Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Starting Well

Janus, Roman god of beginnings and transitions,
who gives his name to the month of January

So, a new year has begun with all its promise and uncertainty. I do hope 2013 will be a good year for you, but then none of us know what it will hold for us.

Like Janus we may be looking back to the old year, while also looking forward to 2013. I hope you can look back with satisfaction on what you have achieved last year and are not filled with regret. If you do have regrets, perhaps you can do something to put them right, either by doing this year what you regret not doing last year, or by making amends for things you wish you hadn't said or done. If neither is possible, then it is important to forgive yourself for your human failings and learn the lessons from your mistakes that will help you do better this year. Things like regret and guilt are good when they alert us to what might be wrong, but once we've put things right or gone past the point where we can put things right, we must move on. All we can hope for after that is to do things better next time

Equally we could approach this new year cautiously, afraid of what it might bring, or we can embrace it with joy and the thought of a new beginning and all that might entail.

Being generous has to start with ourselves. We need to have self-respect and be able to have compassion for ourselves if we want to be able to respect and have compassion for others. Sometimes life doesn't deal us what we want and then it will help to learn to accept our situation, but if we each want to be the best person each of us can be, then it will help us if we can make our lives as close to the way we want them to be as is possible.

What do you wish for in 2013? However impossible your dream, ask yourself what is the first step to making it come true? If we are to be generous to others we need a certain amount of fulfilment and joy in our lives otherwise we risk becoming filled with fear and resentment. In fact learning to love ourselves, to enjoy life and above all to be true to ourselves, our hopes, our dreams and the principles we hold dear is a good way to become more generous to others. If we are fearful of new experiences we are likely to be fearful of new and different people. If we don't think we deserve to enjoy life we are likely to be resentful of others' enjoyment.

Each human being is a wonderful creature, including you. Every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion, including you, and the best person to practise on is yourself. So, have respect for the person you are and think of all that you have going for you, including your health, your ability to walk, all the things you can do with your hands, you skills in sport or sewing, writing or woodwork. Never mind if you aren't the world's best singer or a great footballer, think of all the things you can do. Learn to value what you can do even if it isn't 'sexy' or likely to earn you a lot of money. Everyone is useful to someone. Think of what you do for others and what they would do if you didn't do those things. Perhaps someone else could do them, but would they care in the way you do, would they have your warmth or your smile? You are unique and no one else can give the world exactly what you do.

So getting back to those hopes and dreams you have, you see you do deserve that they come true as much as anyone else does. Rather than make a New Year's resolution why not decide to start the year right and take the first step to being the new you and to making your dream come true?

Amongst other things I'm hoping to grow more and better vegetables this year. We didn't quite get around to sowing and planting everything we had planned and then the weather didn't help everything to flourish. I can't do much about the weather, but I can try to get fitter so that I have more energy for all that gardening involves. Now I know that I still have to keep an eye on my iron levels I'm hoping that I will have the energy to walk more and be more active so that I can lose some weight and get fitter this year as I didn't make much progress with that last year.

As usual for New Year's Day I've been for a walk and the sunshine meant it was good to get outdoors, although hubby and I did feel the need to spend the morning cleaning and tidying as our daughter's boyfriend has come to visit today and we'd let things slip a bit over Christmas. Now I need to try and walk more for the rest of the week and generally be more active with each passing day.

What would you like to achieve, and what steps towards doing that can you take in 2013?

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." - The Buddha


  1. You've given me a lot to think about at the beginning of this new year. I like what you say about starting with ourselves.

  2. Thank you, Gai, I'm glad you liked it.

  3. Happy New Year Karin!

    We haven't made any resolutions for this year. Last year, we decided to stop buying unnecessary things & we did it - a whole year of not buying anything other than food, essential items & gifts for others. It's just become a way of life now & so we will continue.

    This year we shall just be going with the flow, I hope to enjoy good health & take things a little easier... But most of all - enjoy life as much as possible, sharing time together & with others.

    Hope you manage to fulfil your dreams Karin & enjoy good health & happiness!

    Kay :)

  4. Thank you Kay, Happy New Year to you, Sime and the children, plus partners. I hope you will enjoy better health this year than last. Enjoying time with other people is a very ambition, I would say.

  5. I'd forgotten about Janus/January, a useful reminder. I have made a very egocentric resolution this year - to be less stiff. And as a result have since December (I start resolutions early...) been to a couple of pilates classes. I loathe spending money on exercise (or being indoors) but it seems to make a wonderful difference. I guess working on computers requires a vaguely modern approach to dealing with stiffness. Have a safe and green new year. Nicola http://aroundbritainnoplane.blogspot.com

  6. Like I said, Nicola, if you feel better it's bound to have a knock on effect for the people around you, so not so egocentric really. Thich Nhat Hanh says it is important to look after the activist.

    I hope you'll soon be feeling a lot less stiff. I'm considering a yoga class myself, but as I've been thinking about it for a few years now, I won't say more until it actually happens.

    Happy New Year to you all.


All relevant comments to this post are welcome, so feel free to have your say.