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New Beginnings

Ready for a fresh start, letting go of the old and looking forward to 2017?  I know I am.  If you’re like most people I know, you may have a feeling of relief as we shed and release 2016. Saying last year was challenging could be an understatement for some. I watched many friends walk through pain and adversity and you can’t help but wonder at how many famous people passed on, even over the Christmas period we were still saying our good byes. I had to say “farewell” to both my remaining grandparents who amazingly made it to their 90’s, their passing taught me so much not only about death but also about life and the generation they came from and what hardships they endured – now they really got to see some changes over the decades! I do like to consider though why so many “goodbyes”; interestingly, according to numerology 2016 was a number 9 year, the end of a 9 year cycle, hence full of “endings” practically, physically and emotionally. As sad and difficult as this has been it does mean that moving into 2017 we are starting a new cycle, a number 1 year, which is all about new beginnings. I remember feeling that 2016 would be a great year of change – I had no idea what that meant but do know these experiences can be our greatest teachers.

As a practising Buddhist 1st January is the start of everything for me and is one of my treasured days of the year because so many people are happy to shed the old and welcome the new. There is renewed excitement about starting a new routine or course or we might make significant decisions or have a change of heart or attitude. These days I can take comfort knowing that things will always constantly change, nothing can be just as it was even a moment before; I’ve learnt to embrace this fact instead of clinging to what was and to enjoy the good times when they happen, it’s been an interesting journey reaching such acceptance! New Year has a feeling of creative energy in the air and is something we can all take advantage of to help us become the best version of ourselves as we call to mind the things we’ve overlooked or forgotten throughout last year as well as applauding ourselves for the accomplishments and obstacles we’ve overcome – we’re always stronger than we think we are when put to the test.

In setting a new resolution or determination to move your life forward you may want to wipe some of the slate clean from the year befor, using this moment to embrace life force energy to be even more victorious this year.  It may include improving any aspect of one’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual wellbeing. It may also include moving outside one’s comfort level to try new activities and possible interests. Most likely though it will involve looking at yourself squarely in the mirror and seeing what needs to be changed and determining to do it this year without any excuses. When you clearly envision an outcome, setting your intention, engrave it into your heart and know you will attain it, your brain makes every effort to realise the mental image you have created. Then, through increasing efforts, that victory is finally made reality, sometimes in a way far greater than you envisaged and sometimes not quite how you expected!

In Buddhist context: the Earth moves around the sun once every 365 days. This is not a figure someone made up – it is the way of the universe itself. It is a law, a rhythm.  A person’s activity can never exist independent from the rhythm or law of the universe since we are part of it. As you learn to understand this, you can experience the realisation that you are the universe and the universe is you. It seems New Year is a time to reflect upon this because this is the time when the Earth finishes one revolution and commences another. When New Year’s Day comes around, it is natural for people to feel refreshed and make many new resolutions.

One of my favourite Buddhist sayings honin myo means “from this moment forward” or “fresh start.” It’s a great reminder that whatever happened is in the past and from this very moment I can start again looking towards the future.  So, to you the reader of my message, remember honin myo, you are the playwright of your own victory!

Wishing you much happiness and success as you direct your life this year and beyond xx

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