Midway into 2011, when I realized that I would never look like Nicole Kidman, I abandoned my decision to buy yet another diet book. Instead I went back to a practice that I normally reserve for January: welcoming the month as a time to look at old issues in a new way, oftentimes through the eyes of my grandmother. She taught us to welcome the New Year by embracing love, forgiveness, disappointment, and happiness as special gifts in their own unique way. Oftentimes she would have us sit on her porch to watch the waves and just dream.
In many ways, Gram taught us to meditate, to capture breath-taking moments. Today, simple reflections are wrapped in my never-ending search for serenity, which is so elusive in this stress-filled world. But I have come to see that serenity begins with gratitude. Grows with forgiveness. And blossoms when we extend ourselves to others in need.
A simple "thank you"
If your story for the New Year is filled with angst and stress regarding the love in your life, your job, your family or financial worries, why not try gratitude and forgiveness? John Kralik in his book 365 Thank-yous, showed us the power of the simple lost art of writing notes of appreciation. He found that until he was grateful for what he had, he could not receive what he wished for. Revitalize Your Love Life with a Three Day Gratitude Plan
Looking forward to a New Year of hope, I began to ponder the hopeless of New Year resolutions -- all those things on our "should do" list. Then in talking about this with colleagues, one question seemed to resonate: "What would you do if you had nothing to do?"
Each of us will answer that question in our own way. However, a perfect gift would be making time in our day to think about our own needs. It isn’t as selfish as it seems. As I pointed out in a recent Providence Journal relationships column for the New Year, If we are depleted, we have nothing to give.
Here are some thoughts of how to give special meaning to the New Year
For an enlightened New Year, instead of the usual resolutions, search for serenity and ways to refresh your spirit.
Here are some additional thoughts: Five Things You Can Do Instead of New Year’s Resolutions by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
Wishing you a New Year filled with love and gratitude, good health and joy.
Copyright 2012 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved
HAVE YOU READ THESE COLUMNS?