Tomorrow is the start of a new year. I haven’t given any thought to the idea of new year’s resolutions. If anything, I would like to continue to live in a way that resonates with the real me, my spiritual self, the one God created me to be, and maybe do it in a more conscious and simple way. To do that, I’ve written a few guidelines for myself, and hopefully they will help someone else to clarify their own purpose, priorities, and goals.
Be Here Now – It’s so easy to be anxious in the world in which we live today. I’m no stranger to anxiety. Many years ago it was a real issue in my life, even though I was a Christian and thought I put my trust in God. For a short period of time, it almost controlled my life until I received the unmistakable message that the healing of anxiety had to come from the inside out. It had to come from changing my thoughts, and I was the only one who could do that. This didn’t happen overnight, but it was one of the turning points in my life. I learned that I couldn’t be present right here and now if I was constantly worried about tomorrow. I was allowing the present moment to be stolen from me by anxious thoughts. I had memorized the scripture in Philippians that tells us to be anxious for nothing but to pray and give thanks, but I didn’t really know how to do this. The wisdom to do this came as God spoke to my heart, often in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. Gradually I learned that I was creating my anxious life by my anxious thoughts. I wasn’t anxious because the world was a scary, uncertain place – I was anxious because I thought of it that way. Slowly I began to believe in a different kind of world – a world of beauty, kindness, love, light, and joy – yes, still an uncertain world, but that didn’t matter so much anymore. As I saw light in my own consciousness, light was evident in my world. I very rarely worry anymore or even think that much about tomorrow. I still plan because sometimes things just won’t get done if you don’t put a plan in place, but then I let it go. If it doesn’t work out exactly as I had planned, I let that go too. Now I just want to learn to enjoy the present moment – the sun sparkling on the snow, the trees blowing in the wind, a baby’s smile, a warm cup of coffee or tea in my favorite cup, the delicious feeling of dropping off to sleep when I’m really tired, a bird’s song, the faces of my beloved family, my quiet time in the morning before the sun comes up. Now is really the only time we have, and I think we will be healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as we live in the present.
Live in the Light – Light is sometimes a metaphor for clarity, guidance, and understanding. It’s available to all of us, but we often live in darkness and don’t know why. We are afraid, perplexed, and confused. Psalm 43:3 says “Send forth your light and your truth; let them guide me”. I don’t believe that anyone with a true understanding would choose to walk in darkness, yet it happens all the time because of a lack of knowledge and understanding. I read recently of a man who had been made blind by an accident at the age of 8. Even though blind, he had an almost continuous sense of inner light visible to him throughout his life which guided him in his contact with the external world and also brought him great joy. He said that the only time the light would dim almost to the point of vanishing was when he would allow himself to feel fear, mistrust, anger, ambition, impatience, or jealousy. When I read this, it had such an impact on me because I suddenly fully realized that we don’t just choose to love, trust, believe, be patient, and be grateful because it makes us good people, but because when we are living that way we are letting in the light, our path is made clear, and we experience joy and peace. I really don’t want to spend one minute of my life blocking the light from entering so I can be right or nurse a grudge or blame someone else for my problems. Once again it comes back to our way of thinking. We have a lot more control over our own lives than we realize. There are many scriptures concerning light, and that might be a good place to begin to help us understand the light. I John 2:9-10 says “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.” It sure makes it easier for me to do the right thing when I realize that by doing so, I am walking in the light, and for those times when I’m not sure what is the right thing, the light shows me the way.
Do What You Love – I was probably close to 40 years old before I realized that I was meant to love and enjoy life. I had some happy times in childhood, but much of it was just plain hard, and I must have carried into my adult life the idea that life is a sad struggle. I also had the idea that you had to have a job simply to earn money, whether you liked it or not, and you had to fit in. I had some quirky things about me that just didn’t fit in with what most people were doing and what seemed acceptable. I loved the outdoors, a lot. I spent many, many hours even in high school roaming the countryside, taking pictures, hiking, laying on the grass looking at the sky, and just thinking. I didn’t share this with a lot of people because it was a little weird. Teenagers weren’t supposed to like to be alone, I thought, unless maybe they were listening to music or sleeping. I enjoyed dances, slumber parties, and my part-time job, but I needed my time alone. I also liked to read and write, baby-sit, bake, and study cookbooks. I allowed myself to do these things, but I still often felt like an odd duck. I went on to nursing school because I enjoyed helping people, but after several years I realized that the world of mainstream western medicine and the fast pace of health care was not for me. I wanted to help people, but more (as I had been helped) from the inside out or from teaching a more natural lifestyle. I still don’t have this all figured out, but I know that as I follow what I love and desire to do, the path will become more clear. Now as I grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables, make natural soap and bodycare products, and study peace and the coming together of science and spirituality, I am doing what I love, what comes naturally, and what I feel will make a difference. There will always be those things that need to be done that we don’t particularly enjoy, but I believe we can be guided along the right path for us by following passion and pleasure.
Happy New Year! Be here now, live in the light, do what you love, be kind, be grateful, be yourself, and love God,yourself and others. May 2013 be a year of peace and plenty for you!