No resolutions. No reservations.
I have no words for 2019. I have written more than I ever expected to, done more media than before. It kept us on our toes.
Yesterday, stuck in bed, in the post-surgery state, I finally picked up what needed to catch up on: my Ayurvedic studies (I’ve been working on formalizing what I already know .. because well, folks don’t take you seriously otherwise). My laptop propped up into the sheets, I read for about two hours, listened to some of the audio lectures and started to fade off when the meds were making me sleepy. Just then, I stumbled into something that I had known for a long time: the balance between Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic qualities – leads to overall balance in life.
In the simplest sense (without getting too technical or complicated) Sattvik represents the calm/earthy/being grounded, Rajasic is the active aspects of life and Tamasic represents the passion that shapes purpose. They collectively are necessary, in equal parts to find the right equilibrium in life. They collectively propel our lives towards a space where we find enjoyment in what we do, and are at peace with what surrounds us. Incidentally, our life is in four distinct states– ‘learning’, ‘doing’, ‘enjoying’, and ‘being’ - all states overlapping, colored by the S/R/T qualities we exhibit – some propelling us to do/be/enjoy more and others, tempering every action – with humility, gratitude and acceptance – the Sattvik qualities.
It wasn’t a new concept to me, but it made me think about all the new year’s resolutions and non-resolutions I was seeing – and the pressure there seemed to be to have a goal, especially at the start of another year, another ‘decade’! So many expectations – from yourself and others. Does having expectations preemptively prime us for disappointment or failure?
Then, last night I had the privilege of reading a short essay my daughter wrote – as we were talking about the best thing that happened to us during the year. All our notes paled, when I read the one phrase that ended her essay – “Remember this.” I hope she gets to share it someplace nice, it brought me to tears.
This morning, a friend @richvegetarian reflected on the sadness and longing that overcomes many during the holidays – and whether it is important to brood over it – given that a new year, a new decade at the cusp of starting afresh. In that moment, I was reminded of my two readings, and reflected: we can either commit to the state of wishing, or the state of being. If we try to do only one or another – we remain unfulfilled, unhappy.
As 2019 comes to a close, I reflect on the past and wonder: should I have a resolution for the year ahead?
Will that be wishful on my part – or will that be grounding/centering – and be Sattvik for me?
Will that keep me ‘eager’, ‘wanting’ or ‘hungry’ – will it influence the Rajasic?
Or will that fuel a motivation, or passion to do, and be better – and inflame the Tamasic?
So, taking a cue from the famous phrase that has gone to mean so much to so many, rather than resolutions – perhaps, I should think about having no reservations instead, where the will to learn, do and enjoy will also help me ‘be’.
Wishing everyone a Happy 2020.
By the way, do you make resolutions? Are you successful at following them?