The New Year will soon make its entrance onto the stage of our life, bringing with it the inescapable gains and losses, happiness and suffering. But no matter what adversities may lie ahead, they needn’t cause us suffering if we choose to live each day in greater awareness of God’s presence. Where God’s light is, no shadow can dwell.
In his beautiful poem, “The Garden of the New Year,” Yoganandaji writes:
The echoes of last year, its sorrow and laughter, Have died away. The song-voice of the New Year — encouraging, hope-imparting— Is Chanting: “Refashion life ideally!”
To do this, take some time to introspect and analyze what misery-producing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bad habits you have allowed to remain in your inner kingdom. Don’t be ashamed of what you see, but look at your bad habits honestly, and see them for what they are: laziness, perhaps, or judgmental attitudes, jealousy, or thoughts of being treated unfairly. Each of us has our own set of “unwanted relatives” that have taken up residency and are hard to dislodge.
Then share your dilemma with the “Supreme Landlord”—God. Admit to Him honestly that you’ve allowed part of your kingdom to become a slum, and ask His help in cleaning it up. Let God know that you don’t want Him to be an “absentee landlord,” but need His supportive presence every day.
Try these three steps to be more dynamically aware of God in your life:
1) Meditate daily until you realize His Presence just behind your thoughts and feelings. God can only be perceived in the calm, inner stillness of the soul.
2) Share with Him your thoughts, impressions, and successes and failures throughout the day. See God as your ally helping you to win the battle of life.
3) Give God complete command over your life. Surrender to Him without any self-justification or defensiveness. He knows our every thought, and is only waiting for us to offer ourselves fully to Him for His transforming touch to change us.
Yoganandaji concludes the poem above with this inspiring verse:
With joy-enlivened, unendingly united mind , Let us all dance forward, hand in hand, To reach the Halcyon Home Whence we shall wander no more.
With blessings for a happy New Year,