How Are You Starting Your New Year?

Out come the horns. Blah-h-h-h! And the noisemakers: rat-a-tat-tat. People dance and jostle around each other wearing colorful, shiny paper hats that say, “Happy New Year!” Make-up runs underneath silver tiaras and swirling paper curls float into champagne flutes. Finally, the big moment comes and a kiss sends the new year toward unknown adventures.

Isn’t that how many of us think the new year should begin—like a Hollywood movie? But how often does it really begin that way? Is it an authentic, meaningful way to launch your life into a new cycle of growth? As an alternative, try creating your own special ritual to renew your spirit and enhance your well-being. Listed below are suggestions from Dr. Mao:

  • Wake before the sun rises and hike to the top of a nearby hill. Greet the sun, say some special words and do chi gong or gentle exercises.
  • At home, burn sandalwood incense to awaken the senses.
  • Mix four parts distilled water and one part vinegar in a spray bottle. For purification, spray in and around your home.
  • Review your goals for the next year.
  • Include in your goals: simplify your life, increase joy, improve health and reduce stress. Also, you can make an intention to live preventively, doing such things as having regular massages, going to the gym, eating organic and healthy foods and taking time off to smell the roses.
  • Pay tribute to deceased loved ones by arranging flowers and lighting a candle in their memory.
  • Enlist people who have a positive influence in supporting you to accomplish your goals.
  • For cleansing, calming and circulation, fast by drinking hourly: purified water, vegetable and fruit juices, vegetable broth and herbal teas such as our Ancient Treasures tea.
  • Commit to spiritual growth by reading books and listening to selected CDs.
  • End the day by reading a special passage, poem or invocation. You can start to keep a daily journal and meditate before bedtime. Be thankful for the opportunities you have been given.
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