Deborah suggests implicitly in this week’s writing prompt that you skip your New Year’s resolutions this week. Her reasons are magical in nature, which means that not all of my readers are going to agree with her… and that’s OK.
But it’s worth dissecting her reasons in a little more detail, so that my readers who think, “Oh, magic, he’s talking about magic again; I don’t believe in that,” don’t have the same knee-jerk reaction they always have to these posts on mine on this subject.
I’ve written here about the role of the egregore on several occasions. Briefly summarized, an egregore is a spirit of time, of place, or of an organization. The egregore is the entity which states what sorts of behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable, and which kinds of activities are permissible or impermissible. For example, I would never bring a basketball to lodge, to play a little game of pick-up with my brothers in the upper room. Likewise, most of us get really snappy when a kid interrupts us in the middle of a thought in class. That’s the egregor speaking, as much as its our own ideas about the classroom — according to magical theory.
Deborah’s point is that thousands, if not millions of people, are in the process of abandoning their resolutions this week. The Egregor of this week has thus learned from our behavior over dozens of years, and decided that abandoning resolutions this week is OK. Deborah suggests, in effect, that we bypass this egregore’s willingness to let us let go of our resolutions, and use this week to pamper ourselves. Reward, rather than punish yourself in this first week of 2012. I’d interpret this to mean “…so that your brain and mind are in the mindset that the resolution is already being successful.” (Jason Miller, another participant in this challenge, adds that this is also a great time to start meditating.)
Now, most of my readers are teachers. We’re back in school after what was likely the first big vacation of the year, and our kids are in the shell-shocked mode of “my parents saw my fall term grades, and now I really have to knuckle down and get to work.” So there’s precious little relaxation going on for most of us.
However, one of my resolutions was really about cultivating relationships and networking in 2012. This is a kind of relaxation, too. So I invited a relatively new acquaintance out for a semi-formal dinner, a bit to drink, and some music. He had other engagements, so it wasn’t a very long time together, but it was a pleasant experience, with some rich conversation; and one which I’m sure will deepen in time.
As far as maintaining my commitment to my resolutions, I did pretty well despite being relaxed. I haven’t started a serious yoga program, but I have started doing more tai chi already. I’ve also made all my own lunches, and eaten all but one of my meals at home. A good start to 2012.