By: Dr. Shyam Bhat, Psychiatrist and Mental Wellness Expert at Curefit
According to a common perspective, time is finite, linear which has past, present and future. Or, time is infinite and multidimensional. Our calendar, clocks, the concept of hours, minutes, days and years are constructed or rather an attempt to organize our world so that we make appointments, meet people, make business and ensure an efficient use of time.
The concept of ‘efficient and effective’ use of time will seem foreign to someone who sees time as stretching outwards, possibly into infinity. New Year parties are a celebration of linear time and a social construct. The new resolution one takes up is a manifestation of the same perspective. But the truth is that resolutions have to come from within and cannot be forced. In order to make them effective, resolutions have to cause an internal change and such changes can only be initiated from the infinite within you. Otherwise, it’s an exercise in futility. Let me remind you, as most newspaper and magazine articles will, that most new gym memberships in January are wasted.
By now, you are probably well aware of how the story usually unfolds: you tell yourself that you want to get some exercise, lose weight, achieve new sales targets, spend more time with family, and so on. If you are really diligent, you might break this down into specific goals like losing two kilos a month by joining a gym and eating 10% lesser than the normal. But unless you have made a shift within yourself, these resolutions will soon be ignored, or worse still, the oppressive weight of unattained goals will begin to sap you of the very energy you need to attain your goals.
The end of the year is your opportunity to connect with the end of life, and therefore, with eternity. From the vantage point of the end, we can consider the meaning of the past. In the sense, the end of the year is the end of a chapter of an eternal saga. You are the author of this story, and it is that decisive moment to consider the direction of your narrative.
So, instead of making resolutions, I suggest you take the time to connect with the infinite source of wisdom within you. Instead of celebrating a day on the calendar, celebrate the timeless within you. Instead of making a list of resolutions, set some time aside for reflection and meditation.
Remember the first memory you have of yourself in 2015 — what were you feeling and what were you doing? How does this contrast with your most recent day? What is different and what is the same? Visualize the significant highs and lows in your life in the past year. Note down the action that made you proudest, and the action of which you were least proud. Observe your feelings, allowing the emotions to wash over you. Reflect on the fears that inhibited you. Did your fear protect you? Or restrict you from expanding your life?
Consider what you are passionate about. How much time spent on the things that you love? Feel gratitude for what you have — your health, your family, your friends, your life. Reflect on any new people in your life, and those who are not so much a part of it now. Consider the billions of people on this planet, each having experienced a year of significant events. Reflect on the infinity of time and the briefness of one year. Consider your existence on this planet, and the briefness of it relative to the eternity that surrounds you on either side of existence.
Accept all that has happened to you, where you are at present. Accept that everything will happen as it should. From this acceptance, you will feel an easy forward-directed flow of energy. This energy will take you naturally towards your goals, without resistance, strife or guilt. On this New Year, raise your glass in a toast to the ephemeral and the eternal. No resolutions, just renewal. Have a Happy New Year!
About the Author: With a rare combination of two specialties – Psychiatry (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology) and Internal Medicine (American Board of Internal Medicine) Dr Bhat is an American Board Certified psychiatrist. A board certified in Psychosomatic Medicine (ABPN
subspecialty), he studied conditions at the interface of body and mind. Dr Bhat combines these qualifications with a deep study and understanding of eastern philosophy and healing practices, and has been called a pioneer of Integrative Medicine and holistic psychiatry in India.