“New Year, New You” advice is exhaustive in the month of January, when the self-improvement pressure cooker is dialed all the way up. Diets, exercise trends, and other self-help fads clog our social media feeds, making it virtually impossible to feel anything other than overwhelmed and guilty useless emotions that are the polar opposite of what the New Year should be about: a time for positive aspirations and intentions, instead of goal weights and other numbered objectives that only set us up for pain and disappointment.In thinking about how I wanted to approach the New Year, I thought of one of my favorite pop culture properties, Star Wars, and how I’ve always aspired to reach the ultimate zen of the Jedi. True masters of the spiritual order carry with them an ultimate wisdom and sense of power that transcends brute physical force, focusing instead on intuition and reflection. With that in mind, I compiled five pillars of Jedi practice that I want to aspire to in 2019. Join me, will you?
We know that Jedi place a lot of importance on understanding the past to help guide a toward better future. One way to do that is through journaling, something I aspire to do more of in 2019. Journaling is a great way to document the present so it can be reflected on in the future. It also helps us keep track of our headspace on any given day, a great way to sharpen the tool that is our mind. If we’re keeping on theme, you can even choose to recount your daily activities in a Star Wars-themed journal, like this R2-D2 set.
In The Last Jedi, we learned about the a series of ancient Jedi books that were housed in a tree library on Ahch-To. Though Luke believes them to be destroyed when Yoda sets fire to the tree, in actuality, Rey smuggled them onto the Millennium Falcon and will likely use them to train the next generation of Jedi scholars. We don’t know what the books contain, but I like to think they get to certain deeper philosophies and histories of the Jedi Order. We obviously don’t have any real-world counterparts, but books that attempt to understand the Star Wars mythos through philosophy like The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy: You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned by Jason T. Eberl are a fun alternative, and a good way to filter our own understanding of the world. In lieu of Rey’s Jedi books, I’ll attempt to read titles like that deepen my understanding of storytelling and cultures as a creative and reflective boost.