What exactly does it mean to be in a “new” year?
Isn’t the passing of time itself a perfect excuse to live “new?”
Change is a constant in our lives, so everything is technically new at any given moment. Personally, I find that when I get to call something “new” it is just because there is a rush of excitement;
a river of hormones that say to me, there is opportunity ahead,
a mystery to be lived,
the unknown to be unleashed…
Nonetheless, between the mystery and the opportunity is exactly where I experience tension:
the butterfly’s, the anxiety, the rush, and the fear.
With the new comes a fair amount of uncertainty.
Something is new when we have a certain amount of inexperience or a lack of practice with what we are facing.
What are we facing that makes this year new?
Distinct endings, or resolutions to our stories?
Many of us set resolutions for the new year. These resolutions are, linguistically, the endings we declare possible for this year.
The mystery in a resolution is not how it will end, but how it will begin.
Language is powerful. It is the only way that we have to interpret experience, to transform the past, and create the future. When we set resolutions, we are declaring an ending to something that has yet to become.
What would happen if we change the word?
What if we set becomings?
What mystery might this add that makes new results possible?
When you acknowledge the impact of the language, you are shifting your perspective; a shift in perspective is the difference between failure and success.
Whether the mystery is the end or the beginning, it is a part of anything “new.”
The best advice that I have ever received for how to approach mystery is from Caroline Myss:
approach the mystery with spiritual elegance.
What I have learned is that despite my routine, dedication, and unconditional commitment there is a limit on the level of certainty that I can have for the effect of my cause.
This level of certainty, and how I deal with uncertainty comes down to one thing: practice.
For example, because I have practiced guitar for the last 10 years, I am as certain as I can be about what the effect of my fingers will be on the fretboard regarding sound and even memories. Still, a string could snap, or the wood could split, “chaos” could become, and when I restring the guitar the experience becomes “new.” I have never practiced playing with those strings.
When I approach this mystery with spiritual elegance, I accept the transformation and detach from the frustration associated with the thought, “This should not have happened!” I allow myself to experience something new and care for my instrument to play on.
How I deal with uncertainty makes a tremendous difference in my gains.
What happens when you shift your language and keep the mystery; what happens when you allow for the new?
Play with this. Ask yourself, and experience what occurs when you discover: what does it mean to approach the mystery of the “new” year, whether it is new endings or beginnings, with spiritual elegance?