There’s a real cultural thing about New Year’s Eve that you’ve got to get toasted, right? That’s how you bring in the New Year. Being an introvert, I don’t remember the last time I went to a drunken New Year’s Eve celebration… I don’t even like to watch the ball fall in Times Square.
In How to Survive New Year’s, Journey of Integral Recovery podcast co-hosts John Dupuy, Dr. Bob Weathers, and Douglas Prater continue their heartfelt discussion about how to survive the holidays, with practical tips about what you can do as an alternative to the pervasive tradition of getting plastered on New Year’s Eve (and feeling rotten on New Year’s Day as a result). Even if you never have been particularly interested in partying on New Year’s Eve, read on and be inspired to use this time of year to deepen your life, get in touch with your inner wisdom, and be guided toward a more peaceful and happier way of being for yourself, for others, and for the world we all share.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ON NEW YEAR’S IF I DON’T WANT TO PARTY?
John: What I do is make New Year’s a really reflective time. I meditate, and I pray, and I think about what I did this past year. What was the theme that came often to me in my meditations over the last year? Sometimes I throw the I Ching or use another oracle; the synchronicities are really powerful. Whether we buy into the guides or not, it seems the universe is wired toward meaning.
Then I’ll do a long meditation—two or three hours, something very, very special—to let go of the past year and begin a new cycle of life. My prayer goes something like, “Okay, God, I stumbled along… I tried to do my best. I had some successes and fell on my face at times, too. What can I do in order to do a better job this year? What do you want me to focus on? Give me any kind of guidance, as otherwise I’ll do whatever I think, and you know how that goes, Lord!” So I use that kind of manipulation with God (laughs).
So New Year’s has become a sacred space for me. It’s a really good time to go deep and just pour it out, and then shut up and let the presence or the wisdom voice or however that works for
you make itself known. This is important because not only do we have to deal with our personal path, but the world’s a crazy place right now, and it seems to be getting crazier. So, there’s a lot of reflecting and realizing we can do around, hey, we’re all just these little individuals—what can we actually do to be responsible for our collective care as a human family? Maybe there’s more than you think.
I’m pretty sure I’m on my path, and that I’ve found what I’m supposed to be doing in the world, but within that, there are all kinds of things to be aware of. I’ve got the basic, big, strategic view, but tactically, I need to know how to move day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month. There are so many decisions that require wisdom and guidance. So I think New Year’s, reframed like this, can be very useful.
MAKING RESOLUTIONS AND WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT
Doug: John, I really appreciate the theme of making space for New Year’s. I’m thinking about right use of will and how New Year’s is a time when people make resolutions. I have done this a lot historically, too: “This is the year I’m going to get in really good shape.” “This is the year I’m going to write a book.” Or whatever the case may be.
There’s nothing wrong with resolutions per se, but we’re still trying to create a life based on our own will, and oftentimes ideas about we think we want are given to us by society. It’s important to stop and ask ourselves why these things are important and allow room for guidance around what’s really important and what’s a good next direction. This way we can apply our will to doing the things that really matter, doing the things that will bring us to the next level, and doing the things that will allow us to bring the world to the next level, instead of mindlessly applying our energy and beating our heads against the wall to accomplish goals that don’t really inspire us, don’t really touch us, and don’t really make any kind of difference in the grand scheme of things in terms of our own happiness, the happiness of others, or the direction that we’re all going.
It certainly requires our strength, will, and push to manage our day-to-day, move forward, and do the actions that are given to us. But we also need to get out of the way and make space for these things to reach us in the first place. So, John, I really love your approach of bringing these two things together:
• getting out of the way…
• and then moving into it.
I think this would be a great formal practice, a great formal process, for all of us to engage in at this time of year.
GIVING UP TO GRACE
Bob: Colleen and I have a tradition—we’ve done this 8 years running—where we go down to the beach near where we live every New Year’s Day. She’s the one who started me on this, and she’s done it for decades. We just walk quietly along the ocean and take it in. It’s very much in the spirit of what we’ve been talking about. It’s a time of meditation.
The idea of making New Year’s resolutions is kind of an oxymoron in this community because, really, every day we make resolutions: we have resolved to practice on a daily basis. Not to say that we can’t always improve, but that’s so much a part of what we do. We don’t wake up on New Year’s Day and say, “Oh, I guess I’ll resolve to meditate this year, or work out.” It’s already built in, and I’m really grateful for that.
So, when Colleen and I go down to the beach, it’s not a time of making brand new resolutions—it seems to be the opposite of that. Rumi says—in the spirit of our New Year’s walk on the beach meditation, and also very much in the spirit of what you were saying, Doug—he says, “Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave ‘til it reaches the shore.”
John: Thank you, everyone, for being supportive and being part of this growing Journey of Integral Recovery community. As Ben Franklin said right before the revolution, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately!”
So, be kind to yourself, be kind to the unkind, and let’s make this coming year deeper than we’ve been before—more loving, more generous, and more forgiving.
Love to you all. God bless. And Happy Holidays to all of us! Happy New Year!
Read How to Survive the Holidays – Part I of this two-part series.
This blog was crafted from the transcript of an episode of The Journey of Integral Recovery podcast, recorded December 2, 2017, by Integral Recovery and iAwake Technologies’ editor Heidi Mitchell, www.heidimitchelleditor.com.
If you’d like to watch the podcast video, click here!
John Dupuy is the founder of Integral Recovery® and his book Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction won the 2013 USA Best Book Award. John is also CEO of iAwake Technologies and travels internationally to teach and inspire on the subjects of Integral Recovery, Integral Transformative Practice, and the use of brainwave entrainment technology to deepen one’s meditation practice and in the treatment of addiction, depression, and PTSD.
A highly regarded recovery coach, public speaker, staff trainer, business consultant, as well as author and educator, Dr. Bob Weathers holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an M.A. in religious studies. Over the course of his professional career, “Dr. Bob” has provided tens of thousands of hours of therapeutic counseling and recovery coaching, working collaboratively with his countless, satisfied clients. He has also committed the past 35 years to teaching, training, and inspiring hundreds of graduate-level mental health providers at several southern California universities. Visit Bob at www.drbobweathers.com.
Doug Prater is iAwake Technologies’ multi-talented Creative Director and the developer of Stealing Flow. He is also an author, meditator, fitness enthusiast, and musician who holds a degree in Music: Sound Recording Technology from Texas State University. Born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, Doug also spent significant periods of his life in Austin, TX, and Atlanta, GA. Always longing to return to the mountains, he now lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.