In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last thirty years, meditation is a huge global phenomenon, and for good reason. In fact, not only is meditation a recommended daily practice alongside eating fruits and vegetables, drinking water, getting a little exercise, and breathing oxygen, but it is the only non-physical practice to be recommended by the United States government, the Center for Disease Control, and just about everyone else, because almost nothing else is so effective at fighting stress.

My first introduction to the topic was many years ago in a wonderful book by Dr. Herbert Benson from Harvard, where he showed staggering double-blind research about an incredibly simple little meditation. I thought, “Surely something that powerful can’t be so simple!” But it was, and it is.

Now, the great majority of meditations work by distraction, and while that’s well and good, it means you have to continue the distraction from day to day in order to keep getting the benefit. Years ago, I started experimenting with the possibility of an active, rather than a passive meditation, meaning that it did not work by distraction, but actually changed something inside of you. I measured it using the heart-rate variability test, which has been the gold standard for measuring stress for many years. The results I saw went even beyond Dr. Benson’s at Harvard. I believe the reason is because it’s not just distracting you from your stress, but helping to heal the source.

So today, I’d like to share a loving New Year’s meditation with you. Everyone’s heard of New Year’s resolutions, and you probably also know that they rarely last. Instead of that, I’d like you to try reprogramming yourself to have the best year in a long, long time. Here’s how it starts:

First, say a prayer or make a request of your heart, that while you’re doing this meditation, your heart and mind will not only help you perform the perfect meditation, but reprogram your mind and heart to have the best possible year.

Next, close your eyes. Make yourself comfortable in a quiet place, and start imaging 2019 as an amazing, answer-to-your-prayers kind of year. Let your heart and mind use all the colors of the rainbow and the canvas of your imagination, and image all the things you want to happen, and all the things you want to change. See it, taste it, touch it. Most importantly, do it until you feel as though it’s really happening.

Start in January. Feel the temperature and the breeze, the dryness in the air, whatever is true for you. See yourself doing the things you have never been able to do, see the people you care about responding positively, see yourself change for the better. Then on to February, and on, and on, and on. Don’t rush anything, even if you need to go just a week at a time. Not pie-in-the-sky, but things that are completely possible, though they may never have happened before. Enjoy it, have fun with it, and ask that your heart will program the perfect way to actually facilitate those positive changes. This can be something that you enjoy and work on throughout the year.

What I can promise is that as you do this, you are lowering your stress and changing your internal programming to something more and more positive—which may be what it takes to make the things you imaged come to fruition, or possibly even better! The main instruction is this: have fun with it.

Have a blessed, wonderful holiday!

Alex Loyd


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