New Year, New Month, New Day: January 2016

Instead of listing all the different postings I plan to make for the month January, I am posting an essay that hopefully will set the tone for my future postings. I call it “Seize the Moment!” I will post January ideas in a few days.

In the movie, The Dead Poets Society, featuring the sadly deceased Robin Williams as a professor, he instills in his students the concept of Seize the Day, from the Latin aphorism “Carpe Diem.” Actually, I think Seize the Moment is more my mantra, because an idea or a goal can be decided or disgarded in just a moment.

For example, when I attended a weekend at Kripalu Yoga Institute at New Year’s weekend several years ago, I did not introduce myself as a writer. Why? Because I did not make my living as a writer, but rather as an editor, and I was embarrassed to say the word “writer.” But on that powerful weekend I was able claim my self a writer. I acknowledged to a circle of participants that writing is my passion—- it gets me up in the morning. And because words are my oxygen, without my writing I cannot breathe normally.

What I’d like to suggest is to experiment with Seize the Moment as a mantra instead of a New Year’s resolution, which so many of us break before the end of January anyway. In its place, think about the concept of “The World is New to Us Each Morning.”  I interpret this to mean to me that each day provides another opportunity to seize the moment before me, either to start something new or to continue with something I started, reaching my goal in the foreseeable future.

Living in the moment does not mean you make no plans for the future, although some people may interpret it as such. Rather, I interpret this as taking responsibility to create your life in a way that supports who you already are, but deeper into yourself.  Using my example, I was already a freelance writer for more than 25 years, yet did not acknowledge myself as such. Now when someone asks what I do, I respond without hesitation to say I am a freelance writer, not necessarily for a living but necessary to feel alive.

Thus, instead of New Year’s resolutions I am keeping the phrase “seize the moment,” in my mind’s eye, so when an opportunity for my writing or any other project I am involved with needs more of my time, I can shift to that project. In this way I suffer little or no guilt for not completing a project that day or that week and can keep it on my To Do list, without feeling I have failed or abandoned my goals. And if the project eventually does not pan out, I can let it go, knowing I have not really abandoned it, but have reevaluated it as no longer feasible or necessary for living mindfully.

By seizing the moment, I can shift priorities to include or reevaluate a new idea or reconsider an older plan. Wallowing in guilt or recriminations no longer works for me. The joy of starting, continuing, or completing a goal or project that makes my life (and hopefully the lives of others I touch) more meaningful. I find this approach better than any New Year’s resolution I would consider, because I am making a voluntary commitment to live consciously moment-to-moment, and seizing those moments worthy of my valuable time and efforts.

P.S. Request: If you enjoy my postings, please leave a comment. And if you have a criticism or a suggestion, please leave a comment as well. I would like to have more feedback about what I post so I can make changes and improvements. Thanx, ellensue

7 Responses to “New Year, New Month, New Day: January 2016”

  1. Paula Says:

    Happy, Healthy, and Safe 2016! Thank you for all of your amazing postings! Of course you are
    a writer…… A lot of thought, reading, and research goes into your daily postings.

  2. hillsmom Says:

    Happy Happy Ellen Sue, As a lurker who doesn’t comment…doesn’t mean you are not appreciated. Keep on keepin’ on. Best for 2016

  3. Honey Says:

    I love what you wrote Ellen Sue! I’m right there with you. My latest version is “Happy present moment!” And I love the power of SIEZE! So I’m adding that to my moment.
    Thank you sister of my heart, mind and soul!

  4. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Many thanx. Happy New year, ellensue

  5. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Many thanx for the kind comments. Will email you soon. ellensue

  6. Roz Warren Says:

    I’m seizing the moment to post a comment! Best wishes for 2016

  7. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Thanx, ellensue

Leave a Reply