A School for Creativity, Consciousness & Clarity

Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work and What To Do Instead

It’s been an epically huge year for The Broad Place, and everyone of you have been a part of that. I am so grateful to have all of you as a part of this ‘thing’ that Arran and I and all of you are creating. Now it’s a moving feast, we’re not sure of the end goal, but so far it seems that what we are doing people are enjoying, and I can tell you this, I am personally loving it.

I’m actually kind of in awe to be honest, at your dedication to expanding your conscious state. Teaching people the art of Vedic Meditation as well as private mentoring, teaching Rounding, and taking people on expansive retreats is the most incredible experience I could ever imagine. So much so that sometimes it feels deliciously selfish. It is an incredible privilege to share ideas with like minded people. Each course I run, each retreat, each session I look around and feel so amazed that I get to be a part of the lives of the incredible individuals such as yourselves.

Arran and I  have been exploring in detail together over the last few months, and we are dedicating the next month of our travelling together as a little family investigating these things.

Expansion

Creativity

Evolution

Our Personal Roles

Consciousness

Relevancy

Growth

We all desire these things, and every day we invest a little time in these through sitting to meditate. And I want to congratulate you. There are 7.1 billion people on Earth right now, and you are some of a few hundred thousand that practice Vedic Meditation. You are the minority. And you are the game changers. I would like to talk about things that I feel are relevant as we wrap up the year that has been and move into the New Year.

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 intention for the new year. It’s that crazy time of year at the moment where people freak out and everyone wanders around looking like grenades with the pin pulled. Like it’s just the matter of the line at Santa being too long that will push them over the edge and they’ll find themselves kicking the arse out of fibre glass reindeer. Or missing out on the last box of mince tarts as three people pushed in front of them in the line and they’re going to explode into fragments all over the deli counter.

THE CONCEPT OF TIME

We all start working ourselves up into a lather over ‘where they last year went’ around November. As if one day it was Jan 16th and we were swimming and covered in zinc and negotiating how to best get sand out of our swimmers in the shower and mowing through a glut of gorgeous ripe cherries and mangoes and then the next it was late November and the Christmas lights are up and Coles is screaming about discounts on tinsel and our kids are doing Christmas concerts dressed up as the most uncoordinated looking Santa’s ever and we have NO IDEA where Feb, March, August and all the other months went. What is with is?

Time does seem to go faster the older we get. Although I was slightly horrified to hear my daughter Marley say to me ‘man, Year Two has just flown by’. The concept of time is such a bizarre one. Anyone who has seen the incredible film Interstellar has walked out with feelings of intense awe…not only about Matt Damon stacking on the kilos but especially about the relativity of time.

Let’s take a look at time and start with 20 minutes. I want you to think about these examples…

20 minutes on a Sunday afternoon on social media

20 minutes in traffic running late for a meeting

20 minutes of meditation (which we all know can be insanely varied)

20 minutes waiting at the hospital on test results

20 minutes dozing in the sun at the beach on holiday

20 minutes waiting in traffic while you are late for a meeting

I think you’ll agree they are all different kinds of time, and they can pass either incredibly quickly or agonisingly slow. When we look at a week, with 24 hours in each day, we have 168 glorious hours in each week. The average work week apparently is 38 hours, but let’s average it out at more realistic 50 hours. With 8 hours sleep a night, we are left with 62 hours a week where we are not sleeping, and not working. Let’s take out 20 minutes twice a day, EVERY DAY each week to meditate.

Now we have 58 hours a week left. What are we doing with them?

If we are living our Dharma, a Sanskrit term for living out our purpose on earth, then time seems 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. If we’re not living our Dharma, we’re doing the opposite, Adharma, and we are out of flow. We’re living through actions that go against the laws of nature. Analysing our personal Dharma and questioning if and how we are we 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. I’ll be back end of January (read more here) and I can’t wait to hear all about your progress.

Happy New Year

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