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  • Writer's pictureShihan Kendall

A Half Million Resolutions

“Live the actual moment.

Only this actual moment is life.”

– Thích Nhất Hạnh

“The only way to live

is by accepting each minute

as an unrepeatable miracle.”

– Tara Brach

Dear Dojo Family,

There are 525,600 minutes in this new year we are embarking on (at least according to that one song--I'm going to take it on faith because I don't want to waste even one of those minutes on the math). That's a half million and change. Most of us would feel downright giddy at the prospect of making that many dollars over the next twelve months. There would be plans for investing or splurging or both. And I reckon more than a few of us would pay less attention than we do now to where each dollar went.

Unlike money, time can't be refunded and can't be saved for later. It can only be spent--or wasted. Like money, it can go by really fast, leaving you wishing you had more. So maybe it's a good idea to take a moment and do some accounting.

We already know that we, on average, will spend a full third or so of 2019 asleep. The important question is: how much of our waking time will be conscious time? Conscious time is that which we spend immersed in the world around us, not the one inside our heads. Time in which we dwell over an argument or some other unfortunate event from the past is not conscious time. Nor is the time in which we stress out over all that we have on our plate, worrying about to-do lists at moments when we are unable to tackle any of the items on it. And how much of the time that we spend immersed in a screen 18 inches from our faces can we put down in the ledger as being in the here and now? A proper accounting of how we spend our time may very well remind us that we spend a lot of time not conscious of precisely what's going on around us. Those minutes really add up--and subtract from our engagement with our world and our growth as people.

Whatever resolutions you've made as we turn the calendar on another year -- whether it be an improvement of yourself, your home, your job or your community--let me suggest you begin with resolve to try your best to live in each and every minute. Will we fail at that? Of course--we're only human. But by being mindful of our minutes, we can spend more of them mindfully than we did in our last trip around the sun. And that will make our lives, and the lives of those around us, so much richer.

Happy New Year.

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