No New Year Resolutions
I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. The reason? It wasn’t so much that I had a hard time keeping them. I am a goal oriented person, so making those goals and keeping at them was not the issue.
Frankly, the issue is just that. Goals. Making resolutions seemed to me to be a more negative thought pattern. I seemed to make those resolutions in the past knowing that they were impossible to keep and knowing that the path was set for failure.
Several years ago, I heard something that made so much more sense to me. Well, actually, I saw a movie that spoke to the deep down knowledge I possessed.
Way back in 2004, the movie, What the Bleep Do We Know?, made a huge splash. It was the pre-cursor to The Secret and other Law of Attraction movies and self-help books that flooded the markets in the early 2000’s, and still do.
The difference for me and the reason the concept stuck with me was that the movie itself showed just how difficult it can be to make changes. There were no simplistic recipes for attracting positivity. In fact, the reality of how our words affect us and the world around us was made obvious while offering that the concept takes real work with no easy answers.
While I watch Marlee Matson’s character fight within herself searching for meaning and purpose discovering the importance of thought processes and how words and feelings affect us, I realized then that I was my own worst enemy. I still am, to be honest.
I so resonated with Matson in the movie that I left the movie theater in a very quiet mood. My movie companions were animated and lively while I was low-key and reserved. That year, I threw away making resolutions.
Instead, I reflect on the previous year and what I created in my life. If something worked, I keep it and improve on the thoughts behind it. Those things that fell short, I release it and move on.
I typically spend the week after Christmas writing and journaling about my emotions, my successes, my attempts during the year. I take a long, hard look at what I write. Then I get ready to release those feelings, those emotions, those thoughts that simply do not serve me.
For the past 15 years, I have participated in the World Peace Meditation held at noon Greenwich Mean Time on December 31. California time, that translates to 4:00 am. Yep! 4 in the morning! For the past 10 years, I have hosted my own event. This is when I release old thoughts that harm me and need to be let go, and this is when I set my intentions for the coming year.
I am going to lead you through my own New Year’s practice. As I prepare for the meditation, I write what I want released. I prepare a “burning bowl” for the release. Generally, I have around five to 10 people that are brave enough to join me in the early morning ritual.
The Yule log is lit with tea light candles with a tall unlit candle in the middle as we all gather together to join with the rest of the world to meditate for this hour long event. Each person is given a piece of paper and a pencil with which to write what they desire to release. The charcoal is lit in the bowl, and each person drops their paper into the fire watching it go to smoke. As the negative thought or emotion goes up in flames and the smoke rises, we all visualize the negativity going as well.
After the release, we sit quietly meditating on kindness and compassionate thoughts for the world and for ourselves. I lead a guided meditation in this so that each person can see for themselves what they most desire to envision, gestate, and give birth to in the coming year.
As I light the tallest candle on the Yule log, each person is given a tea light candle. I say a prayer of unity for humanity, peace in our hearts, and the wisdom for each of us to love ourselves and our fellow man. Each person takes their candle, lights it from the large candle, and silently speaks their intended creation for themselves. They then write it on another piece of paper to take home to read each and every day for the coming year.
Powerful? Yes! The intentions set in the meditation prepares each of us to embrace ourselves and show kindness and compassion not only for the world, but for ourselves. This is one of the most important aspects of the morning.
How we treat ourselves is important – especially if we want to create the best in our lives. Resolutions are turned into intentions – something so much stronger.
We are careful about how we use our words. Instead of “I hope,” we use “I am.”
So, as I begin my process in reflection and preparing for the World Peace Meditation on the 31st, I set one early intention. My intention is set for you, the reader of this article.
This I know to be true. Each person reading this intention lovingly creates the heart intention to respect, honor, and see the best in each other. I know we all are champions of kindness and compassion for ourselves and the world.
And so it is!