Time flies, sometimes faster than we could imagine, and sometimes it just seems to drag on forever, so slow we feel we could stop every ticking second. Yet, whether time itself changes or not may require more elaboration and advanced knowledge which I do not possess, so for the time being, let us simply stick with the idea that our perceptions influence our relationship to this endless flow. One of those overarching cultural perceptions is the idea of a New Year, which has been associated with a new beginning, an opportunity to reinvent and improve ourselves, casting last year’s skin aside to embody the ideals we so desire for ourselves. Though the idea of re-creating ourselves is a good one, one must not necessarily wait for a socially constructed date of renewal to do so, for every day gives us an opportunity to start anew. In order to do so, here are seven little sparkles to help light the way:
1. Always look dashing: “Never judge a book by its cover” is a worthy saying, since all forms of judgments and preconceptions may lead to falsity and deception, though it nonetheless remains that our clothing is the first external layer we have to express ourselves, before we even open our mouths. This means that you can choose who you want to be, simply by dressing like the image your are trying to attain, the person you decide to be, and dressing the part helps a lot to embody the character. If you’re uncertain about what to wear by fear of others, this may perhaps help a bit.
2. Creation out of nothing: The best way to create something new is very often to start from scratch, since a blank sleigh leaves our imagination unbiased and free of the influence from which we might be trying to free ourselves. Especially when it comes to building ourselves up as individual people, there are so many external influences (media, surrounding culture, friends, family, etc.) that it easily gets confusing to select what comes from us, and what does not. Which is why the emptiness helps at times, to remove our focus from everything around us, and look within, to what truly makes us tick.
3. Focus on one leads the other: It is hard to multitask, despite the ever-increasing pace at which our modern society operates, so we can easily get dragged into an fast-paced circus which never seems to calm down, pulling us in one direction, then another, and then offering a third choice, which may even imply a fourth option, and so we work on the third one, think about the second, while all we actually care about is the thing we started off at first. The secret is to stay focused on one aspect at a time, because for all we know, everything behind it may fall into place from that one push. And if it doesn’t?? Then once one thing is done, we can simply let go of it, and move on to the next task.
4. Let go, so that it can come back: Ahh, the oh-so-common letting go. It refers to the attachment we keep to things we could have change, but in the end did not, or even the mistakes we wish we could take back. But things happen…choices are made…and the funny thing about time as we know it is that we cannot go back. So why drag along worries and regrets, slowing us down in the present?? Because letting go is hard, despite its necessity. If we look at a relationship for example, if one partner wants to go on a trip alone, but the other one fears the separation for lack of trust and insecurity, how could this confidence ever grow into a powerful trust, if it hasn’t even been given a chance?? Yes, the unknown is a scary thing…though it is even scarier to sacrifice a future for a past that cannot be changed. Having a little faith goes a long way, for we may never know what surprised to future holds if we take but a tiny chance.
5. Give back what was given to you: Being selfish benefits no one. Giving back simply means recognizing the gesture one has done and I believe there is no better way to appreciate such a gesture than to keep spreading the feelings it has brought us. If it takes but one flame to light a hundred candles, imagine what a hundred flames could do!!
6. Amidst the sounds, find your beat: Just like in most musical compositions, there are very often multiple layers of sound playing at the same time, all harmoniously put together, despite their differences. This gives us the opportunity to choose which beat we want to follow, so there is no reason to follow others, unless we consciously choose to do so. We are free to do anything we please, to follow whichever rhythm we like, and the fear that freedom because of its responsibilities is like refusing to eat because it is too hot. All it takes is a few breaths, a little patience, and an eagerness to try, and suddenly the world opens up as a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet in which the hardest choice to make is where to begin. Bon Apétit!
7. Follow the emptiness: Making choices is not an easy task, and sometimes we get lost within our own little mental world, thinking, planning, and organizing moments that have not yet happened, and which never end up the way we think. Sometimes it is even as if we are not in control of what is happening, that a path has simply opened up in front of us, and all we can do is follow it, from fear of the pressure if we might diverge. The emptiness is denser than we might think, so it is important to remain open and to let life flow through us, for resistance against this incredible phenomenon may simply lead to our tearing and destruction. Have faith in the path developing in front of you, and if you feel you are going down a bad road, simply chose another layer whose beat suits you better.
So this is it for now, the rest is all up to you. We are not confined to social constructs, we are ourselves first and foremost, living this deeply personal experience of being alive, giving us the choice about the life we want to experience. We can re-create ourselves at any given moment, so why wait for a specific moment to adhere to resolutions we do not truly believe in?? For if we did really want it, then there is no need to wait a moment longer.
Until next time,