Happy New Years!

New Years is by far my favorite holiday of the year… It is the finale of the American holiday “hat trick”. You find Autumn and then the Thanksgiving Holiday: For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have and not what we don’t have… I am always thankful for health, family and my career. Christmas comes and with it comes this watered down message wrought with commercialism. Christians say Christmas has been stolen. I am more pagan in nature and jokingly accuse the Christians of stealing Christmas from its true roots – Winter Solstice Paganism. For me, Christmas is about illumination, love and wisdom and the gift of giving – something we should celebrate every day.

So what about New Years? … the finale of the Holiday Trifecta…. New Years: Out with the old and in with the new! It’s kind of a rebirth of sorts. When you take into consideration the Mandala of Life you find we are not part of a story that begins and ends; but a revolving journey of birth, death and rebirth. Take the seasons for example: From Summer comes the colors of Autumn and then the sleep of Winter followed by the rebirth of Spring and so begins our journey yet again. The hands of a clock rotate, storms rotate, planets rotate, galaxies rotate…. So, New Years is a time of rebirth… Not a beginning or ending but a time to reflect on the journey. Here you are in the present moment with the past behind us and the future ahead of us – and no attachments to any of it!


It allows us to pause… to look at each year in review and learn from our mistakes. After all, life is a  learning experience and our failures and shortcomings should be triggers for mindfulness and not negative setbacks. New Years is a time to start fresh… a metaphorical clean slate wiped free of attachments and dogma… and so the journey continues!

I am not a big fan of resolutions – they tend to set us up to failure. Still, New Years is a time to put into place more mindfulness, space and clarity for life’s newest journeys. The goal is to be happier right? Below are some very easy steps to finding more happiness in the New Year:

Live with an Open Mind: Living with an open mind allows us to question what has been presented to us when we were young and impressionable. It allows us to challenge old ideals and control patterns to better evaluate our belief systems to confirm that they were not founded due to negative outside influences. It opens us up to understanding True Nature as a pure and unwavering source of happiness. We have the sovereign power to embrace our own thoughts and convictions. Living with an open mind, being receptive to change, and having a willingness to work for it are the first steps toward liberation.

Meditation: We make space and open ourselves up to the infinite vision of True Nature through devices like meditation and daily life practice. The devices show us that under all the ego and co-dependency that seems like reality, there is a constant, unwavering force we can all depend on that is as spacious as it is endless. Allowing spaciousness to enter our minds and lives gives us the ability to face all of life’s challenges and make good decisions. The brain may seem small physically, but the mind is vast. If we connect to this space, gone will be stress and anxiety. We will have infinite space for clarity and truth. Incorporate meditation into your daily life and you will see a different world reveal itself to you—a “True Reality” beyond ego and false-self.

Moderation: By living healthy lives, eating well, and exercising, we create immediate positive results. Love for life and love for others reinforces positive physical and mental health. Living in moderation equips us with the ability to be aware of our bad habits and get into routines of healthy living. Moderation means we understand our needs versus just our wants and desires.

Positive Energy: The laws of karma govern positive and negative effects in our environment. Positive reactions are the common denominator of our Universe. Becoming open to the positive energy in nature, beauty, and love is crucial to self-evolution. Focusing on positivity creates waves of joy and healing which will ultimately pulse through our thoughts and actions to build a better life.

Happy New Year!

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John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

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