During this time of year, so many people make commitments, resolutions, and promises of self-change, all to improve health.
But why is it that the New Year forces us into these positions of change, and why does the energy and power of a new year always diminish by February / March?
I will not try to answer this in this blog, but I personally find the art of habitual transformation fascinating, and it is a huge part of my nutritional practice. Instead, I will reflect on an alternative state of being at any time of contemplated transition, not just at the birth of a new year.
As a group of people, we are the richest ever to walk the planet. We have so much going for us. Obviously, we have a lot of poverty and problems, but most people in the Western world, or even in developing countries, have a roof over their heads, have enough to eat and have access to a computer.
Yet, are we content?
Do we use contentedness as a platform for growth?
Personally, I don't think so. Our excuses for discontent are endless! We need a better job, a bigger house, a cooler car, the list is vast. Discontent within the stoic community is described as 'the cancer that nibbles away at our happiness.'
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE, NOT WHAT YOU DON'T
Our unhappiness or discontent does not come from having too little, but from someone else having more. At one point, we are happy with the things we have, but when we see others with what we perceive as more or better, we become unhappy. But nothing has changed, just our psychological, sociological perspective.
You need very few things to be happy. — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.67
If unhappiness comes up when you believe you lack something, imagine if you could imagine the billion people who don't have enough food day to day! Your mind would drive towards a state of gratitude, rather than discontentment.
My proposal: when looking to improve your self commitments, begin with a foundation of contentedness. This is your key to laying the building blocks of success. Recognize and celebrate where you are right now.
What do you do well, what are you happy with?
If you can use this emotional state of satisfaction and be at ease with your current situation, this can fuel and propel you to do great things.
Let us thank, praise and grace the good things in our lives, the things that make us joyful.
Just being in the mental state of gratitude, which is the ultimate form of receivership, your body's energetic frequency is in a position of power. One that can allow you to slowly introduce changes, and become dynamic with your present, to push into a new future.
Fortify yourself with contentment. It is an impregnable fortress. — Epictetus, Fragments, 138
Happy New Year.
Simon Brazier. Dip HN, NNCP