Many people decide to redefine their lives with the coming of the New Year. Whether you have just been let go from your job, have gained too much weight, or even just have a general sense that your life isn't what you want it to be, you decide that because it's the New Year, it is now time for change.
It's time for the new you.
What, however, typically happens when you set out to define this new version of yourself? Do you talk about a new career path, find a bit of information about it, but then fall back into your old pattern of the same kind of job? Do you invest 110-percent of your energy to a new diet for the first couple of months, but then let it fade by mid-year? Do you dabble in techniques that were taught to you by a new guru who you think will lead you down the golden path, but then let them fall away because they got too boring?
Any one of these scenarios can happen to a person that wants change. Creating change in your life, however, has nothing to do with the time of year, the season, or if it is Monday or Thursday. To create change because the earth has had another birthday is to put all of the attention and enthusiasm on something completely unrelated to you rather than what you are going to do to reach the health and happiness you are looking for. This "new you" is really an illusion, for the fact that it is the New Year doesn't mean anything new is going to happen unless there is action.
Real change might lead you to get a better job, lose weight, or find that previously elusive guru, but each of these developments merely fit into a life that fosters genuine peace and happiness regardless of your current situation. To find this within yourself, you must ask yourself what and how much you are willing to do. Before you choose a job, diet, or guru, you must ask yourself if you are willing to make sacrifices. Without this crucial first step, you will face the same frustrations as you did with the last effort you attempted.
Real change will not happen because you found a new job. If you are not willing to change some of the main habits that are keeping you back, then there is no use trying. Those that are trying to sell you things don't want to say this, as it is in their best interests to sell you a new diet or a self-help workshop which will supposedly solve all of your problems. The root of change, however, begins with simply giving up habits and lifestyle choices that take up most of our time and attention. A new beginning starts with new thoughts of change by freeing ourselves of destructive friendships, eliminating unhealthy foods, avoiding mindless entertainment, and removing other unnecessary indulgences. If this sounds like too much, then perhaps your new life can begin with simply giving yourself more energy every day: go to bed at 9:30pm come whatever.
I can show you what time to eat, how to fast, which herbs to take, how to meditate, or what Ayurvedic treatments and practices you need to be healthy. I have worked with many clients and patients, though, who think that by my showing them the way things will change quickly with little effort. It is indeed true that I can show you the path as I have been shown. The real change, however, comes from following a millennium of spiritual practices, which have been set out and passed down by great masters and teachers for us to follow and not the newest fad which will fade out and be replaced with a new one next year. You may have found someone to help you on this path, but haven't followed the advice given because your mind is comparing, judging or criticizing the lesson because it does not meet your expectations. Many of us look for a guru, message, or help, but we neglect the guru inside ourselves that has shown us that we want this change for ourselves. In other words, we find an excuse as to why we should not make the change. From all the people I have met or worked with, the ones that find true liberation are those that don't wait for certain things to fall into place but start to use what is given to them without looking around for more. It is true that everyone needs to be guided along this path and feel connected to a teacher, but if this is not available at this moment, look around and see what is available and use it until you are ready for your next lesson.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Once you are committed to change and all that goes with it -- sacrifice, patience, and action -- you will receive the information you need to start on your path. Whether it's New Year's, August, or Friday, you have the same strength and mental power as anyone else. All you need is a desire to change, a little guidance, and practice.
You will find your way.