Happy New Year… Don’t Toss Those Resolutions!!
Happy New Year LIC! Are you feeling a little groggy… perhaps little hung over? It’s understandable. New Year’s Eve, the culmination of the holiday season, is one of the biggest celebrations of the year; the last hurrah, and everyone goes a little crazy. We indulge “one more time” with food, drink, and perhaps a little cannabis… hey, I’m not judging. There are a lot of healing properties in food, alcohol and cannabis. However, by New Year’s Eve, our levels of gratification can verge on hedonism. It’s ironic considering we’re simultaneously full of promises and resolves to do better “next year.”
The biggest challenge of our New Year’s resolutions, after wild and debaucherous parties, is keeping our promises to ourselves: to eat better, drink less alcohol, smoke less cannabis, eliminate cigarettes, be kinder to others, develop a meditation practice, listen before we talk, and so on. We can always do better. We will never be perfect, but what stops us from trying? We have good intentions, plot clearly marked strategies for the New Year (while we’re socializing and partying), and yet nothing happens. We never get there because we’re always plotting. Our start date is “tomorrow or next year.” We’re full of ideas and talk, but follow through with little action. We become sinners the way the Ancient Greek used the word, of “missing the mark.”
Part of the reason New Year’s Eve is such a hit here and around the world, is it condones sinning and licentious behavior. We enjoy New Year’s Ever because it feels so good to be bad, c’mon, admit it! The holiday is named after Eve. It is the Eve of our New Year, a portending of things to come. While we’re busy satisfying our cravings and desires, our resolve simultaneously weakens and we feel guilty or groggy afterwards.
I have a very good friend, she’s a yogi, and I love her like myself. For health and spiritual reasons, she’s been struggling with vegetarianism for a couple years now. She was vegan for a long while, then one day she started to allow butter and milk (ice cream) back into her diet, then shrimp. Then finally on a holiday, while visiting her best friend, she had to stop at an In and Out Burger. This self proclaimed vegan/vegetarian was eating a fat, juicy hamburger and fries; the cheese covered fries that are off the menu (you know the ones I’m talking about). Best friends are best friends because they love you without judging you. They may try to steer you this way or that way, but their job above all else is to love and laugh with you. The other day a mutual friend reminded our yogi friend about the time when she was a vegetarian and they went to the burger joint, and we all had a good laugh. Vegetarianism, like New Year’s resolutions, is a slippery slope. If we give ourselves one pass that pass turns into another pass and so on, and so forth. Our resolve weakens and we never hit the mark.
It’s not easy to live up to our ideals. When we give into our cravings, we strengthen them, and more often than not, we’re left feeling defeated or liked we’ve “sinned.” Perhaps through education and acquiring knowledge we can develop the will to act out our ideals. Is knowing our actions will help Mother Earth and people around us what we need to strengthen our resolve? Is a global global view of the world what we need to help us strengthen our actions? What if we gave up meat one day a week and that created more food for people on the planet? What if the crops we grow to feed cattle were grown to feed people, how would that change the world and hunger in our society? And don’t cows eat grass anyway?
In the Midwest-Pre-Columbian Era there grew a thick grass whose roots grew deep into the Earth. It retained moisture in the Earth and fed the buffalos. The buffalos were natural grass cutters, and there was Balance and Harmony in Nature. When the US Farmers of the 30′s Dust Bowl pulled up the moist, grassy insulation and grew wheat at record levels, they did so out of ignorance. They didn’t understand the climate and land. If they did, and ignored what they understood… they did so much to their regret.
The law of Karma has little to do with good and evil, but rather cause and effect. For every action we take, there is an equal or greater reaction. The reaction doesn’t have to be immediate, it could take weeks, months or years for the effect to fully mature. It took 10 years for the Dust Bowl of the 30′s to grow in strength & power. Heart disease doesn’t happen over night. Karma, or cause and effect, does not have preferences or prejudices. It’s an equal opportunity law of Nature, like birth and death. It applies to all of us, all of the time, without exception. We may escape the effects now, but we don’t escape the effects indefinitely. The good new is we’re the authors of our lives, so if we make good choices/resolutions and act on them, we’ll reap the benefits of those choices & actions.The farmers of the Dust Bowl neglected the laws of Nature and prayed for the best. That’s like eating a fat cheeseburger a few times a week and praying not to get diabetes or heart disease.
Food may not be your weakness, but we all have a weakness. The first step is to identify our weakness, which is not hard for most of us if we’re honest with ourselves. Then take steps everyday to strengthen our resolve. Our weakness will lose its life and power each time we deny it. We may slip once in a while like our dear yogi friend, laugh about it, forgive yourself and move on.
Love & Light,
Pranavah Yoga Studio