New Year

by Jo Lawrence-Mills

“Happy New year”  - this is being said over and over around the world at this time of year. 

 There is a feeling of Hope and Potential for the year ahead. A fresh exciting start to 2015, New Beginnings, New Years Resolutions.

But sadly even by now,  6th of January,  these feelings of hope and potential are sliding away. Resolutions are being given up on , and our old patterns and habits are slipping back into place,  and instead of feeling the potential we start feeling a failure .

It would be so much easier for us if we understood that the hope and potential is inside ourselves all the time. Instead of looking ahead and thinking that if we were slimmer, fitter, healthier, wealthier etc. our pain would be taken away . We could sit in the moment and get to know ourselves,  even the parts of ourselves we don’t like very much . By being content and accepting of our inner being, not striving or working towards  or pushing away , but by just  allowing whatever is there to be felt,  can be so releasing and liberating … and even exciting !

Jeff Foster puts it beautifully –


A simple invitation, friend:

Stop focussing on what's not here.

The more you focus on what's missing, on what you lack in this moment, on what isn't here today, the more incomplete you feel, the stronger the emptiness in your stomach burns, and the further away you feel from what you desire.

Bring your attention back home, back to where it belongs. This moment. The present scene in this great movie of your life.

Allow yourself to become fascinated again with the here-and-now. Come out of the story of time and space, lack and absence, and contact this moment afresh. What is present?

What does breathing feel like? Is it fast or slow, shallow or deep right now? Can you feel the sensations in the chest expanding and contracting, the belly rising and falling with each in- and out-breath? Can you feel the life here, burning in you? What sensations are dancing all over the body right now? Is there tension anywhere, tightness, achiness, restlessness, exhaustion? In the belly, chest, neck, shoulders, jaw? Can you spend a few moments noticing physical sensations there, breathing into them, giving them space, without labelling or judging their appearance? Not trying to change the moment, but being curious about its dance...

Are thoughts very active right now, bustling and partying, or are they quiet, gentle? In this moment, can you allow all thoughts to be here, all images, all memories, all dreams, all sensations, all sounds, all visual impressions? And if not, can you allow your non-allowing of all this, accept your non-acceptance, surrender to your total lack of surrender? Can you honour what is alive in the field of presence right now, even if what's alive is a great big NO to this moment? Can you sink into the field, the unchanging field, the wide open field of life? Can you be this field? Can you be what you are?

Can you forgive yourself for exhausting yourself in losing yourself trying to find yourself? Can you even forgive your inability to forgive, love your failure to love?

When you focus on what's not here, on what's missing or gone, it's easy to lose touch with the field that embraces and endures. It's easy to forget yourself, and feel lost, isolated, stranded in a cold world without possibility.

In remembering yourself, possibility opens up again. Connection, gratitude, and the warmth of home are revealed.

You can't get THERE by resisting HERE. That seems to be a law.

- Jeff Foster