Do you want to be happy? How about successful? Want to know your life made a difference?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to read on because I’m about to share with you the most important New Year’s resolution I have ever discovered; the insight that changed my life.
It began when I recognized years ago that the common resolutions that most of us, myself included, were making every year were rarely helpful.
- Getting More Exercise
- Quitting Smoking
- Spending More Time With Family And Friends
- Becoming More Fit
- Enjoying Life More
- Quitting Drinking
- Learning Something New
- Getting Organized
- Helping Others
- Being Less Stressed
- Volunteering More
- Weight Loss
- Getting Out Of Debt,
- Less Television
I assumed my “resolutions” were probably not going to be kept even as I made them. I joked that they wouldn’t make it more than a week into the New Year before they were forgotten. This led to…………
Insight #1 – I came to realize New Year’s resolutions were a waste of time and effort. If I “really” wanted to achieve my “New Year’s resolutions”, I would. If I “really” didn’t, I wouldn’t.
So you can go ahead and use ideas from the list above for your New Year’s Resolution list but…………….
Insight #2 – Nothing is likely to change in your life because it’s all about your ego. These are all things your ego “wants” to inflate itself; to “feel” better about itself.
Your ego doesn’t really want these things….not “really”. Or I should say, it wants them, but it doesn’t want to pay the price it would take to actually achieve them. The ego doesn’t like sacrificing, or disciplining itself, even when it would benefit from those behaviors.
Your ego wants what it wants…right now….without any effort.
This led to the following powerful insight that changed my life.
Insight #3 – If you really want to change your life, if you really want to be happy you would do better making a resolution to change “who you are”. In other words, a resolution focused on changing your heart, not your ego.
Let’s take a look at what this kind of resolution would look like.
We “know” in our hearts the world is in a slow motion train wreck. We “know” this to be true. But most of us are feeling so powerless and overwhelmed by the enormity and complexity of the problems and challenges facing us, we choose to sit in the stands unconsciously lulled into inaction by the illusions of safety that come from indifference, denial, and avoidance.
We are settling for the false security offered by a) politicians who want to be re-elected, and b) wall street brokers and bankers who are donating enormous sums of money to the politicians so they can insure that nothing impacts their ability to become wealthier.
- “Don’t worry”.
- “Everything is fine”.
- “Not a problem”.
- “All is well”.
- “We didn’t cause the problem; they did, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
If the news feels superficial and designed to lull us into complacency and denial, it probably is.
If you want to change who you are and experience true happiness, you have to come down out of the stands, walk onto the field, and get in the game by learning to trust your own instincts and wisdom.
If something feels wrong it probably is.
Get in the game and don’t underestimate the impact you can make if you have the courage to open your heart and embrace authentic change. The greatest gift the Creator has given us is not the self-serving illusions of the human ego but rather the virtually unlimited power of the human spirit.
Our ego has a very limited sense of “self” because it finds its identity in a) the transient thoughts and emotions that move through our mind from moment to moment, and by b) immersing itself in either the past or the future. Our ego finds it very difficult to be in the moment.
Our “spirit”, on the other hand, embraces reality and “what is”. Like the pure observing consciousness of our essential “Self”, our spirit lives only in the present moment. Stated simply, our spirit lives fully immersed in the “now” of the 21st century.
Instead of ego denial and indifference that keeps us trapped in the stands, we need to break open our hearts and allow the spirit of love and compassion to enter the game.
The Danger of Staying in the Stands
Our human culture is deeply embedded in the collective wisdom and evidentiary knowledge called science. We are a scientifically literate species that no longer lives in caves hunting for food with spears and clubs.
When we believe the politicians who tell us that scientists don’t know what they are talking about, we are accepting the word of a single person who is telling us to ignore the collective evidentiary knowledge of those who have dedicated their lives to understanding how the world actually works; a verifiable, evidentiary knowledge that spans thousands of years and hundreds of generations.
Our scientists today are warning us that we are in the middle of a major and dangerous disassociation from nature; that we need to face the growing evidence and facts confronting us. They are warning us that global warming and the melting polar ice fields for example, “are” cause for concern.
If your goal is to discover happiness and meaning for your life, then this year your might want to open your heart and make a resolution that you are going to get into the game, intentionally increase self-awareness, and learn to pay attention and honor your inner-wisdom.
The spiritual practice to accomplish this New Year’s resolution is very simple.
The Spiritual Practice Called Intersection
Step One – On one side of a piece of paper make a list of your unique gifts and strengths, the things that you’re good at (if you don’t know, ask your friends), the things that you really enjoy doing. Carefully review your life by looking for those things that you loved doing in your childhood. We often know who we are very early in life. Take the time to sit with this list before going on to step two.
Step Two – When your list of gifts and strengths is completed, sit quietly and open your heart to the suffering and pain of the world. Keep your focus on “we”, not “me”. Pay intuitive attention to those issues that call you and reach out to your heart. What are the issues that seem to keep returning to your awareness? Again, don’t rush this process.
Step Three – Where your unique gifts and skills intersect with the pain of the world touching your heart is where “you” can make a difference. When you feel that call, don’t back away in fear. Don’t underestimate the impact that your spirit can make in the world. Even the largest ocean liner can be turned 180 degrees with only a tiny bias on the rudder.
Step Four – Trust your spirit. Have the courage to get in the game. Every journey begins with the courage to take that first step.
The world needs every one of us on the field. We all are called differently and no contribution is ever too small. Simply use your unique gifts to send out ripples of love and compassion fully embedded in solutions that benefit the “all”; not just one nation, one state, one city, one community, one family, one person, or one species.
Whether you are called to offer your gifts to your family, or your community, your nation or the world; the ripples you send out will continue to impact the world long after you are gone.
It’s not our job to critique or judge our contributions or the outcome of what we offer. The universe will do with our gifts whatever it needs to do with them. Our job is to get in the game.
If you want true happiness, you need to have an answer when someone asks you “what did you do while our world was in pain and struggling?”
There is no dualism in the natural world. It exists “only” in our minds. All forms of “either-or” dualism are dangerous illusions created by our ego mind. Whenever black-and-white, ideological extremes are presented, as “imperative certainties”, “know” the person speaking is simply attempting to a) bring all conversation to an end, and b) encourage us to ignore the facts.
To solve the problems that face our world, will require that we marry the extremes created by all dualistic “either-or” thinking; to unite them in the “paradox” that there is always deep truth to be found on both sides of every issue.
When our collective human spirit, and the power of an integral spirituality that includes every person, every culture, every religion and every species, is combined with the courage that comes from doing the “right thing”, the possibilities the human spirit can create are virtually unlimited.
When we have the courage to get in touch with the spirit of our “true self”, our New Years resolutions will be heart focused, not ego focused. When our unique gifts intersect with the needs of the world the power of our collective human spirit can make a difference
Humanity is currently poised between the possibility of a great social collapse and the possibility of a great birthing in human consciousness.
When your New Year’s resolutions embrace the call and yearnings of your spirit you will discover the courage you need to embrace a deeper vision and purpose for your life; you will find yourselves on a journey far more difficult than your ego would have you undertake, but it’s a journey that will break open your heart and fill your life with passion.
A spiritual journey that can change the world and will change your life.
From all of here at Stonyhill, we hope you have a Happy and Meaning-full New Year.