Helpful Hints to Welcome in the New Year

by Nirmala Raniga

The end of the year is the ideal time to look back at our previous year, reflect on the lessons that our experiences provided for us, celebrate our growth, and begin to look at how we would like to continue to grow and evolve in the year to come. As we approach 2016, we can prepare for greater joy and fulfillment in our lives by focusing on the opportunities that the New Year offers and committing to make conscious choices for our wellbeing.
Even the words we exchange during this festive time, “Happy New Year,” hold special meaning that can offer us guidance for the coming year. For instance, think about about what makes you happy; when you reflect on and journal about these things, they can help to connect you with your true purposes in life. By pursuing the things that bring us happiness and remembering to play, we can remain forever young at heart, which allows us to feel new. Look at the timeframe of the year ahead as an opportunity to welcome in or recommit to life-affirming practices such as positive affirmations, yoga and meditation. By maintaining a regular routine of mind-body-spirit wellness practices such as these, we will attract all that we want and need without effort and feel rejuvenated.
The following words of encouragement and perspective offer you a simple approach to help you create a Happy New Year:
H – Humility: When we approach our lives with a sense of playfulness and do not take ourselves too seriously, we are humble and more connected with who we truly are, pure consciousness.
A – Attentive: Energy flows to those areas where we place our attention. By staying attentive to the present, we are alert for the many opportunities the Universe provides that will help us achieve our goals.
P – Purpose: Research tells us that when we live our lives with a sense of purpose, we feel greater fulfillment. Spending time in silence, we connect with our intuition, which helps us refine what our respective purposes are in this lifetime.
P – Playfulness: When we approach life with lightheartedness, we are much more connected to the present, with ourselves, and with those we love. Play enables us to enjoy our lives with greater creativity and enthusiasm.
Y – Young at Heart: Play helps all of us to stay young at heart. By staying young and flexible, we remain open to all life’s possibilities, taking advantage of rich opportunities we could possibly miss when our minds and hearts are narrow and closed. 
N – Nurture: Self-nurturing is an important avenue to feeling joy. We can nurture ourselves by eating healthy food, staying on track with our spiritual practices, spending time in nature, and enjoying those people and activities we love, among many other positive activities. When we feel nurtured, we are much better able to spread our happiness with everyone around us.
E – Evolve: Life is full of change and is always evolving. We must stay open to how our lives transform, embracing and integrating the wondrous miracles life has in store.
W – Wholeness: When we feel whole, we feel balanced. Feeling balanced helps us understand our deep, spiritual connection to pure consciousness, which unites us to everyone and everything around us.
Y – Yoga: Yoga means union of mind, body, and spirit. Asana practice, or the poses we practice in yoga classes and studios, is only one of yoga’s “Eight Limbs.” A full yoga practice also involves sitting in silent meditation, being of service to others and pursuing knowledge, along with other life-affirming practices. Therefore, staying committed to a comprehensive yoga practice will help us stay balanced and happy by aligning ourselves from within.
E – Effortless: By remaining open to the field of all possibilities, life flows with effortless ease. Understanding this concept, we can breathe a sigh of relief and release our need to control all aspects of our lives.
A – Affirmations: How we talk to ourselves significantly impacts how we feel and interact with the world. Staying true to our affirmations and choosing positive language to talk to ourselves will help us enter the New Year with greater optimism.
R – Rejuvenate: Each year provides us with opportunities to refresh and renew. As we enter 2016, we can take steps—spending time in nature, setting our goals for the year, and detoxifying—to rejuvenate and develop a fresh perspective for the beautiful New Year before us.
May this New Year bring you love, joy, peace, health, and enlightenment, and may you share those warm feelings with everyone and everything in your life.