By Amy V. Dewhurst
The celebration of New Year’s dates back to 153 B.C. when Janus, the Roman God of beginnings and guardian of doors and entrances was placed at the start of the calendar. I wonder if the Ancient Romans braced 154 B.C. with promises to “Lose weight,” “Stop smoking,” and “Drink less,” which are ranked the highest amongst Americans’ recurring resolutions. January is filled with gym memberships, Nicorette purchases and quiet nights at home, but we all know come St. Patrick’s Day all bets are off. What can we do to make 2009 a year of lasting change?
A resolution is defined as “A commitment that an individual makes to reform a habit.” Who wants to remind themselves of their self-perceived faults year after failure-filled year?
A much more empowering solution is to set an attainable goal, positive intention, or what Hindu scholars call a “Sankalpa.” Dr. Swami Shankardev Saraswati describes it as “A Sanskrit word which means a resolve formed in the mind or heart. It also means will power, purpose, intention and conviction. A Sankalpa is the conscious articulation of a desire, with clear and focused intention.
Our intention is formed into a simple positive sentence and then repeated either mentally or aloud.” Simply put that means replacing the resolution “I will lose 10 pounds” with the goal “I will run everyday” leading to the affirmation “I look and feel great”. Those are actions and thoughts within our control. Isn’t that an easier place to start?
On November 4, I heard a strong Sankalpa shouted from the Venice rooftops. It echoed down Abbot Kinney Boulevard all the way to the beach. It was used as a greeting, a cheer and even a march. It was the celebratory scream of “Yes. We. Can.”
President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration will serve as a strong reminder of the power of intention. Four years ago he was a peripheral political figure. In January he will hold the highest office in our country. An advocate of conviction and a catalyst for change his campaign affirms “There has never been anything false about hope.”
Venetians’ Hopes for 2009:
-”Whatever I’m facing–career, love, family, traffic, health, finances, leisure or the lack of it–I will take a deep breath, smile and do my best” -Jennifer Quail, Screenwriter
• ”To work at the Venice Skatepark” –Tonan Ruiz, VSA
• ”Live Life More” –Michael Ray Ponce, Photographer
• ”Same as it is every year. To sell a script” –Jason Burke, Screenwriter
• ”A food bank in Venice” –Nina Merced, The Fruit Gallery
• ”Produce More. Consume Less” –Dana Puscetta, Music video director
• ”Just blast front-side air out of the pool” –Joe Ayala
• ”To get paid more to do what I love” –Celia Chaves, Singer
• ”Less reaction, more acceptance, and more discipline is my new years plan of action. Most of all is to have more FUN than I did in previous years.” –Julie Kokesch, Medical esthetician and meditation facilitator
• ”International Travel” –Venice Originals’ Kaycee Smith
• ”To figure out why boys are dumb…Oh, and get business cards” Shima Razavi, Writer/director
• ”The new skate park!!!” –Dennis Lyons, Jr.
• ”Yeah, the new skate park…hopefully it won’t be too crowded” –Shane McKinley
• ”South America!” Cristin Costello, Urbanic Paper Boutique
• ”To brighten the day of anyone walking through my door, with great treats and conversation.”-Sassan Rostamian, SAUCE on Hampton
• ”More. Better. Vibes. Stronger Vibes!” –Angel