Every Day Wishes—not New Year’s Resolutions
The end of one year and beginning of a new year prompts all sorts of wishes, word for the year choosing, resolutions and more. I think that all the new year’s hoopla is simply a way for writers, bloggers and marketers to get your attention and your money. We are all in search for the silver bullet that will make everything okay.
Sadly, there are no silver bullets, perfect resolutions, or magical wishes. There is no, This year will be different and easy button.
I understand how people can get caught up in the whole new year’s resolution deal, especially if they’re unhappy or want to make big changes in their lives. But as a person attempting to become more present and conscious in my life I work hard on embracing the idea that now is the only time there is.
Now, now, now—and now…
Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, I have a set of every day wishes that guide me day in day out, year in year out.
Noticing and accepting what is here now is a big part of my spiritual practice (and my every day wishes). This morning while I was meditating my cat Gracie jumped into my lap as usual (as soon as I sit down in my chair to meditate she jumps up to join me). Today she was being particularly squirmy and distracting, turning this way and that, placing her paw on my hand and then removing it, kneading the blanket on my lap, jumping down and jumping back up. She never really settled during the entire time I sat.
At first I felt annoyed that she was not settling down. But as I kept returning to my awareness of my breath I realized she was simply being a cat and I could let go of wanting her to be other than what she was in the moment.
Accepting What Is
She reminded me that accepting what is (including my own wandering attention, obsessive planning, remembering, and thinking) means recognizing what is and letting it be without judgment. This helped me be more compassionate with myself when I noticed my attention had wandered. Just as Gracie was expressing her perfect cat-ness my mind was expressing it’s essential nature. Thoughts happen. Memories emerge. Ego plans. Emotions rise. I can watch them just as I watch my breath, without becoming attached or unhappy.
There is no judgment about whether my meditation session is successful or not. It simply is what it is.
Accepting what is present for me now in this moment does not mean that I become complacent or uncaring about what is happening in the world. It also doesn’t mean that I stop wanting to grow and learn and become a kinder, wiser, more compassionate person.
If anything, I think I can be more effective and positive when I am not in a negative reactive place.
I still have emotions about what I see and hear happening. When I read about everything that is happening in the our nation’s capital and see policies and laws being enacted that I believe are wrong and harmful I feel great sadness and anger and I want to react angrily to what is being done.
But I do not believe that angry reactivity creates positive change.
Instead, I listen to the news and allow myself to feel whatever I feel about it. Then I go back to what it is I want to create in the world and I tell myself “Do the next right thing.” It may be something small like sending out positive prayers to the universe or it may be becoming involved in a cause that I believe in.
Discover and do what brings me joy
I believe that the most powerful thing I can do is to discover and do what brings me joy. By fully expressing my unique self through following my joy I create positive ripples that spread and amplify joy.
These are my every day wishes:
To continue to grow in presence and awareness
To love and be loved
To connect honestly and authentically with friends and family
To express gratitude
To feel wonder
To see beauty
To share beauty
To follow my joy
To spread light
What are your every day wishes?
May you walk in beauty.
Note: It’s been very cold here in Minnesota for days. All but one of the photos in today’s post were taken from inside my house looking out the windows at the frigid beautiful world.