There is a Japanese tradition that I really like which is that you begin the new year with things as orderly as possible. This is something I have tried to practice for the last decade or so and while I have not always had the energy or resources to do it, especially in years that were particularly challenging, I find it a very helpful practice.
Cleaning up can mean straightening up where you live or where you work and it can also mean taking care of relationships that are out of whack. It can mean trying to clean up our attitudes towards things or moving out of unhealthy mental habits or spiritual habits. An unhealthy spiritual habit could be something like believing that we are powerless OR believing that we are all powerful. Having a right relationship with our own sense of agency and what we can and can’t do is an important thing as we approach the end of this year, 2017, which has been so difficult for so many of us.
In this new year, living our values will be more important than any other time in my lifetime. In a world in which values are increasingly being discounted in favor of simple commercial consumerism and the right to do whatever one wants at whatever cost, we need people who are willing to commit to their values.
In cleaning up at the end of this year, I will be looking at my own attitudes and my own priorities in this world. I may not be able to put the world in order, however, I can straighten up my corner.