For many years, I held a grudge against New Year’s Eve. So much pressure to do something, or be somewhere, or declare something. Pricey and disappointing (which was also, coincidentally, the name of my vaudeville duo act). But I’ve changed my mind about New Year’s! Because, much like at Christmastime, at New Year’s people are more open. At Christmas, folks are more willing to love their brothers and sisters; whereas at New Year’s, people are generally more on board with shaking things up in their day-to-day for the coming year. We’re feeling like there’s room for improvement in our lives, and we’re downright eager to get the medicine ball rolling! We love to wax poetic, after a few festive nogs, about making the coming year the best one ever. The excited buzz of change is in the air. And I think that’s marvelous!
However, we seem to be a bit confused as to what needs “improvement”. When I was a child, mothers would whip out their calorie clickers (sort of the Fitbit of the seventies) and clack their way along, tallying up the caloric casualties of countless grapefruits and Melba toasts, convinced of finding slimming happiness at the bottom of a tub of skim cottage cheese. Dads would employ a contraption consisting of pulleys that would monopolize a doorknob for half an hour (temporarily trapping whoever was on the other side of the door) in the pursuit of a more manly allure. Not much has changed. On January 2nd, we’ll stagger outside, with our holiday hangover of Turtles, gravy and an assortment of Yuletide liquors (also a breed of reindeer, I believe - the Yültide Likker), and desperately throw ourselves on the mercy of the likes of Jenny Craig or Goodlife Fitness. “Fix me!!”, we’ll cry out. “I’ve strayed! Beach season is only 7 months away!” (which reminds me, I’d better start now if I ever want to get back into my 5-piece bathing costume).
So listen, there ain’t nothin’ the matter with a little healthy eating, and getting some exercise. I’m for it, in fact (controversial, i know)! But what if, after a couple of energized weeks, you lose a bit of the resolve in your resolution? The spring in your step? The snap in your carrot? Your patience wears thin, your fitness goals seem further and further away, you compare yourself (unfavourably, of course) with others at the gym. You might well find yourself feelin’ a bit on the slumpy side. I’ve certainly been that person, MANY times. Oh, BROTHER have I.
But here’s the good news. It’s really quite simple, and it’s true (which I’m into).
THERE’S ONLY ONE LEVEL OF BEAUTY, AND YOU’RE IT.
You are as beautiful now as anybody could possibly be. Just ponder that for a sweet moment! Any thought that disputes the above remarks is only a judgment. And that judgment is false. False, I say!! You most likely have many, many judgments about the physical appearance of your body (I, myself, have always painted myself as a comical collection of pipe cleaners and old beanbags from an abandoned Toss Across game). All your judgments about your body (and other people’s, whether good or bad) are false. I mean, we know this, right? ‘Cause we’ve seen it in a Dove Soap campaign, or read it in a Marianne Williamson book once...but do we LIVE it? Like, actually practice it, daily...hourly...moment to moment? It seems really difficult. But once you get the hang of it, it gets easier! And LIFE gets easier. Ferret out those judgments, and kick ‘em to the curb. I’m telling you, you ARE beauty. Just like you ARE love. And you ARE joy. You just need to express them. They’re not outside somewhere, lurking like Gwyneth Paltrow’s paparazzi; they’re inside, waiting for you to notice that they’re there and to savour them.
So, if you’re making a resolution for 2019, why not resolve to work internally, instead of externally? Cause that’s where aaaaaallll the magic happens. If you want to feel better about yourself - before you hit a treadmill at dawn, just take five G. D. minutes for yourself and just breathe. Look within. SPOILER ALERT - you’ll find joy in there! Waiting patiently! It’s resting under all those 100-pound potato sacks filled with your judgments. And those potatoes are not fresh. Into the green bin with them!! ZERO WASTE.
Oprah would tell you to keep a gratitude journal. ALWAYS LISTEN TO OPRAH!! Take an inventory of what’s around you at any moment in time and see that you’ve got it all, kid! Be grateful for everything your body does for you, instead of what it isn’t doing for you. ‘Cause, truth o’clock - focusing on being grateful for something gives you more of that thing. As for me, I’m feeling so grateful for the enduring brand of Fresca right now! Nothing says holiday like Fresca!
I used to think riding the subway in Toronto was a somewhat bizarre experience, like being trapped with the cast of a Fellini film, but I was mistaken. Now, I’m on the subway, and I look up and down the car, and I’m struck with just how beautiful people are. Like, achingly beautiful. Just doing whatever they’re doing. Instead of judging them, I just see them. You know, it’s funny how we’ll go into the woods or to a zoo, and find all of the marvelous wild creatures to be fascinating and beautiful, but we don’t always extend that same compliment to the scads of humans we see every day. When you give up your judgments about them, I promise you people are stunning, no matter what shape or age or condition. And you are no exception. No. Exception.
The tried-and-true recipe for well-being: be kind to yourself. Extend love to yourself. Extend love to others instead of judgment. You’ll get that love back and you’ll feel simply delighted about your clever wellness plan!! And, ironically, the better you feel about yourself inside, the more energized you’ll feel about eating well, and exercising! Trying to work outside-in will never bring you the happiness you seek. Honest! Work inside-out! If you choose love, it will work EVERY TIME. And you DESERVE to experience just how truly beautiful you are. It’s what I see when I look at you, and I don’t want you to miss out on it!!
You know, recently friends have said to me, “You look fantastic! You haven’t changed a bit in 20 years!” And I tell them, “The secret is, don’t start off looking that great - and if you stay the same for long enough, people think you look amazing!”. Of course, I’m just joshin’...I now always delightedly accept the gift of a beautiful compliment (I used to deflect them like a flippin’ ninja)! And, to be quite clear, I know I looked great back then, too. Because I looked exactly like me. And no-one else looks exactly like me. And that’s a beautiful thing, n’est-ce pas?
If you’re feeling grateful that 2018 is finally ending, I invite you to be even more grateful for all the beautiful lessons and gifts you’ve truly received this year. You’ll find them if you go looking for them. They are there. And those lessons and gifts will lead you to spectacular things down the road! Treasure the lessons, let the past go, and choose again now!
I am sending so much love to you right now through my dazzling technology, you have no idea!!! I’m sending you an all-you-can-eat buffet of blessings! May you relentlessly experience all the endless joy, peace, clarity, abundance, prosperity, creativity, and LOVE that’s just waiting to be expressed by you, in 2019 and always. Happy New Year! Oh, and If you’re perusing this, and you’re curious...I LOVE YOU.
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