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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Health & Wellness

Dec 30, 2014 04:42PM

Holly Baker

love to celebrate the new year, reminiscing about what happened over the past 12 months—the good things, the bad things—all kinds of things. And when the clock strikes 12, our champagne glasses clink, we kiss our beloveds and we celebrate that we are taking on new ventures with renewed energy and enlivened intentions. What those new ventures will be is a mystery, of course. If a fortune-teller had predicted all that occurred over the past year, I would have asked for a refund, because I never would have believed it.

That’s a great reminder of the importance of living with our eyes open to all the wonderful opportunities that cross our paths every day. There is brilliance and grace in every moment, and we have the freedom to either embrace it or allow it to simply pass by. 

This year, I kept a memory jar for the first time. I had heard about it a couple of years ago, and it’s a fabulous idea. Beginning on January 1, I filled a jar with little thoughts and notes about events that were meaningful to me and that I wanted to be sure I wouldn’t forget. As of this writing, I haven’t yet opened it, but I’m excited to be reminded of all the great things that happened, like our hugely successful Women’s Expo. I’ve already got the 2015 model ready to go!

Of course, not everything that happens in the course of our year is wonderful, and there is a great Zen tradition of the Burning Bowl, held on New Year’s Day. Participants write down all the memories of negative events or emotions that do not serve us, even those that have been long held from the past, and toss them into the fire with an intention, either spoken or silent, consigning them to the abyss. Check our Community Calendar to find organizations such as Unity that host Burning Bowl events every year. We can do the same thing at home or anywhere, too.

Even if you don’t have a jar like mine, we can all make it a point to concentrate extra hard on the good times, happy events and fortunate circumstances that occur as the pages on the calendar turn. You might make an association with a word or an object—even a song or an aroma—that summons the pleasant memory. It might come in handy when things are not going so well to remember the times when they were. The best part is that with practice, the good feelings will begin to come to us unbidden, bringing a smile to our face for no apparent reason. People will notice and they will start smiling, too. Who knows, maybe your smiling will go viral.

I wish all our readers a new year filled with wonderful health, beautiful happiness, fabulous experiences and daily miracles. Here’s to the good life in 2015!


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