Time to Re-boot by Nayaswami Devarshi

Nearly everyone has discovered the need to re-boot their computer to get rid of problems that are causing the operating system to malfunction. Similarly, it can be very helpful to do the same with our spiritual, mental, and physical operating system. A spiritual re-boot especially can help us to restart our lives in the most positive way.
What are the main problems we are trying to remove, and how do we remove them? The most significant are bad habits that have crept into our lives. The beginning of the New Year is a significant transition point and an opportunity to install new good habits and qualities into life.
The power of habit can be people’s worst enemy or their best friend. Bad habits tend to creep up on people, taking advantage of their busyness, and lack of conscious awareness, and life focus.
As Swami Kriyananda writes in The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained:
“Psychologically, what happens in any struggle between high aspirations in oneself and ones worldly tendencies is that habit sides with worldliness. Our need is to replace our bad habits with good ones. Good habits, however, yield to a higher power, which is what gives us our true strength.”
“Good habits, to become strongly established, require the use of awareness, energy, and will power. The lack of dedication and focus is the reason that many people make well-meaning New Year’s Resolutions that often last only one or two days.”
Once they become strong, however, these good habits become as easy and natural as brushing one’s teeth every day. This is where resolutions, done with focus and attention, can help us.”
Here are a few suggestions to help New Year Resolutions become well-established friends that can help us for the rest of our lives:
  • Keep them simple and focus on positive habits, rather than “I won’t do this, I won’t do that…” Instead of trying to eliminate the habit of eating too much sugar, for example, replace it with the habit of eating healthier foods.
  • Choose just a few important habits to focus on, rather than a long list.
  • Focus on at least one spiritual good habit. I’ve found that the daily habit of meditation and prayer is the most helpful of all, because it really does re-boot the operating system of our brain. Scientific studies of the effect of meditation on the brain show that just twelve minutes of meditation every day, for eight weeks, makes measurable physical changes in the brain that affect one’s overall feeling of well-being and happiness.
  • When the inevitable stumble comes, don’t admit failure. Instead, simply tell yourself, “I haven’t yet succeeded,” pick yourself up, and go forward again with your resolution.
Take encouragement from these words of the great Yoga Master, Paramhansa Yogananda:
“Remember, no matter what our trials have been, or how discouraged we are, if we will make a continued effort to be better and to succeed, we will find that, being made in the image of God, we are endowed with unlimited power, much stronger than our worst trials, no matter what they may be. Let us make up our minds that we will win, focusing all our concentration on the ceaseless efforts to succeed in the New Year, and we will surely be victorious.
“Remember that our past difficulties did not come to crush us but to strengthen our determination to use our limitless divine powers to succeed. God wants us to conquer the difficult tests of life and come back to His home of wisdom. Let us return in this New Year.”