As we embark on 2013, we make our resolutions and hope that we can stick to them for at least more than a week! How familiar is that?! But, what if instead we resolved to re-new our lives and the way we choose to live?
What if we really challenged ourselves to re-assess and take inventory (responsibility) about how we choose to live our everyday lives? And, not only for ourselves, but also for others who come into our life and extending that out to our community and, therefore, to the world?
If you took a step back to consciously look at your “self” right now in the present, what would you find? Would you find yourself holding onto anger? Using harmful words or thoughts? Feeling jealous of others’ rewards?
These are all common circumstances that we find ourselves in. And many times, we end up feeling guilty for having these thoughts and feelings and allow the guilt to eat us up. Rather than allowing the guilt to take over, we can be gentle with ourselves.
We can remind ourselves that we are human and we can learn from the uneasiness of the circumstances we allow ourselves to be in. One way we can learn is to remind ourselves of the life we want to lead, or create. We already and inherently know the way. We already know the “rules.” We already know our truth. We just have to stop, ask, remember and, then, practice.
We can begin by asking, or reminding, ourselves what our morals and values are. And, one of the most challenging questions we can ask ourselves is: How can I live a more harmonious life with others? We begin by looking at a few principles to reign in our thoughts and emotions when dealing with other people:
- NON-HARMING: How are you acting or re-acting to others? Check in with your thoughts, speech, and actions. Are you able to take responsibility for aggressive tendencies and work on developing compassion, patience, and love toward others?
- TRUTH: Like the above principle thoughts, speech, and actions are important within expressing the truth. However, there must be a balance and we do not need to speak unnecessary truth when it hurts others (“That dress is hideous”).
- NOT STEALING: Stealing in the physical sense from our neighbor is one principle. Another is also in the form of taking ideas, thoughts, or resources. “Giving credit where credit is due” is a mantra to remember.
- MODERATION: Everything in moderation is the key phrase. From food, exercise, work, to even sexual relations. From time to time, check-in with yourself to make sure these components are a positive influence in your life, as well as with those who share your life.
- GREEDLESSNESS: Greed can overwhelm us and make us believe that we need more. The answer to the dilemma is to simplify and let go. You don’t have to give up everything to the extreme! But, do look at the way you live and your behavior. Get rid of the clutter in your home, donate to Goodwill, give of your time and knowledge, open the door for other people, listen wholeheartedly, and be gracious. Small acts can have such a positive and meaningful influence on your life.
Next, in our quest to re-ignite our lives, we ask ourselves: How do I want to be? Who do I want to be? How do I live meaningfully? And, how do I maintain a positive environment? We reflect on the person we are meant to be with the following principles:
- PURITY: How “clean” is your inner and outer self? Who or What do I surround myself with? Am I taking the time to care for my body internally and externally with food and exercise? How am I caring for my mind, my emotions? Am I reframing my thoughts into positive ones?
- CONTENTMENT: Staying in the present moment helps us to see the riches we already have in our life. Being okay with ourselves and our lives shows acceptance and reduces worry and anxiety of where we “should” be.
- SELF-DISCIPLINE: It is your determination to be the best You there is! Through this discovery, though, you will hit some bumps in the road that will challenge you. These bumps ignite the fire that encourages you to let go of, or burn up, the old and let the new enter in. And, that’s okay because deep down you know you’re on track with all the hard work you’re doing. Your conscious awareness helps you to understand your impulsivity and behavior and this gives you great strength!
- SELF REFLECTIVE AWARENESS: This is the process of learning to understand ourselves by watching our thoughts and actions constantly. In this process we discover who we are. Life presents many opportunities to learn about ourselves; our flaws and weaknesses give us the opportunity to grow and our mistakes allow us to learn.
- DEVOTION: Giving devotion to those things that nourish you; that give you hope and strengthen your faith and desire.
Whatever answers you stumble upon in this process, be sure to write them down or, perhaps, create some artwork! You don’t want to forget about all the hard work you’ve done! Plus, when you write things down or create artwork, you are then reminded of your journey. And, you can always add and subtract as you continue down your path!
Happiness and Health to All in the New Year!
Suggested Reading and Music:
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth by: Iyanla Vanzant, 1998.
The Joshua Tree by: U2, 1990.