When I was much younger, I would sit down a few days before New Year’s Eve and jot down several resolutions in my journal. Nothing has come out of it ever. The longer the list, the more likely nothing would be resolved. The list would invariably include something about my diet, getting physically active, doing more of some other things.
As I got older, I’ve gotten into a habit of setting myself up to accomplish one or two goals and making sure I could fulfill them. Now I suspect it’s really about choice of word, don’t you think? As “resolution” carry more weight and “goal” is lighter in pressure and it emanates a kinder prodding? I’m not sure about you but it works for me. 🙂
Still, as I approach another year I can’s help but go through the ceremony of writing down at least one reachable goal.
This year, my goals were to get deeper into Zen meditation and walk farther into the Tea path (more on this later). And I did. Assessing myself at the end of the year made me realize that I have achieved these two but not without its challenges which at this point I am not really bothered about. The results led me to another goal I’m adding to the list in 2018. It was a matter of finding the connection and staying on one path that inevitably leads to smaller paths that are nevertheless connected to the main road which in this case is Tea.
The additional goal was triggered by an ancient word I came across yesterday: SOPHROSYNE. It’s Greek and also refers to the Goddess of the same moniker. Wiki defines it as:
“An ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, and self-control.”
This is funny because last September after attending a sesshin (a 3-day silent Zen meditation retreat) the word EQUANIMITY kept invading my thoughts. As I dug deeper into its etymology, the dictionary defines it as such:
“…mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.”
Notice the parallelism? Digging further though, I discovered it’s a state of mind and being extolled by various ancient religions and philosophies e.g Hinduism, Buddhism, Stoicism and is considered the fourth sublime state in Buddhist beliefs known as Upekkha. Fascinating, right? This universality of man’s desire to achieve a state of mind that is unperturbed by external or even internal forces. I imagine myself as the depths of the ocean below the crashing waves or the blue sky above the raging storms. The universe is a great teacher and certainly knows how to lead the student to her path. I know that now.
So anyway, 2018 is a day away and I have decided that Sophrosyne would be my word for the year and may I achieve that state of being with patience and perseverance.
How about you? Do you have goals? Or a word for the coming year? Share it with me in the comments. 🙂 Happy New Year to all!