The minute I opened my eyes on the first day of the year the world seemed a little brighter. The sun streamed into my room and I felt a ripple of joy that once again, I have a clean slate on which to choose who and how I want to be.
Every year creates an imprint on our hopes and dreams, our plans and achievements. Every year we reach the last day and realize we were either true to who we are or there were times we forgot who we know ourselves to be.
Every year I reach the last day of the year and write my annual journal about the year that has been and then write what I intend to create, in the year ahead.
After forgetting who I Am quite a few times over the last year, I came to a place where I was able to, at last, let go of expectations that were out of my control.
The feeling of letting go has been one of pure freedom.
I really like Byron Katie’s words here.
Whose Business are you in?
“There are only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s.
Whose business is it if it rains on your daughters wedding day? God’s business.
Whose business is it if your neighbour never mows his lawn? Your neighbour’s business.
Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbour down the street because he has an ugly lawn? Your business.
Life is simple—it is internal.
St Francis of Assisi’s Serenity Prayer continues to inspire me.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
When we choose who and how we want to be, we are we need to be specific. It’s not enough to say, I intend to be more patient or I intend to be understanding. I remember many years ago when my family were doing Landmark Education we were given tasks that required us to make our intentions measurable. How can you know you succeeded unless you can measure it? So there needs to be an action to make it measurable.
Instead of saying I choose to be more patient, maybe I can say, I choose to use the time I spend waiting for someone or something, as my opportunity to breathe deeply and focus on how each breath fills me with peace. The measurement here is how do I feel after breathing consciously for a few minutes.
Out of 1 to10 how do I feel now?
And instead of saying I choose to be more understanding, I can say every time someone criticises me or blames me for something, I choose to listen to what they have to say. See their perspective and accept that although it may be different from mine it is theirs and therefore just as valid as my own. I can ask myself what do I need to do to understand in this situation?
Time is Understandings best friend.
In order to understand we need to give ourselves the time and space to see the situation from every perspective possible and ask ourselves what is the significance of this? The measurement is whether we have been able to reach a clear understanding and in doing so, can we move forward?
Whether you are choosing to be kinder, more generous, light hearted or whether you are choosing be of service, we have to make our intention small and measurable.
The energy of this year is very different from last year. Rather than looking at what we didn’t do well, what went wrong, what were we thinking,we need to look at how we can shine ourselves brighter than ever before.
It can be as simply as:-
A smile for 5 people every day.
A kind gesture to a musician on the street corner.
Giving your shopping trolley that still has the dollar in it to the next person
Leaving a flower in a neighbours letterbox
Taking in your neighbours bin
Every action intended to light up the moment; the day, the week or the life of another is en-lightening the energy of the world. And don’t get downhearted if there appears to be more and more conflict in the world, because the more light we bring to the world the more unresolved conflict will need to come to the surface. There is simply nowhere else for it to go.
It’s been raining non-stop for days. My garden is swimming in water. The flowers are hanging so low, seeming to be looking at the saturated grass only an inches away, too sodden to hold up their heads.
But as I look outside knowing that the rain-fall is none of my business ( it’s all yours God) I’m just glad to be free of one more thing to think about.