The New Year brings promises of improvement and resolutions to become a better person. We promise to let go of the old year along with all the unfulfilled dreams or resolutions not met. We chase after “new”. We’re in a hurry to give up what we perceive as “old”. Companies like Apple know this truth about us – we are hooked on “new”. New is like an addiction – a promise of something better and an assumption that what we already have must not be good enough. So we are constantly chasing “new” and companies profit on this by creating “built-in obsolescence”.
“New” means having recently come into existence or unfamiliar. It can also mean changed, improved, and redesigned. What would happen if we accepted ourselves just as we are, without the belief that we’re not good enough and that we are perfectly imperfect? How would our lives be different if we were grateful for who we are and satisfied with what we already have within us? A New You can be obtained by redesigning your beliefs about the power of YOU.
Many people searching for success and happiness hold the belief that they must make drastic changes to obtain it. Or hold the belief that it’s not attainable for them. Failure is blamed on the environment, the economy, age, location, gender, a litany of reasons – all external. Few are brave enough to look within, to change limiting beliefs or behaviors, and seek the inner wisdom that resides within each of us. We want someone else to tell us what to do, what to buy, where to go – to find happiness and success. And if the decisions we make based on their advice go awry, we can blame THEM. The truth is the answers for you are within you. Yet we distrust ourselves and seek solutions from strangers.
“So many conditions of happiness are available – more thanenough for you to be happy right now. You don’t have to run into thefuture in order to get more.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
We believe that happiness is in the future. We run and celebrate the newness of a NewYear hoping that this year will bring us fulfillment. Although the calendar changes from 2011 to 2012 many will find themselves dissatisfied with life about mid March when they realize they’re still in the search of the magic elixir.
Perhaps the secret is to celebrate who you are NOW. If you are going to create a new you, begin by celebrating the Who You Are, from infancy to today. Let the new you be comfortable in the body it dwells in, respectful of it because it affects the quality of your life. Let the new you find the blessings in all of your life experiences. Let the new you explore the wisdom within and ask your Self for the solutions to live your best life now. Let th new you embrace the imperfections that make you perfect.
Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. We are living creatures and like everything in nature, whether it is a tree, a plant, a rock – it is perfectly imperfect. And like everything in nature, it is impermanent. We may believe that things don’t change – however when you see the Grand Canyon, you are reminded of the power of change over time. And we are impermanent; we are a part of cycle of life.
Wabi-sabi is also two separate words, with related but different meanings. “Wabi” is the kind of perfect beauty that is seemingly-paradoxically caused by just the right kind of imperfection, such as an asymmetry in a ceramic bowl which reflects the handmade craftsmanship, as opposed to another bowl which is perfect, but soul-less and machine made. “Sabi” is the kind of beauty that can only come with age, such as the patina on a very old bronze statue. Think of Mother Theresa’s face and then think of some starlet with too much botox!
Tom Shadyac was a powerful and successful Hollywood producer. He had what most people search for – fame, wealth and power. And he discovered with all that he had accomplished, that he felt empty and dissatisfied with his life. He decided to overhaul his life. He let go of the majority of his material possessions and began to live a very simple lifestyle. He embraced the “Wabi-sabi philosophy”of appreciating the beauty of “what is”. He says, “The consequences of your life are sown in what you do and how you behave.” It certainly is not about your perfections and your possessions.
Resolve this New Year that you will embrace the YOU that is, that the newness will be the epiphany of your own magnificence. Wherever you go, you take you with you through the years. Embrace that you are new because you choose to be – and that you are perfectly imperfect – fabulous and wise!