Be Present As You Ring In The New Year
Most of what you read in the next few days or even weeks will be about one of two things: reflecting on 2021 or preparing for 2022. As the year ends, both of these practices are very important. I also write about reflection and preparation.
But my advice to you is to put these aside for New Year’s weekend. Take a few days to focus on one thing: being present. We spend so much of our time looking back or anticipating the future and while there is a time and place for this, we often forget the importance of being in the moment.
I hope that you can remove all, or at least most of the clutter, distractions, and thoughts, and take time to enjoy your friends and family and whatever you are doing. I have struggled with this and work on it a lot, so I’m aware of how valuable it can be.
In my final newsletter of 2021, I want to leave you with two quotations about this topic from Sam Harris:
“There is nothing passive about mindfulness. One might even say that it expresses a specific kind of passion—a passion for discerning what is subjectively real in every moment. It is a mode of cognition that is, above all, undistracted, accepting, and (ultimately) nonconceptual. Being mindful is not a matter of thinking more clearly about experience; it is the act of experiencing more clearly, including the arising of thoughts themselves. Mindfulness is a vivid awareness of whatever is appearing in one’s mind or body—thoughts, sensations, moods—without grasping at the pleasant or recoiling from the unpleasant.”
“How we pay attention to the present moment determines the character of our experience and the quality of our lives.”