Monday, December 31, 2012

No Resolutions this Year. Take Time to Dream Instead.

Go confident in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

                                                                                     Henry David Thoreau

So, I am musing on the new year -- it is just hours away.  For some, it has already arrived with the rising of the new sun.  I just saw a post from a friend in Australia of the first sunrise of 2013 and it is glorious.  Of course, it is also summer there.  Here it is a bit grey as the sun is beginning its early descent in the winter sky.  But glorious, nevertheless, a luminious pink that is spreading its tendrils among the clouds over the river.

As I was musing, my thoughts naturally turned to resolutions. 

I have mixed feelings about New Year's resoultions.  I understand what we try to do with them, but I find them a frustrating exercise at best.  Usually, we try to do the same thing year after year -- the very thing we never seem to be able to do, whether it is losing weight or exericising more or being smarter about our money.  And year after year we make a list, probably saying to ourselves, "Well...maybe this year..."  Hardly a great start to something we really want to do.  Sometimes I wonder if the things we "resolve" to do are actually the things of which our dreams are made.  Or whether they are simply the things we think we should do, for whatever reason, that we never seem to be able to do -- probably because we are not really very commmitted to them in the first place.

Winter is a difficult time for me to find motivation.  The grey days and the cold make it very hard for me to feel positive.  I am more of a sunny, warm day kind of person -- and the amount of sun really does make a difference to my temperament.  Reading posts from my friends in Australia and New Zealand, I am noticing a lot more positivity.  And I find myself saying to myself, "Self -- you really need to get it together.  What is wrong with you?"  And somewhere deep within a whisper, "How about a nice walk in the sun?  Give me a little of that and I'll give you some feel good."  Perhaps the deep mid-winter is not the best time to try to fund the motivation needed to make the changes that will help our dreams to manifest. 

Nevertheless, the New Year is upon us and it is the ultimate time of fresh starts.  Great opportunity. New Beginnings. The time that there is quiet activity going on deep in the Earth that prepares her for her bursting forth in spring.  Even if everything on the surface around us seems dead, we know that there is invisible work going on deep within the Earth, and our annual practice of bringing in evergreens is a reminder that times that feel dead, ironically, are filled with life and living things. Actually, considering the Earth cycles, it is a great time to begin to do the deep inner work that is needed for change and manifestation.

I'm just not sure that resolutions are the way to go.

A friend posted a note the other day -- here is what she said:

"Please consider taking just a half hour per day during this next week to clarify your wishes and dreams for the coming year.  You will be amazed at what visualization, commitment, and clarity will do for manifesting what you truly want."

And there it is. Forget the resolutions. Dream instead. Make a wish. Create a vision for your life.  Where do you see yourself at the end of 2013?  Or in the middle, or a month from now? What does this new year look like?  What is the image you see in your mind as you think about where you want to be?  Does it excite you?  Is it compelling?  Does it lift your spirits and tease out your passion? 

Where are you now?  Where do you want to be?  What will it take to get there?  What is your next step? 

The thing that usually keeps us from our dreams and most compelling visions are the limiting beliefs that are formed by a lifetime of unconscious, negative thoughts.  They wend their way through our neural networks like old, deep paths in the forest. And we keep walking upon them.  It takes our considered attention to change these thoughts and turn around these limiting beliefs to be able to manifest something different for ourselves. I like what Henry David Thoreau said around this -- 

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.  To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. 

As we dream new dreams and create compelling visions for our lives, and as we believe that we can make them happen, we naturally do the things that will get us there.  Instead of a list of resolutions for the New Year, we can create a list of new ways of thinking and begin to create new pathways out of which new ways of living can unfold.

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