The New Year offers us an opportunity to envision the year ahead, and to revision our lives if we so desire. We might think of what we might like to do more of, or less of. We might consider that we’d like to see more of someone and less of someone else. One technique that helps me make decisions, changes or shifts in my life is to imagine myself on my deathbed and ask myself questions regarding the issue that’s bothering me. Questions like, how will I feel if I do / don’t do _______? Or how would I like to be different? How would I like others to remember me? How would I like to remember myself? My answer to that last question is that I’d like to remember myself as being more able to accept everything just as it is. (For starters I accept that I have a hard time accepting those times when I get what I don’t want and don’t get what I want.)
This brings me to thoughts about “New Year’s Resolutions” and the motivating video from a very wise small fellow who asks, “What do you practice every day?” His answer to his own question is that whatever we practice we will get very good at.
Here’s what I intend to practice, starting now:
I will practice less complaining.
I will practice less getting annoyed, irritated, or angry when things don’t go easily or how I want them to go. (Trivial things like the piece of laundry that falls on the ground, or the package that is so hard to open. These sorts of things are of little consequence, just small inconveniences that are contrary to how I want things to be but I can get into a bad habit of being annoyed by them.)
I will remember Fr. Richard Rohr saying that “humility is the capacity to accept whatever happens peacefully.”
I will also remind myself that “when you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time.” Wise words from Byron Katie,
And, as an ever-present vision, I want to keep myself focused on a thriving Earth with thriving living beings, and how I can best contribute to that vision.
I leave you with thoughts from visionary author, teacher and astrologer, Caroline Casey, and a New Year's poem by David Steindl-Rast.
From Caroline Casey
Change "got to" to "get to." Instead of saying "I've got to go to the dentist," you say, "I get to go to the dentist." Got to> Get to. It changes everything!
When faced with a burdensome challenge try saying to yourself, "Let us conduct ourselves like kings and queens with all eternity before us. (It's especially useful to say to yourself when you're racing to get it all done.)
Entertain possibility and let us not be snookered into polarity. That is, let's not be drawn into antagonistic attitudes and behaviors that pit one against the other. We need to listen to each other and find common ground.
THE NEW YEAR, by David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B.
Angels, as this year now nears its end
Fold their wings, as gently down they bend,
Rent and broken hopes on earth to mend.
May they find us ready to rise!
Angels, at the dawn of a New Year
Spread bright wings and rise, and rise from here
Raising us to heights we crave, yet fear.
May they find us daring!
[With thanks to Tessa Bielecki for sharing this]
My wish for 2020, and beyond, is that all of us become unique versions of Greta Thunberg as we envision and create a world that works for all.
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