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"See how Janus appears first in my song to announce a happy year for you.—Ovid
It's January again, dear reader. What does this mean to you? Do you eagerly create resolutions to ring in a year of growth and change, or do you detach yourself from this silly pursuit, knowing that there is nothing special about January 1st that makes it any easier?
The act of welcoming in a new year dates back four thousand years, making it one of the oldest holidays around. History has it that the Babylonians celebrated their new year in March, tied naturally into spring and a new growing season, when they would return all of the farm equipment they borrowed from their neighbors and party hardy for eleven days in a row. The early Roman calendar also began the New Year in March, but then Julius Caesar stepped in (some sources say around 154 BC) and changed it to January, a month named after Janus, the god of transitions, doors, and new beginnings. Janus was a curious guy, with a face both on the front and the back of his head. He could look forward and backward at the same time, which allegedly allowed him to reflect on the old and welcome in the new much better than the rest of us can. The Romans exchanged coins printed with his image to spread good fortune at the New Year and resolved to seek forgiveness from their enemies, of which there were probably many.
Given all this history, it seems our contemporary turn of the New Year was destined to include both revelry and austerity. Janus had his own issues (with his two faces and all), but let's admit that he had it easy if all he had to do each year was promise to return his neighbor's plow. A few thousand years later, we have a long list of challenges to overcome. We make earnest resolutions to quit using credit cards, unplug from the Internet, get off the couch, watch less primetime TV, and eat better by spending half our paycheck on healthy food. In fact, according to usa.gov, the most common resolutions in this country are to lose weight, pay off debt, save money, get fit, eat right, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, and reduce stress. It's a bit of a wake-up call to realize that the common thread in all of these resolutions is resisting the temptations of the modern world.
In that spirit, this year say "yeah, right" to the cults, gurus, fads, and gadgets, and make a resolution to connect with your strongest ally: yourself. Like Janus, all of us have two sides—one that sets goals and another that wants nothing to do with them. With easy temptations packed in every aisle and played on every channel, we need to work extra hard to remain connected to our higher self—but author Edwige Gilbert says remarkable things happen when we do: "The moment we tap into the internal, into the vast power of the mind, body, and spirit, our boundaries recede beyond all horizons imaginable."
Gilbert's new book, The Fresh Start Promise: 28 Days to Total Mind, Body, Spirit Transformation, is a guide that helps you create the life changes you've always thought about, no matter what they are. Gilbert, a certified expert in yoga, hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming, qigong, recovery, and fitness training, gathers techniques from around the world that speak to all levels of our life and blends them into a four-week plan:
If Roman conquerors could actually forgive their enemies, don't you think you can accomplish your own personal goals? Well, of course you can. The Fresh Start Promise is a catalyst to help you do just that, in January or during any time of the year.
From The Fresh Start Promise
Leave room for things you will acquire along the way, including food for thought, centering techniques, and self-empowering declarations that will open your heart and make room for love, trust, and vibrant energy.