Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged! But I have a very good reason: I’m working on a new book and it incorporates my bloggings. Publishers don’t like material that has already appeared somewhere else, including online like this, so I am musing sparingly these days.
The book centres on an American woman, Wheelchair Mary, who lives in an Irish village and writes a column for the local supermarket’s twice-monthly advertising circular. The woman bears not a slight resemblance to myself. Her writer’s persona, however, is that of a 30-something Indian woman. The column’s called Good Karma.
No part-time mystic (fictional or real) worth her salt would ever miss an opportunity to share her musings on the New Year. Thus, here is what Wheelchair Mary and I — rock salts of the earth — think about it. From Plus ca Change, my latest novel:
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Volume 3, Issue 24
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
Dear Dilley’s Customer,
Well, here we are with the last instalment of Good Karma for this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little articles as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them for you!
Though most of you may be in Christmas Panic Mode with the big day only a week away, I’d like to turn your attention to the New Year. No, not the parties or the big dinners. I mean the afters — the resolutions and goals we make and break.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed about the New Year is its global celebration, no matter a country’s religion or political system. It may be celebrated on different dates, but the idea is the same. What I didn’t like about New Year’s, though, was the setting of all those great goals and then the getting of all the guilt when I failed to live up to them.
The New Year seems a perfect time to set new goals, doesn’t it? Because advertisers know this, we’re blitzed with ads for nicotine patches, diet pills, exercise equipment and (my personal fave) organisational accessories such as file folders, storage bins and the like. For most of my New Years, I vowed to stop or start various projects, from smoking to slimming to sewing. The enthusiasm lasted maybe a week or a month, but it was always followed with great lashings of GUILT for the rest of the year. I know I’m not the only one this happens to. Why do we do this to ourselves, year after year?
Then I learned about YearSpell, a custom I discovered in Utah, of all places. Its magic is in its ability to evoke the enthusiasm I need to follow my goals as well as a do-able timeline (a year) that puts Guilt on the Naughty Step, out of my way!
And it’s so simple. It’s lots of fun done in a group, but also immensely satisfying to do all by yourself. Take a good-sized piece of cardboard, poster paper — even wood will work. I like to cut my paper in a circle perhaps 24 inches in diameter, but then I’m a big fan of circles and I also have lots of plans! You could certainly get by with a much smaller sized palette.
Then make sure you have a pile of magazines or circulars (or even our Dilley’s circulars with Good Karma articles in them!), sharp scissors and glue. Even if you know what your goals are, I suggest you take your time looking through each magazine. Sometimes you’ll just cut out one word here and another word there, like some sort of stalker or poison-pen writer. (Instead of killing someone, though, you are doing the opposite: giving Life new meaning for yourself! Agatha Christie would have no fun with your kind of letter…)
Let the pictures inspire you. Instead of a picture of someone sweating away on a piece of gym equipment, you might choose a picture of someone who’s successfully climbed a mountain. Instead of photos of Nicorette or gaunt people dying of lung cancer, choose a party or other scene in which people are totally enjoying themselves, without a cigarette (or drink, if booze is what you’re trying to cut back on) in sight. If you want to eat more healthfully, don’t cut out pictures of cake and then draw big red X’s through them, cut out pictures of someone who’s totally enjoying the kind of meal you think will help you lose weight. You get the idea.
You probably won’t finish your YearSpell on New Year’s Eve or even New Year’s Day, but that’s totally okay! Work on it little by little. You’ll know when you’re finished. And when you are, hang it in a prominent place in your home, a place you’ll see it often. Look at it; read those inspiring words and phrases; see yourself in the yoga outfit doing a pose in the morning mist in a lush garden.
The beauty of this is that once you’ve placed your intentions in this very hands-on way, your mind will take over. You will find yourself in exactly the places you need to be at exactly the right moments. Your dreams, almost like magic, become reality. Taking the time to ‘stick’ meaningful things on paper means you will ‘stick’ to your goals in a whole new way. You’ll be inspired every time you look at your YearSpell, because it’s just for you. No one else. It reflects who you really are inside: an amazing, wonderful Human Being. No need or indeed room for Guilt. Keep that bad boy on the Naughty Step forever!
Onward and upward! May this be your best New You ever.