It is New Year's Eve, and I have already begun seeing lots of posts on Facebook and hearing comments from quite a few people that they are saying, "goodbye and good riddance" to 2013. The general feeling seems to be that 2013 was not a good year.
I'd like to present a different take on it. There are more productive ways to ensure success in the New Year. Here's a few of those ways:
- Don't regret the past. It really is true that what you think creates more of what you are thinking about. Regretting the past is a real good way to experience more of the same.
- If 2013 really wasn't a good year for you, view it as a stepping stone or part of a process to get where you want to go. Look forward in the direction of your dreams, not behind you.
- Do some inner work. No matter how you are feeling about 2013, doing some inner work will allow you to move into 2014 with enthusiasm. Ask yourself some tough questions: why? how? what could I do differently? Be gentle with yourself while you are doing this.
- Be grateful. Make a gratitude list of what you are grateful for in 2013. Did you know that gratitude increases life satisfaction? If you make a gratitude list every day, you will experience more satisfaction with your life.
- Don't do the New Year's Resolutions thing. They don't work. Instead, do some visualizaiton. Picture yourself as how you want to be. Don't loose sight of that picture. Think about that picture every day. As you go about your day, ask yourself if the action you are about to take is a step towards that picture you have in your mind, or a step away from that picture.
- And if your life truly isn't the way you want it to be, if you really think 2013 sucked and you just want to move on, consider that if you don't do something differently, 2014 is going to be more of the same. Harsh language? Perhaps. But you are not a victim of circumstances or anything else. You are an empowered being who may need some help to realize that. Spiritual counseling can help you navigate your way from victim to empowerment.
2014 can be the best beginning of the rest of your life! Happy New Year!
Christmas is six days away, but it's not too late to get into the Christmas spirit if you haven't already. I've been encountering some folks who are having trouble getting into the spirit this year. Here's a quote from one of my friends which seems to sum up what I've been hearing,
"Of late, I have been dreading the over-commercialism and expected gluttony of consumerism. Avoiding Christmas at best..."
And yet, I'm also noticing that many of these same people who are objecting to the commercialism and crowds are also deciding to do something new.
And I think this is really what Christmas can be about: a rebirth of sorts. We can decide to view things in a different way.
Ernest Holmes says that viewing Christmas as a time for honoring birth is more about "a birth in our consciousness as the realization of love, of truth, of beauty and of power." (from the December issue of Science of Mind magazine, in continuous publication since 1927)
"The new birth comes not by observation nor by loud proclamation, but through an inner sense of reality." Science of Mind textbook, page 472
If you are having trouble enjoying the beauty, love, truth and power of Christmas, maybe it is time to look at changing your perception about it.
Like art, all of life is a collaboration. It's a collaboration of choices. This artist chose chairs for the canvas, a restaurant to display the art, and a type of paint that would adhere well to the wood of the chair to produce these lovely works of art. And there is the bonus of functionality to this art.
All the elements work together, and they came together because of the choices of the artist. And the artist made these choices, and not some others, because of a combination of the intent to create the beautiful chairs as well as the skill to implement that intent.
Life is like that. We are continually making choices, and implementing them, sometimes with a lot of skill, and sometimes...not so much skill. But the choice, the intent, is always there. We can choose consciously, or by default, but the choice is always there. If we choose by default, the art of our life may seem a bit unorganized, or non-productive, or scattered, or maybe it just doesn't work. Like a piece of art that just didn't come together well.
Perhaps it is time to choose with conscious awareness, which is the initial step in the process of collaboration.
Here are a few tips to ensure success in the collaboration process:
- Remember that choices are not meant to be a reaction to life, but instead a proactive tool to create. Do not make choices nor act on those choices when in reactive mode. Instead, pause for all long as it takes.
- Choosing wisely happens when you are aware of what your are thinking and feeling, and what your beliefs are. This takes instrospection. Take time every day to check in with yourself and notice what is happening inside of you.
- Choosing wisely happens when you are calm and at peace. If you aren't calm and at peace, I highly recommend the practice of meditation. If you don't know how to meditate, or don't feel as if you are successful at it, take a class or hire a coach to teach you.
- If you don't feel as if you have choices in life, get some help.
- Once the choices are made, act on them by using tools and skills to implement those choices. Just as an artist begins by learning the basics of his craft, then building upon those skills, so do we begin by learning the basics of life and building on them, ever enlarging our skill set. You can learn new skills by taking a class, reading a book, hiring a coach or joining a support group.
Affirmation: I choose wisely today, from a place of peace and calm, and implement my choices to create the wonderful work of art that is my life!