It is that time of year again; after the excesses of the holidays, our lack of routine and discipline, it feels like a good time to make big changes. To resolve to shift things we know are not in our best interests; to eat healthier, exercise regularly; soften the rough edges of our personalities; maybe act a little more kind and loving to our fellow beings.
But before any lists can be made, what must come first is “tarka.” Tarka is a yogic term that means review; a period of time to contemplate and take stock of things. Looking back over the past day or month; year or decade; to see where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed.
It’s very much like planning a garden.
You start by looking at the previous year’s harvest. How did it grow? What crops fared well, and what didn’t? Where were the weeds rampant? Were there enough tomatoes, or too much cabbage? Did you think you planted spinach and got lettuce instead?
And what about the soil — did you take the time to prepare the ground? Did you plant carrots in clay and strawberries in the shade? Were you flexible enough to adjust to unknown factors – like insects; lack of water; and (if you live in Floyd County) the occasional hail storm?
The only difference is in life, we are simultaneously reaping AND sowing. Every moment, every experience has been created through our words, thoughts and actions.
Knowing that, living that, can you reflect on what has come into your life this year, and what has faded away?
Examine the people you have attracted into your inner and outer circle this year. Are they positive and encouraging? Loving and giving? Inspiring and inspired? Are they leading you toward your highest and best self?
Are you living your authentic life? Following your path? Serving others but not diminishing yourself?
And what is it that you REALLY desire in this life, anyway?
If you thought you’d been planting peppers, but keep getting pumpkins, remember it’s not the pumpkin’s fault it’s not a pepper. You have to go all the way back to the original planting to see the origin of your error. And you may have to wait a full season to get another chance to plant those peppers, so you need to be ready.
Take some time to review 2009; look through your journal or calendar, and take notes. (What??? You don’t journal!? Ahhh, a great resolution for you!)
Remember you can never change anyone else; you can only change you and your reaction to the world around you.
Prepare the soil of your heart; open yourself to the pure potential that exists within.