New Year’s is thought of as a time of renewal. To renew is to “recommence” or to “come back to or start again” or to “resume (an activity) after an interruption.” What is it that stops at December 31st and resumes on January 1st? There’s really no blank space between minutes, no gap between night and day, no stopping of one moment flowing into all the others. There’s no stopping, also, of the energy of our cells and thoughts, the energy flow of all life: motion and dreams perpetual.
Reflection, though, is the thoughtful interruption of our linear thinking, or even our hyperactive, spastic, circular and boomerang and every-which-way thoughts. We pause the direction and commotion, we create a peaceful valley of ideas, memories, and hopes. We think on something and then ask ourselves what it means or how it can lead to improvement in life. We reflect also to give thanks for what we have, what we have experienced, for whatever it is we should hold sincerest gratitude for.
Reflection, “or to sit in serious thought,” letting thoughts of a day or moment or period of time bounce back from their memories into our current reality so that we may seriously consider the emotion and meaning of them. And forge new ideas and directions in life.
What a lovely way to enter into a new year, by bridging from the old one on the structure of reflection.
What will you reflect on, this first day of the new year, this auspicious time versed in renewal? Interrupt your thoughts for a moment, let your memories, hopes and emotions be the guides. Let a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of wine (Apothic Red, if you prefer a recommendation) settle in with you at the table or on the couch if you like a festive mood.
For an hour my husband and I sat, long-stemmed glasses in hand, the hookah burning the fragrance of fruity tobacco throughout the living room bringing an ambience like a temple ripe with incense, and we looked back in order to look forward. We reflected on goals accomplished, those making progress, those that may need total revisions. We talked about gratitude and ties between people, what keeps us, as loving and energetic beings, going in this life. It was the most formal pause for reflection I’ve had in a long time and it was refreshing.
Recently, I began reading the book Life After Death–“A must read for everyone who will die,” according to Dr. Candace B. Pert, Ph.D.–by Deepak Chopra. I respect Dr. Chopra’s experiences and perspectives and have been reading his books and listening to his lectures for many years; I consider him full of great resources as a spiritual teacher. In Life After Death, Chopra describes how there are different planes of existence that are based on different frequencies of consciousness, explaining the earth to be a dense spiritual world and lokas, referred to in the Western culture as astral planes, as higher spiritual planes. Chopra states, “Every frequency in nature exists simultaneously, and yet we experience only what we see.” He goes on to describe telepathy, clairvoyance, spirits and souls. We exist on an earth where we don’t see or hear the overlapping of existence of the planes, most often, but they are there and quite often coexisting.
Whether you believe there is more to the complex structure our material and immaterial universe and beyond–up to and including senses beyond the basic five, the existence of planes, the quantum field theories speaking of the entire universe as made of vibrating fields that play ” a vast, subatomic symphony,” and spirits and souls–or you don’t, at least be aware that existence is vast and rich, it is more full than we are aware of, and consequently holds many opportunities as long as we are willing to relfect, seek, and act.
Happy 2014, and if it didn’t start out with happy don’t despair; even if it appears that the “bad” is all that is present, it is actually coexisting with all that is “good.” Rest assured, the good is accessible.