution or start some ambitious new endeavor. They are all scammers who want you to pay them for something that you know you’re just gonna drop like a rock anyway. Instead you should listen to them, and be secure in the knowledge that you know the score and are above all those silly people grasping at the straws is self-improvement. YOU are now enlightened to the scam!
Me? I say: A POX ON BOTH THEIR HOUSES
New Years does not pattern your whole year and it is not your moral imperative to take this moment to get fit, rich, laid, enlightened, or anything else. That doesn’t mean that New Years is nothing though.
New Years is not nothing.
Look around you.
Work slows down or stops. Families and friends gather. The regular pattern of life is interrupted. This brings reflection.
And yes, a calendar year is changing. This is not unimportant. When someone shares a memory of something you did together, what is your first question? You ask when was that?
Years and decades is how we measure life. It is the framework that we hang out our memories on. When those dates change its significant to us whether we want it to be or not.
The combination of the year turning over, with the interruption of the normal flow of life impacts the psyche and the spirit.
So what do we do on New Years?
There is no one-size fits all answer for this.
I see a lot of posts saying that people should celebrate simply surviving the year. If your survival was difficult, then I whole-heartedly support that sentiment! This marks the end of bad year, and the hope that maybe next year will be better. You made it!
If the holidays are a particularly painful or lonely time, then being glad they are over is perhaps celebration enough.
If you are looking to take advantage of this time, its certainly traditional to make a resolution and give it a go. Yes I see a lot of programs with offers and New Year events. Even I run a global rite at New Years and have a course starting New Years day.
I believe that for many people, New Years is an auspicious time for new beginnings and new endeavors. I know that I am always filled with inspiration for new projects at this time.
But the existence of an auspicious time, does not make other times inauspicious. The year is filled with auspicious dates: from personal events like birthdates and anniversaries, to religious feasts and holidays, to beneficial astrological occurrences.
Whether you start something at New Years or not, you shouldn’t be driven by fear of missing out. It should be something you want to do, or don’t want to do.
One Last Piece of Advice
If you do start something new on New Years, be prepared for that zeal to diminish. When we start a new thing, every day brings a new revelation. As times go on, the newness wears off. We hit the first plateau or even fall off the horse entirely. Whatever auspicious energy there was at New Years has been burnt off like gasoline.
This is where the real work begins. Do you persevere or do you look for the next shiny new thing at the next auspicious date?
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