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For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Today is an ending of sorts. I am seeing posts from quite a few people who are grateful that 2017 is coming to an end. Apparently it hasn’t been a good year for many. But I also noticed on my memories feed for today that in past years, it wasn’t a good year either for many. And I wonder, how many say the same thing every year? Good riddance they say! I prefer another way. There is a spiritual book I study that says “we have no wish to regret the past nor to shut the door on it.” There is another spiritual book I study that says “principle is not bound by precedent.” Same concept, different words. What it means is that our past has power to determine our future only if we allow it. What if we used this principle as a way to do it different this time? What if we bid 2017 a fond farewell, releasing with gratitude everything that occurred, and then looking forward to the new year with excitement, enthusiasm and child like anticipation? What if we refused to allow what happened in past effect the decisions and actions of the future? What if we were no longer victims of our stories? What if we simply “advanced confidently in the direction of our dreams?” as Henry David Thoreau said. This New Year’s I will be setting intentions, not resolutions. Resolutions are useless, a waste of time. An intention such as “I will advance confidently in the direction of my dreams” is a guide for a way of living that ensures success. I wish you a happy new year!


NewyearsflyerEvery year at this time, I see and hear about everyone's New Year's Resolutions.

I also just saw come around again a post by Anne Lamont, who asked, in response to someone saying they were going on a diet for their New Year's Resolution, "how much weight are you planning to gain?"

That's what happens with New Year's Resolutions.  We resolve to lose weight, exercise more, eat more healthy, do that.

And how long does it last?  How much weight do you gain?  How long does it take before the exercise equipment gets a layer of dust on it?  Or the gym membership goes unused?

Here's the deal with resolutions, whether you make them on New Year's or some other time:  they don't work and they don't last.

If you have ever been puzzled as to why, it's because those resolutions are an outside fix, and without an inner process to support those outer actions, the outer actions won't continue.

This is why, for several years now, I've done a New Year's workshop.  It's a way to zero in on what is REALLY important to you, and then move from the inside out to make it stick.

Come join us!  Tuesday night, 5-8 pm, at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City, 3579 Highway 50 East in Unit 301.  Cost is $25.


Ok, I admit it.  I officially have short timer's disease.

I graduate in June.

This Masters Degree program I'm in has been wonderful:  4 years of learning, and each class has changed me from the inside out, and given me more skills and more training.  If you are just tuning in, I'm in an accredited Masters Degree program called Consciousness Studies.  (

I have loved every minute of it.

One of the things we teach is that it is counter productive to think in terms of:  when this happens I'll do that, or when that happens I'll be this.  The opposite is actually true:  I'll do that now, and effect this to happen.  Or, more specifically, it is not "when I win the lottery I'll be happy."  It is, "I'll be happy now, and then win the lottery!"

And yet, I have a list of things I want to do when I graduate.  I have dozens of books I want to read!  I want to take a trip.  Not a trip to Santa Rosa for class, but a vacation.  I want to go to the annual photographer's convention that I haven't been to since I began school.  I want to begin working in my new and chosen field.  I want to do workshops....lots and lots of workshops.

I created, before school began, a New Year's Eve workshop.  I happen to think New Year's Eve is the perfect time to plot out how one wants the next year to proceed.  Resolutions don't work, they never have.  But intentions do, especially with a solid plan in place to implement those intentions.  Plus some ritual release of the old.  I was doing this workshop every New Year's Eve and it was fun, successful and well attended.  but school got busier and busier and somehow the last couple of New Year's Eves it just seemed indicated that I should stay at home and be quiet.

Then there is this football thing.  I admit it:  I don't watch football.  I think there are much more productive things to do with one's time.  I also realize that I am out of sync with much of the population  in this.  I'm OK with that.    Last night, while my partner was watching football, I was writing papers for school, and I got a lot done!  But there is still one more game to get through, and I couldn't help but think it would be the perfect time for a workshop for those of us who would rather do just about anything than watch football.

But I have papers to write and finals to study for, so this will be another thing to add to the list of things to do when I graduate.  If you don't like watching football, stay tuned.  There will be a workshop next year!  Maybe even a series of them:  one on every Sunday there is a football game!


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

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