New Year, New Consciousness

January 1 does not embody an astrological or cosmic significance as such, but nonetheless, stepping into the New Year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on life’s journey. 2016 has been a year of big changes on the global front – with Brexit in Europe, the Trump presidency in the US and closer to home, demonitisation in India. Personally speaking too, 2016 has also been a year of big changes accompanied by new perspectives and learnings – from taking up the practice of yoga to dedicating more time to hobbies and interests.

One of the most significant aspects of a New Year is the opportunity to leave the past behind. A psychological fresh start if you will, but one that holds great spiritual meaning too. ‘Dying to the past every moment’ is often cited as the way of the wise.

Looking back on the last several months, there have been some important learnings and insights that I want to carry with me into 2017. Like taking just a few moments in the day to express gratitude for being alive. Like making space for sunsets and flowers. Like doing things out of love that will bring joy, and not merely acting out of compulsion or fear. Like spending time with Nature which simultaneously soothes and teaches. Like watching my mind and not being consumed by it. Like giving, even if it is only my attention I can give. Like keeping the inner landscape pleasant, no matter what is happening around. Like putting in the best effort for every task, knowing that success is not guaranteed. And perhaps most importantly, like continuing to seek.

In previous years, I would start a New Year by setting goals and intentions and wondering how the year might unfold. But now, I think it’s wiser to try and bring my attention to the present moment and rather to wonder what it holds. Because only the present moment ever exists – the rest is imagined. And so if you can manage the present moment, you can manage eternity.

May the new year be a time of new consciousness for all.

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Shruti Bakshi
Shruti Bakshi is the Founder of the LivingWise Project. She has worked for several years in banking and financial services in London, Paris and Mumbai and holds an MBA (INSEAD) and MPhil in Finance (Cambridge). Shruti writes about life at the intersection of spirituality and modern society. Her debut novel 'From Dior to Dharma' was released in May 2017.


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13 Replies to “New Year, New Consciousness”

  1. avofoodies

    Shruti, I loved how you bolded some of the words here on your post. It really gives a sense of what life is all about – love, giving, gratitude, etc. I definitely agree with you on how living in the moment and living in the present are really important coming off from the new year. It’s so easy for us humans to think about our past mistakes and regrets and put that as a burden or doubt upon us for the upcoming year. In the same fashion, we worry about the future – of the “what if’s” and if we will get ourselves into the same mistakes and regrets. However, just like you said, living in the moment is the best attitude to be in. Thanks for the reminder! xo, Stephanie

    • Shruti Bakshi

      Thank you Stephanie and I love your very thoughtful comment! I’m happy that you resonated with the post 🙂 I bolded those words rather automatically and felt that it made the post more effective in the end – glad you liked it! Best wishes and here’s to living more in the present xx

  2. Ulingana

    Taking advantage of random internet here actually having a good day (!) to check in & say hi Shruti. Great post but I find I read with a new perspective after reading your book. Knowing something of your journey makes a difference. Happy and fulfilling new year to you. Tony

    • Shruti Bakshi

      Great to hear from you Tony! Have missed your comments. Hope your project is going great in Zambia.
      Thanks for the comment- I hope the new perspective since reading the book, as you mention, is a better one!
      Wishing you likewise a very happy and fulfilling new year.
      Best, Shruti

  3. Ulingana

    Not ‘better’… just feel like I understand more of your journey now, therefore more of where you are at now. Are you still in India? I live near Cambridge in UK when I’m there, was actually living in C when you were at Uni there. My journey was similar in many ways but you were more focussed than I. My life was a bit chaotic in my 30’s! Have passed your book on to Alice, Ketty’s mum… explained it would tell her a bit more of my journey by reading about yours. kindest, Tony

    • Shruti Bakshi

      I’m really touched to hear that you passed the book on to Ketty’s mom. Also, it’s really good to know you related so much to it/my journey. Have to say some parts of the book are fictionalised, but overall, yes, it’s rather true to (my) life. I think generally speaking the book would resonate only with a select/special audience!
      I left the UK about 6 years ago now…so it was a long time ago that I lived there. Cambridge is a beautiful place – I do miss it sometimes. I’m now in India, yes. Still learning about yoga, spirituality and hoping to travel around the country a bit more! Take care, Shruti

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