Leave the old behind, and start fresh with the new!
Wait, you know what? Don't. In fact, yeah...don't do that anymore. Stop escaping from the old year with its missteps, and lurching toward the new one full of clean, shiny potential. Every year, that 'newness' drives a massive cultural gerbil-wheel of emotion and economy. We're not really starting over. We're only ever just where we are.
"Really? (long pause) Well that sucks," the little voice in my head says.
But the little voice in my heart whispers, "Does it?"
Actually, what if this present moment were our only hope of ever, ever being happy?
Consider the following montage--as though it were the part of a great movie, in which you(!) are the star. Snippets of you coming to terms with what hasn't worked in your life--the thing that happened at work that made your blood boil, or the stale feeling at home--same thing over and over till he (or she) doesn't look up anymore when you walk in, the meaningless distractions that eat up your day, the events that sabotage everything you want to do.
Now, for the sake of this movie montage, call to mind the embodiment of supreme peace. It'll be different for everyone. Christ, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha, or your Aunt Mimi. Imagine this Spirit in as much detail as you can, with a sort of "Breaking News!" present day reality. In the montage, this Spirit travels with you everywhere, watching, waiting for you to look over and notice, patiently going with you to work, to the gym, staying up with you as you scroll through your Facebook feed. Cut to you, looking balefully out the window on the Long Island Railroad. It looks into your eyes from the other side of the window. You are filled with fatigue or discouragement, or determination to do better, whatever. You can't see the face of this Spirit, this presence. And then you're in your car, in traffic. There's a stop sign. You're behind someone who's too busy texting to realize it's their turn to go. You're late. You HOOOONK. The Spirit in the passenger seat smiles, waiting, being.
And then maybe you're at home, doing the dishes, and you stoop to pick up the apple core that didn't make it into the trash...and something, what is it, catches your eye. You look up, and there It is. Everything slows down and comes into hyper focus. You are filled with grace, with this moment, only this one. And it is everything. And it is enough. There is a quiet, deep whisper of music that swells, and then the Spirit becomes light, becomes you, and you now see everything through Its oneness. And the world is perfect, just as it is.
Trump is still the president-elect. Fake news and real suffering abound. Hunger, homelessness, all the troubles of the world. But human compassion and ingenuity, too; humor, grit, brilliance. All the pieces spanning the spectrum are still there, your family, your foibles, but now you are there too. In your fullness. You are standing in the middle of your kitchen with an apple core in your hand; and you are filled with the light that knows no darkness, the love that knows no end.
This is the present moment. This is all there is. It's what travels with us everywhere. Let's stop looking for it, and just be. And may every one of our words and actions come from this place--the present moment, the now, our only (and infinite) source of happiness.