I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. — Anaïs Nin
It’s 2010 and this is the first year I toasted the New Year without any resolutions. What’s the point, we never keep them anyway! Instead of pronouncing my resolutions over a glass of champagne, I decided to write mine in my journal. First and foremost, I decided to slow down a bit this year, do more reading and less published writing. Four books in eighteen months has given me a little bit of heartburn and although I’m happy about my accomplishments, I’m somewhat tired of reviewing galleys.
During the holidays, I read two books—Mary Karr’s third memoir, Lit which was great, but just a continuation of the tragic drama in her life. It’s mind-boggling how one woman my own age could have already written three memoirs. I bow to her writing style and story. The second book I read is one which has to do with my written New Year’s Resolution and it’s called, Awakening The Buddhist Within by Lama Surya Das. The first chapter is called, ‘Contemplating Your Life,’ which for me will be the subject of 2010, the year my first child gets married. Das writes in a very compelling and easy-to-understand manner and much of what he says appears to be common sense, but it’s nice to see it on the page. He says that self-reflection helps us heal our lives and accept any problems we have and realize that something might need to be changed. He says that everything in our life depends on our relationship with the self, the world and the other. He says that when something is going on inside your head, chances are it will have something to do with at least one of these parameters.
On the path to happiness, he suggests sitting down and trying to change one of these relationships. He poses some interesting questions which can make great journaling prompts. Try these:
- Where do you want to be in a month, a year, five years, ten years?
- What or who might you be if you were given the choice or the chance?
- If someone gave you a cosmic credit card what would you do with it?
- What do you want to do with your creativity?
- What would you do about your compassion for others? How would or could you help others?
- Who am I and who can I be?
In summary, the tenets of Buddhism includes being mindful or pleased in the pleasures of the moment. Focus on the words, ‘just this here and now,’ while you inhale and exhale (important part) and simplify, simplify, simplify and remember what the Buddha said, “Wherever we go, wherever we remain, the results of our actions follow us.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU AND THANKS FOR BEING FAITHFUL READERS!!