The first few days of 2021 are already underway, and despite the trepidation so many people feel about making New Year's resolutions during a time of so much uncertainty, that hasn’t stopped the usual suspects from repeating their own renditions of the “new year, new me.”
To be honest with you, I’ve always hated the phrase. In my opinion, there was no difference between who you were on Dec 31st and who you are on Jan 1st, especially not if you just claimed it to be so the day before. It would be impossible to make any sort of monumental change like that, over the course of a single day, simply by saying it, and so I always dismissed the sentiment as a silly one.
However, after all of the twists, turns, and changes brought on by 2020, I have a deeper understanding of why so many people all around seek to reinvent themselves on the New Year. People seek to wash off the stress, trauma, confusion, and fear that is behind them in order for them to continue forward. For some, this is a kind of escapism, and though the desires may be real they aren’t founded on anything grounded which prevent any goals set from materializing in the material world. This is the type of mentality that I once had a distaste for. For others, though, leaving the struggles of a previous year behind does not mean to forget and pretend that they did not happen, but it allows the mind to reset and prepare for the unexpected while still being able to have hope for the future.
Sure, the Gregorian Calendar Year is not universal, the Lunar New Year is in February, and the astrological New Year isn’t until the Spring Equinox in March, but Jan 1st has a frequency all on its own that we are collectively tapped into. Each “year” is experienced by all of us, and therefore possesses its own individual energy outside of what cosmic influences are at play or dates set by past government officials. And it is that energy, which is held in the minds, bodies, and spirits of those who experience the calendar year in this way, that so many people wish to shed as they transition into a new year of possibilities.
Like a snake shedding its skin, we must too shed the layers of our past to make way for new growth. This time of shedding is different for everyone and Jan 1st just happens to be when most people in the West decide to make that transformation.
But how can we make that change successfully? How can you reinvent yourself in a way that’s authentic and has real results?
If you’re entering the year with a “New Year, new me” mentality, wish to shake off the shackles of last year, or want this year to create a shift in your life unlike the ones in the past—you know, the years where you set resolutions and forgot what they were by May—, the best way to start is with a clean slate.
Cambridge University defines a clean slate as “a state in which you are starting an activity or process again, not considering what happened in the past at all.” In the past a slate would be used in the same way that we use loose leaf paper today. It was a slim, stone tablet with a smooth face where writing utensils would be used to inscribe writings, images, equations, etc.
When you start on a clean slate, you are essentially a blank sheet of paper. On it, you can write your own story and reinvent yourself in a way that embodies your highest self & life vision. The meaning of a clean slate is to approach your life like an empty canvas, ready to be decorated with art. And, because you are not limited by utensils, new or old, you can create this vision of Self in whatever way that you’d like. If you’re going to be a “new you”, the best place to start is from the up.
Once you decide that you want a clean slate, so it is. From there all you need to do is take the steps to make your life vision into a reality.
Author - Mani Matterz
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