We have reached that time of year again; a New Year—a fresh start. Every January, millions, maybe billions, of people around the globe make New Year resolutions. They see it as a chance to quit smoking, shed a few unwanted pounds or set new career goals. By February, however, at least half of them have picked their habits back up, stopped going to the gym, or convinced themselves that they have reached their current attainable apex of their chosen career path. It’s time to change the way we see the opportunities granted us by the New Year.
Instead of placing so much emphasis on what we can accomplish on a surface level this New Year; let us, instead, focus our energy on how to make this world a more “livable” place. I’m not saying I want everyone to go out and save the Redwood forests in 2014 (although, that would be lovely). Rather, take a minute, an hour, or a day to think about what it is you need to live a more fulfilling life. We are conditioned, in developed nations around the world, to think that our jobs and how much money we make are a measure of how successful our lives are. However, even the scientific world, in which we invest so much of our trust, disagrees. Studies show that once basic needs (food, water, shelter) are met, our happiness levels decrease with increased incomes and more responsibility at work. And as our happiness deteriorates, so too does our health. The mind-body relationship is much stronger than many realize. From this, I am only able to draw the conclusion that modern society and the values which it inculcates, are killing us!
So what is the answer that will allow us to lead a more satisfying existence? Well, I cannot answer that for you; only YOU know what it is that YOU need. And only YOU can build up the courage to pursue it. For me, it comes down to community. The relationships which we cultivate on a daily basis are often devalued. Without community, we as a species may cease to exist. It is our intellect and our ability to relate and connect with one another that allows us to accomplish such wondrous feats as we have throughout human history.
For me, 2013 was a year of intentional discovery. I began by chasing knowledge and expression across the country, and found that they were most easily found within community. So I found a group of interesting people, and learned from them. I grew, with their help, into a more complete person; and, over time, I grew to love each and every one of them.
This particular New Year presents an interesting and rare opportunity. As the year begins with a New “Supermoon”, we are presented with a chance to begin anew. Reinvent ourselves in the image of our own creation, and not in that of a society which hell-bent on robbing us of our individualism and creativity. We must surround ourselves with a community of individuals with a mindset similar to our own. For, without community and love, how will we ever accomplish anything?
I wish love and good tidings to all in 2014!