New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year folks!

In our Tamil culture, mid-January is the time when we declutter our houses preparing for the new month – “thai” (pronounced thigh). The festival is popularly known as Pongal and is celebrated over three to four days. It is basically a thanksgiving festival to nature, a ‘harvest festival’.

On the first day called “bhogi”, it is all about decluttering the house. In India, useless articles around the house (things like clothes, wooden furniture) are collected. Sometimes, people from the neighbourhood get together and throw these articles into a bonfire made of wood. As the fire burns, people gather around and dance.

This indicates that people have cleared their houses and surroundings and are ready to welcome a new auspicious beginning – sort of like our spring cleaning.

This festival not only has material significance but also has a greater spiritual significance. It reminds us to give up negativity, hatred, jealousy, remove unwanted thoughts, burn our ego and create space for positivity, love, compassion and happiness.

I thought it was apt with the new year having just begun, it could be wise to use the month to declutter. As life slowly returns to normal after the holidays, we still have time before school starts and the hectic pace begins. For me, before the end of December, I try to get rid of my children’s school stuff – discard used books and stationery, sell outgrown uniforms and anything else. I then go into each of my children’s rooms and clean up their cupboards. My children are at an age where they outgrow their clothes pretty quickly. So, I try to declutter bi-annually. On the work front, I discard unnecessary paperwork and clean up my workspace.

After decluttering, next comes the anticipation for a new year.

Have you set your goals and resolutions for the new year?

As you all know, I’m quite passionate about not only setting goals for the new year but also reflecting on what I’ve achieved at the end of the year.

Late last year, I had a medical procedure done and the whole of December was spent in recovery. As a family, we usually set goals before the end of the year. Being in recovery, I really did not feel like this task. Usually, I would have forced myself to do it regardless of how I felt, but I let it be and helped my children set their goals for 2022.

Over the COVID period, even though most of us knew that health is important, only when I went through a situation, did I fully realise how important health is.

I didn’t want to force the goal-setting process on me. As I was meditating, it came to me that I should choose a word for 2022 and my word was ‘FLOW’ along with ‘abundance’ and ‘trust’.

I am still not clear on what I want for 2022. I know most of us feel this way especially with the uncertainty of COVID still lurking in the shadows and threatening to upturn any carefully made plans. I know that some introspection is all I need to know what I want for the brand new year.

If you need a hand setting your goals for 2022, without getting overwhelmed, I am here to help. Let me know and together, we can craft what YOU want for another new year.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash