The beginning is always today. – Mary Shelley
Ah, the New Year. A clean slate, the promise of a fresh start. It’s like the ultimate Monday. Did you have a bad weekend? No worries, it’s a new week. Did you go through some challenging times last year? It’s January. You can start over.
Unfortunately, for many of us, this “fresh start effect” doesn’t last. The trouble with the concept of a fresh start is that it takes us away from living in the moment. It makes us look back over what was, and forward to what we want to be. This is not where life happens. Life happens in the present moment – and that’s where the real promise for lasting change lies.
Cats already know this. They live in the moment all the time. I doubt a cat has ever thought “Darn it! The DaBird toy escaped me again! Well, that’s okay. Tomorrow I’ll make a fresh start. Starting tomorrow, I will catch the DaBird every single time!” They’ll just enjoy chasing the toy, in the moment, each and every time.
Perhaps, living in the moment is the only New Year’s resolution we need. The power to change anything, be it a bad habit, a bad mood, or a bad situation, happens only in the present moment. By being truly present, we set the stage for lasting transformation.
So rather than looking for that next fresh start, let’s take a cue from our cats. Let’s make 2014 the year when we start living in the present moment.