I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Festivus/Whatever You Celebrate and time to nourish and renew. Emily spent the time settling into her new home on the beach, Arran and I also spent time on the beach with family, and Shearry has been relaxing with her daughter and family. A beautiful time for all of us gratefully!!!
AS we approach NYE, I wanted to broach a subject that begins to consume most – NY Resolutions. It’s a funny idea isn’t it, that at New Year can we become a ‘new person’ with new resolutions and goals and ‘start again’. The truth is we can do it every day. But I do enjoy a sense of bringing something to a close, and something else into fruition. I would like to explore reviewing the year that has been and setting intentions for the new year.
We can begin to get a feel for how our year went by looking at now as it closes are we proud or are we feeling punished? Are we exhausted or exhilarated? Are we cranky or compassionate? Did we feel the time flew by, or that it was a year saturated with happiness and adventure? If we are living our Dharma, a Sanskrit term for living out our purpose on earth, then time appears to slow down. It’s a beautiful process. When we live in accordance with the laws of nature and exploring our own roles within this, time passing is a more elegant experience. If we’re not living our Dharma, we’re doing the opposite, Adharma, we are out of flow. We’re living through actions that go against the laws of nature. We are creating binding actions and karma.
I know I have had a year strangely rich with both. I had extended times of feeling purpose filled and that life was sheer beauty, and moments of feeling like I was caught in a slow train crash. There was expansion, there was contraction. There was complete peace, and also panic at other times. Analysing our personal Dharma and questioning if and how we are living it and can this be improved upon, is a great place to begin with. A full revision of the year that has been.
SO HOW TO REVIEW?
Let’s first investigate the process of reviewing in order to gain insights into what has been and learn from what could be improved upon. It would be wise to carve out at least a few hours for this task, and begin with a meditation. ‘Knowledge is structured in consciousness’ spoke Maharishi and when we are doing the investigative work, the expansion of our conscious state is an excellent place to start.
The first thing that needs to be celebrated is ‘What went well?’
Where did you feel in flow?
When were your preferences met, and you felt quenched?
What made you feel elevated?
When did you feel like you could explode with happiness?
Obviously pondering these things helps us establish what can be carried through to the future year.
The questions of ‘What didn’t go so well’ need to be posed after this.
How did I get into those situations?
What did I contribute to them?
What am I resisting?
Did I act without creating friction?
Was the experience binding?
How do I now move on?
A little pondering these questions so that we can absorb future strategies is time well invested. And at the end of this pondering, we must acknowledge that everything is well and wisely set. Well, was it for you this past year? Of course it was. Even when it feels like a balls up, only one thing is happening and that thing, is evolution.
THE PROBLEM WITH RESOLUTIONS
After gaining some knowledge of the year that has been and its delivered lessons, I urge you all to not set resolutions for the new year. Rather, set intentions. We all love setting resolutions don’t we. And then kicking ourselves stupid when they don’t last. In physics, resolution means the process of separating or reducing something to its constituent parts. It can also mean the explanation of a problem or puzzle. Now we have done our looking back, we don’t desire separation, and certainly forward action shouldn’t be about explaining puzzles. So resolutions aren’t really what we are after here.
ABOUT SETTING INTENTION
Intention is the answer. Setting intentions that are adaptable. That we don’t become rigidly attached to. That if they don’t serve the need of the time we alter and change. Intentions that are fluid and dynamic in nature. That can be upgraded if necessary. Intentions that are for not only us to benefit but also the greater good. I read this beautiful little tale about a man, who was standing on the shores edge in the early morning and throwing starfish that had washed ashore back into the sea. Another man walked up to him and questioned his reason for doing this. The first man replied, well if they stay out here on the sand, when the sun rises high into the sky they will dry up and die. The second man with a dismissive tone said he was being ridiculous and exclaimed ‘with the millions of starfish and the huge expanse of the ocean, how do you think you’re ever going to make a difference!!!’. Then man picked up another starfish, paused and replied ‘well, I’m making a difference to this one’ as he threw it far into the water. It’s a lovely little tale and an example that our actions don’t always need to be grandiose. But our intention can be. When we serve others and not just ourselves the reward is great.
SETTING A THEME
An excellent way to set intentions is to begin with a theme for the following year. How do you want to feel throughout the year. Define it, and let everything stem from that.
NOW WE TAKE ACTION
There is a Japanese proverb, ‘Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare’. It speaks of our needing both, action and vision. Once we have set our intentions it’s time to do the work.To paraphrase the Bhagavad Gita, first we establish in being, then we perform action. We ground down, establish ourselves in what we know to be true, and right, and then we take action. So to recap, we are talking about the process of first reviewing and learning. Then setting intention. And from this, then we follow with action. And we act with no rigid attachment to the outcomes. We stay agile and adaptable. Combining this with our meditation practice sows the seeds for greatness.
As spoken by Seth Godin ‘How dare you settle for less when the world has made it easy for you to be remarkable’.
So this is your personal project, and I really want to empower you to investigate this and take what you can. To assist you, I am also hosting a beautiful Creativity, Clarity and Consciousness Workshop in Sydney early January and in Melbourne mid February to help you mark out what you want this year, how to thrive and to really create the remarkable life you deserve to live. It will be rich with tools and techniques, wisdom and knowledge to inspire you. You can make a booking here for IN PERSON or ONLINE.
Happy New Year and big love,
Photo of our friends Tok and Hiromi’s golden lab. Labradors for me embody the epitome of good living, with every moment thoroughly relished, and they wiggle and wag and drool their way through their days, completely in alignment with joy.