Every year, the calendar reaches its final page and I am confronted with a blank sheet–12 new months of possibility, wide open for whatever I want to invite. For a blissful, but short, period of time, there is a whiff of hope, an inkling of inspiration as I contemplate a new life, filled with everything I want, and none of what I don’t want.
And each year, as I look back on the last 12 months, I am forced to admit that basing a life on wishful thinking is somewhat defeatist. It’s just not realistic. Some things continue to go well, and others seem like dimly visible carrots in a far off future. I’ve had to accept that certain parts of my life need what we used to call, “special education.” Life just doesn’t go the way we want it to all the time. So why keep trying to fit into a life that is not yours? Why insist on wearing a tutu when you are a Turkish belly dancer? Just take the damn thing off! That’s what this year is about for me…shedding a lifetime of unsuccessful attempts to fit in, and acknowledging, once and for all that I am walking to a different beat. It’s been a long road to acceptance, and I’m sure there is still work to be done, but for now I’ve taken on a new practice. The practice is simple: feel gratitude for what you have and release attachment to what’s not meant to be.
I will admit that this is easier said than done. You can look for (and probably find) a million reasons why you can justifiably argue that you suffer more than your fair share. But those reasons are not the Truth. The Truth only wants you to experience exactly what you need in order to learn your lessons and bring your gifts into the world. If your desires conflict with the Truth, then guess which one wins?
I’ve had an incredible series of fortunate opportunities fall in my lap over the past two decades, all from following my heart. I live a dreamy life in Thailand, getting paid to do what I love! Teaching yoga has allowed me to live in some of the most exotic places in the world, and I’ve met incredible people along the way. And, at the same time, I’ve been repeatedly thwarted in my attempt to create stable social support–suffering one heartbreak after another. So which aspect should I focus on? (This is not a trick question.) What is the point in dwelling on things that didn’t happen, when I have had such nice surprises with what did happen? The mind is so tricky that way.
My resolution this year is to stop making resolutions and make a revolution instead. Because here is what I’ve learned: where you are right now is EXACTLY where you are meant to be. And when you can accept that and still hold in mind where you want to go, then magic is possible.
Here are three steps to your own New Year’s Revolution:
- Feel the love coming your way. Identify and appreciate all the good that has come your way–and feel gratitude.
- LET GO of the past. Try this mantra: May I let go of the past. Ask it as a question. May I let go of the past? (Yes. You may.)
- Listen to your heart. It’s located in your body, so hear it through tuning in to the body. It will lead you to the right place for YOU.
It’s simple magic. A three step program. (1) First, set your intention (aligning with love), (2) then you settle in the present moment, and (3) finally you wait for instructions from the source. This last step is not about placing your order and then sitting back on the couch to wait–it is more about realizing that this is a team effort, and you need to allow the team (call it the unseen world) to get up to speed with the new direction. Practiced daily, these three simple steps will walk you into a new life in 2013.
Revolution is about circling back around to your true nature. I vow to evolve (to revolve) according to the truth of the moment– to keep coming back around to accept whatever that truth is. I’ll definitely state my wishes, and aspire to be a sane and helpful agent of change in an increasingly confused world. But I will also acknowledge that some things are out of my control for now, and so sometimes the best I can do is to relax until I can do something about it.
Stating your intention is the first place to begin any new change. What revolution will you ignite in 2013? Share it in the comment box below.