New Year 2015
One of the biggest days of the year is New Years! Not because everything changes in just one day... some of the things in the New Year will be a continuance of the year before, it is just another day, after all. But, the event of the New Year as a marker in time has it's opportunities. It is like cleaning out the refrigerator. You clean up what is still good and put it back, you throw out what is spoiled from being there too long, and you get to start fresh.
My desire to *live mindfully* this year is my resolution. Not the kind of "mindful" that keeps me from sleeping at night as I excessively try to solve every issue that pops into my head, whether it's my own or someone else's circumstance. Not the kind of mindful that Just. Will. Not. Let. Go. of a topic - even though it has been hammered to death! The kind of "mindful" I refer to is more about living in the present moment, taking note of what is actually happening, and paying attention to the tasks at hand.
Multitasking has its place, but there comes a time when multitasking becomes a habit that is - distracting. Thoughts race ahead to what I will do or say next, or memories and replays take up so much mind-space that I am not sure how I got from one place to another in my travels. Mindful attention will keep me from wondering what that person was trying to tell me - or wishing I had noticed more landmarks as I try to find direction to a destination for the second time. My intent to be more mind-full will encourage me to pay attention to the trees I walk by everyday and hear the bird songs as they change with the season. It will help me to really listen to what others are saying.
Joyful! - I am adding "joyful" to my "mindful" resolution. Sometimes it takes an effort to live knowing true joy in a day. This is not to say that each moment will be deliriously happy or that we have to await a windfall of joy to come our way.. Rather I will learn to claim the joy in the generic circumstances of a day, joy that I know is there for the taking. The idea that we can change things for ourselves prompts me to look for the joy in the ordinary as I gravitate towards people and places that lay a foundation for my resolution. I will seek experiences that make my soul sing! ... Or even just hum a little. These little, ordinary joys will not go un-noticed because of other distractions that seem to pop up and try to overtake my emotions, leaning them toward worry and regret. I will choose JOY - even more than I do now - in 2015!
My four adult children all love to cook. This brings me great joy to see how they inspire the people they spend their time with to have fun with meal preparation. It becomes infectious to those who look on, not wanting to be left out of the happiness factor they notice, as the careful decisions are made during the chopping and blending of ingredients. Three of them worked in food services (one still does) and the one that did not has recently started a food blog. I see this "talent" as a true gift of choice - to take something as simple as preparing a meal and turn it into a ritual of joy. I am sure this was handed down through generations but as I look around at our culture, I know this is certainly not the norm amongst most of their peers.
The point I am making is that joy can spread and grow! It multiplies - everyone wants more joy! How would that be if the whole world became a little more joyful? Maybe that starts with me...
Noticing the rhythm of nature sets up a canvas for living in the moment and choosing joy. It is difficult to see the shooting stars or a flower blooming if one stays indoors most of the time. All Seasons have their glory so even in Winter I will bundle up and venture out into surroundings that have so much more to show me than the confines of my own creature comforts, within the walls of my home. The ritual to open the front door to greet the day or throw open the shutters to let sunshine stream into the kitchen are touch stones to this idea. But taking that a little further means dressing for the weather conditions and stepping into the elements. If the weather conditions are so severe that I have to put this off, I will long for the time to get back outside knowing storms pass quickly and the sun will shine again. It will make my whole year better to spend more time outside, I know it will!
2015 is almost here and I vow to "work on" my choice to be MINDFULLY present and to seek JOY as it happens!
I am wishing for those who find themselves reading this blog post a Joyful year full of opportunities for whatever makes your heart sing!
Happy New Year!