I hate New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because I feel like they put unnecessary pressure on people to do things that they believe they “should” be doing. It’s not that I don’t think people can change, or that I think trying to improve upon oneself is a hopeless endeavor, it’s just that it seems to me that people are more successful at making necessary adjustments when the impetus for change comes from within, rather than from the fact that it happens to be January 1st. That being said, I have noticed a very interesting yearly pattern in my own life, where I start new projects in September, which happens to be the Jewish New Year. But what fascinates me about this dynamic is the way that it occurs. It’s not like I sit down and plan for Jewish New Year resolutions. (Does anyone even do that?) They just happen, and then, days, or sometimes weeks later, I realize what time of year it is. You would think that after several years of this I would catch on quicker, but, as is often the case, insight doesn’t always follow a logical time-line.
In any event, this unusual process is actually a good example of synchronicity, a topic that I have lightly covered here before. Synchronicity is a unifying principle in the Universe that was given a psychological name by Carl Jung, the 19th century Swiss psychiatrist. The term synchronicity describes a meaningful coincidence, or an a-causal relationship between two events. For example, you think of a friend who calls you moments later, or you are writing a report and need a specific piece of information which comes to you as a result of a chance meeting with an old acquaintance. These “meaningful coincidences” happen to all of us, but they are most noticeable when we are open to all that life has to offer. And when they occur, we often experience a renewed sense of connection with all that is around us. It’s a lovely reminder that everything and everyone is connected, even if we cannot see what is holding us together.
I bring this up because I would love for 2012 to be a year where we all feel a little more connected to one another and everything that exists in our beautiful world. This is not a resolution! Rather, it’s something that I want to be mindful of, and it is certainly a theme that is very present in many of Dave Matthew’s songs. (Plus, what else was I going to talk about today. I doubt Chris wants me to mention the rumors that Dave and the boys are working with Steve Lillywhite on a new album, as we speak!!! So, no, I’m not going to talk about that.) Instead, I just want to wish all of you a very happy New Year, and I invite you to join me in my non-resolution to look for the love in here. Because, truly, it is love that treats us well and keeps us dancing.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.