Congratulations! You’ve survived 2016. Welcome to the future.
The promise of a new year prompts us to take a good, hard look at ourselves and evaluate the choices we’ve made and are making with regard to the future. It’s our nature to strive to be great – to do more, create more, and look at ourselves in a new, improved light. We all want to be the best versions of ourselves, whether we’re conscious of it or not.
Even though we’re capable of making life-altering changes at any time, the span of a fresh twelve months in a calendar year indulges our linear brain’s need for measurable results. This is why nearly half the population make resolutions every year — and yet, only 8 percent manage to keep them. What’s up with that?
Let’s take a look at some of the top resolutions people made for 2016:
• Lose weight
• Get organized
• Spend less, save more
• Fall in love
• Spend more time with family
Do you notice a theme among these resolutions?
They all indicate lack. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make changes in areas of health, lifestyle, finance, or relationships. Making positive changes in any of these areas would cater to improved well-being. But our attitude toward any area of our life is reflected in the language we use to describe it.
By changing our language, we can change our attitudes. By changing our attitudes, we shift from the negative (a state of lack because we think we don’t have what we want) to the positive (our natural state of abundance.)
Intending to lose weight indicates lack of appreciation for the body one already has. Getting organized indicates lack of control of possessions or success. Spending less and saving more indicates lack of money. Resolving to fall in love is indicative of being incomplete without someone else. Finally, resolving to spend more time with family suggests a lack of enough “free time” to go around.
Of course, the resolutions listed above are obtainable and accessible with the passing of time. The problem with resolutions (and some big goals), and the reason why they often fail at providing the lasting change we’d like to see, is that we bust out of the gate gung-ho and ready to live a new, improved life… only to be let down when we don’t see immediate change. Let down breeds let down, and lack breeds more lack. With enough verbal or mental negative repetition, we actually convince ourselves that our desires and goals are unobtainable. When we do so, we sink back into a state of hopelessness and quietly accept that we just aren’t capable of creating the change we’d like to see.
But now that you understand that, you can go back to remembering that you’re a creator, not a victim of circumstance.
You are capable of creating whatever positive change you’d like. There is nothing wrong with you.
I’m going to help you alter your resolution so that it is not only obtainable, but also immediate. All you have to do is just be what you already are.
First, let’s change our language, which will change our attitudes, which will change our results.
Here are the same resolutions with altered language:
Lose weight Be/stay active, healthy and fit
Get organized Remember that the exterior is a reflection of the interior
Spend less, save more Evaluate what it is I truly need
• Fall in love with myself
Spend more time with family Remember that time is the currency of priority
Can you see the difference?
By shining a new light on any situation, the situation changes. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
To illustrate what I mean, I’ve elaborated a bit on each subject.
In seeing ourselves as beings who are naturally healthy and active, we begin to alter our choices to align with who we really are.There is no diet or exercise regime that is appropriate for everyone; the way we eat and exercise are byproducts of how we see ourselves. Drink water. Eat vegetables. Don’t reach for a bottle of Tylenol every time you have a headache. Are you tired? Do you eat because you’re hungry or because it’s nine a.m. and you always eat at nine a.m.? What is habit, and what is instinct?
Listen to what your body asks you for. It developed itself for nine months before you even realized you were a conscious being. It knows what it’s doing. Trust it. When you allow your body to call the shots, you negate resistance and, in turn, put complete faith in your ability to be healthy. In trusting your own ability to be well, you will begin to make conscious decisions to continue being well. It’s the easiest thing in the world. You don’t even have to do anything. Your natural state is health.
How about the state of your house, apartment, or bedroom? Do you feel refreshed and energized when you wake up, or do your eyes immediately dart to a pile of clothes on the floor and a bunch of stuff shoved on a shelf that you haven’t touched in God knows how long? There is a Hermetic adage that is appropriate here: “as above, so below.” Our exterior environments are reflections of our inner environments. Both mental and physical clutter are the same. We assume that holding onto things from the past will somehow bring us something sentimental and meaningful, as they serve as reminders from happy times in our lives. But are they also serving as anchors that keep us away from focusing on the present?
Whether it’s an item or a memory, it’s not beneficial for us to hold onto something because it may serve a purpose what if or one day. In tuning our attention away from the past and future, we are able to gauge what we need right now, and our ability to hold on or let go will naturally reflect that. Again, you don’t have to do anything. You’re already in a present state of clarity; it’s only in reflecting on the chaos of the past or the fear of the future that we create confusion.
When we think about what it is we truly need, we realize pretty quickly that we already have it. Pursuit of status, be it monetary or a position of power, blinds us to our relationship to the contented life that is already available. We’re already living it!
Overvaluing possessions and accomplishments stems from our ego’s fixation of getting more – wealth, belongings, status or the like. Rather than seeking more, practice gratitude for what you already have. The advice to “not do” and trust that all will settle perfectly into place may sound like a prescription for laziness, but I’m not saying to be passive and inactive. Rather, trusting the universe to provide your highest desires is allowing yourself to be guided by more than simple, ego-driven desires. How do we figure out our highest desires? Listen for what urges you onward, free from ego domination, and you’ll paradoxically be more productive and engage in opportunities that will further you along your path of least resistance. When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place, and you will be amazed at the coincidences (miracles?) that converge for your benefit.
Again, it takes zero effort except to act according to your authentic, honest self.
I’ve heard love described as a fulfilling sense of completion. “He/she is my other half,” someone will say. That’s wonderful, but you don’t want to be with half a person, and another person won’t want to be with half of you. Any relationship, whether it’s a friendship or romantic partnership, shouldn’t be one of codependency, where one person (or both people) needs the other to fill a void in his/her life. Instead, let’s strive to complete ourselves.
In creating a joyful life by ourselves, we naturally magnetize ourselves to attract others who share similar values. This is what is meant by the saying your vibe attracts your tribe. Living an authentic life that creates true joy within you is the best (and fastest) way to meet others who align with your message and your values. Let them be part of your growth, and allow one another the gift of collaborative progression.
Time and priorities.
Next time you are tempted to say that you don’t have enough time for something, replace the latter half of the statement with “because it’s not a priority” and see how it feels. For example: “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” Or: “No, honey, I can’t help you with rewriting your resume because your resume is not a priority.” Of course you have enough time for anything you want to do – your life is just moment after moment, strung together with passing seconds.
This realization shouldn’t make you feel bad. In fact, it should empower you, because it’s related to the idea that we often feel like we have to explain ourselves for wanting or not wanting to do something. If all we have is an undefined amount of time here, why shouldn’t we occupy it as we’d like? Notice opportunities to defend or explain yourself, and then choose not to. Instead, turn within and sense the texture of misunderstanding. Just be with what is, instead of opting to ease it by explaining or defending. Don’t get caught up in being right or wrong – you know what is right or wrong for you. You can do as you wish without being focused on the outcome. All you have to do is just be.
Can you feel the light within you? Did certain parts of this article strike a chord inside you somewhere? That’s because you already know these things as truth, so don’t let those truths be smothered by fear of what is not.
You may have a long list of resolutions or goals that you believe will provide you with happiness or contentment when they’re attained or achieved, but if you examine your state of happiness in this moment, you’ll realize that the fulfillment of your previous ambitions didn’t create an eternal sense of joy.
If you do nothing else in 2017, I hope you bring happiness to every encounter in your life, instead of expecting external events to produce it for you. By staying in harmony with the natural, positive flow of life, all the contentment you could ever dream of will begin to flow into your experiences. You will meet the right people, the financial means to get where you’re headed, and all of the necessary factors will come together to fulfill your wildest dreams.
Relax. Stop pushing yourself, and feel awe for everything that already is. Just be.