It’s the FUTURE! We made it to 2015! I’m not going to lie, I spent my New Year’s Eve doing a tarot card reading for myself. I kid you not, each and every card I pulled mentioned meditation and my need for it. After all that time in Joshua Tree in Sept. 2014, I should know that meditation is really the key to my wisdom, truth, and knowing. But just like most people in this world, the steadiness of a daily practice is thwarted by the obstacles of modern life and my own learned habits of coping and keeping up.. sometimes, I just don’t WANT to sit for even 5 minutes. It’s like eating vegetables, I love them but I’m resistant just because I know it’s good for me. It’s a tantrum.
According to Chinese astrology, this will be the year of the Sheep (starting at the Chinese New Year in February) and what an auspicious opportunity for us all. After a rock and roll year in 2014, (the year of the horse) we’re now graced with the opportunity to slow down and reconnect with our hearts and minds to start finding true solutions to the problems that have plagued us up until now. 2015 is the invitation to find true harmony and tranquility within ourselves and in our communities so we can work diligently toward peace. True peace. It is the year of banding together over the belief that good can and will triumph. It’s a time of harmony, of tranquility, and of the mind and heart.
In this new setting for the human experience, we must all remember (or for some of us, learn) what peace means and cultivate that energy within our minds so we can radiate it outward and offer ourselves to this new year fully. It’s not enough to be told it’s the year of the sheep to experience peace. We each must do our individual parts to ensure that peace is reached and maintained. If you don’t have a connection to a meditation practice (no matter how inconsistent is may be!) and / or need a reminder to get back on the cushion, I want to offer you three reasons to meditate every day this year.
Increase your happiness and health. Not just some new age idea of happiness here, kid. There has been ample research done on the practice of meditation and they have all shown to increase positive emotions, boost immune function, and a decrease inflammation and pain. Just a few minutes a day dedicated to quieting the mind through a meditative practice can positively impact your whole person, leaving you feeling good in your body and stoked about life. There has to be a reason why so many people have been doing it for thousands of years…right?
Change your Perspective. One of the major reasons for stress in the modern world is our inability to see the forrest for the trees. By stepping back into your mind and finding a few moments of introspection, you are allowing yourself to look at the big picture, see what the options truly are, and move forward with clarity. Imagine your brain is a webpage that’s giving you the spinning wheel of death. Sometimes, you need to exit out of the page completely, restart, and come back in. Meditating is a daily restart that allows all OS to operate at it’s best.
Connect more with others. Research has also shown that by diving into our own minds, we are able to better connect with others we encounter. This is because as you sit, you start to see things a bit more clearly – the reality of the world as it is, not as you wish it to be. Within that, you begin to recognize and celebrate that others you encounter in your life are all part of that world, connected and integral to your existence as you are to them. With this clarity, you are able to connect and engage with other humans in a more intimate and honest way. This connection removes loneliness and self-doubt and allows for a richer and more fulfilled experience with the world. Within that connection to community, you begin to experience and radiate peace. And THAT is what 2015 is going to be all about.
There are hundreds more reasons to meditate, (some of which are on this awesome info-graphic) and you honestly have to find the one that makes the most sense to you. But given all the ways we all strive to improve our lives and our health, taking just 5 minutes a day to sit quietly and observe what is shouldn’t too much too ask of yourself. It may actually make all those other ideas and practices you want to bring in tangible and possible.
I hope you find your way to the cushion and begin cultivating your true inner peace for this upcoming year.
May you move in peace, with ease.