The Benefit Of New Year Thinking

Winter Bird by Chao Shao-an featured in his book A Study of Chinese Paintings. See a larger version of this painting on our blog.

A Time to Release Everything Unwanted

Many of the things that people hold onto have no actual benefit. Things like regret, remorse, guilt, and shame have no useful purpose in one's life. They are really mechanisms of control that people often use to influence other people to behave in certain ways.

Most of these feelings and habits evolve from one simple idea. Once upon a time, someone thought it was a good idea to associate some amount of trauma with an important lesson so that people would remember.

When my father was originally learning painting, his teacher would slap his hand with a ruler when he held his brush in an improper position. This minor trauma was really a tool to say, "Ning, remember to hold your brush properly."

This is a shortcut for a teacher who is unwilling to take the time to explain the logical cause and effect relationships around what they are wanting to teach and allowing their student to make their own decision. Instead of saying, "when you hold your brush improperly, your strokes are inconsistent and lack energy," slapping someone's hand with a ruler is an immediate and easy way for the teacher to imprint in the student's mind, "remember this important lesson."

Now this example is relatively harmless but imagine if the student held on to the trauma of this little hand slap and replayed it in their minds over and over again. What if they remembered how embarrassed they felt when their schoolmates laughed at them. Or they decided to punish themselves over and over again for making this error and causing themselves this humiliation. The replaying of trauma can be so distracting that it can cause someone to forget the original lesson thus defeating any benefit it may have had.

This is why people like the New Year when we can, in one fell swoop, wipe the slate clean and start over with renewed optimism and the lightness of being that comes with releasing all of our gathered emotional baggage.

What if we adopted this thinking year round? If we realize that life is giving us constant feedback on our efforts to create our own experience and we attentively learn and remember these life lessons, we can methodically become masters of creating the experiences we desire in life. With this type of awareness, trauma is not needed as a tool for remembering and we can immediately let go of any baggage or avoid it in the first place. This joyful and effortless state of being is available to us all, anytime of the year.

In Case You Still Want Something You Haven't Received for Christmas Sale!

For this last portion of our Holiday Sale, we are bringing back the 20% discount on our limited edition brushes.

This means 20% off limited edition brushes and paper (including vintage papers)! The sale is available now through end of day January 4th, 2021!
Artist improvement

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