Themes, Dreams and “Just Saying No” to Resolutions
You know what I love about the New Year? I love the “New” part. I love the sense of possibility and expansion that an unfilled calendar inspires. I love the reminder to step back and look with fresh eyes at my life and how I want to live it. I love the thought of new ideas, new experiences and new avenues of creative expression. And I love knowing I have a whole year to create them.
I’ve spent a lot of time, energy and attention in my personal and professional life on the creative process. I believe it to be fundamental to our very nature and reason for being: we are creators, and the act of creating calls Life to pulse through us, enlivening and fulfilling us. Our intentions give shape and direction to the flow of Life, and our attention increases its power and velocity.
And of course, our intentions ultimately generate results or outcomes in the manifest world, which is where most of us focus our attention as a New Year rolls in: we set resolutions to achieve specific goals, thinking that the achievement of the goal will make us happy. It’s easy to lose sight of the deeper truth that happiness is a state of being. It arises not from a static achievement, but from the quality we bring to the creation of it.
Happiness, contentment, joy – they’re vibrations. The fundamental nature of this universe is vibrational: everything is energy, and energies of like frequencies resonate with each other. So as we vibrate…we attract and create. This is a modern way of saying what every great spiritual tradition has told us, which is that Being – pure vibration – is primary. Anything we think, say or do flows from our state of Being, our vibration. It cannot be otherwise.
Yet we have, for the most part, lost our sensitivity to these subtle vibrations. We’ve come to rely on the gross perceptions of our senses, and from that perspective it is the results that count because they can be seen, heard, felt, touched or tasted. And so we have become focused on generating results, believing the results to be the only thing that matters.
And of course results do matter – but what matters more is knowing how to create them in harmony with our inherent nature and design as vibrational beings. When we focus exclusively on results, we can inadvertently create measurable but temporary success while compromising, or even damaging, our ability to create.
A simple example of this is the much-overused resolution to lose weight, and specifically to reach a certain number on the scale. It is quite possible, from what I’ve read in fashion magazines, to lose weight by smoking incessantly and ingesting nothing but water and champagne. You could achieve a really low number on the scale that way, and feel smugly successful. But you would have compromised your very health and vitality in doing so.
A far better resolution would be to focus on creating vibrant health, which is a state of being. When that is your declared intention, it serves as a compass that nudges you to choose in ways that align with it. And as you become healthier – as you vibrate on the “vibrant health” frequency – those choices become easier and easier to make. And it gets even better. When you’re on that frequency, you begin synchronistically attracting new ideas and opportunities to sustain it, so you feel supported. Like attracts like.
It’s really a much more elegant system than our usual habit of setting specific goals and then beating ourselves into submission until we reach them. Using the vibrational power of our intention, and the magnifying power of our attention, we lift ourselves to the frequency that matches the kind of results we want. And without attachment to a specific result, we are open to attracting something even better than our small minds could have imagined when setting the goal.
Let me share a wonderful real-life example of this phenomenon. A friend of mine is currently separated from her husband. Their relationship is amicable yet both agreed it would be better to live apart. She could have set a goal to find an affordable place to live by a certain date. But instead, she declared an intention for freedom and joy. She made it a point to open her heart and appreciate all that was good and wonderful in her life as it was, and paid attention to the subtle inner signals that were calling her in a particular direction.
One such impulse was to apply for a one-month residency in a program for artists. She was told the program was closed, but on the strength of her intuition she applied anyway. She was not only awarded a coveted spot in the program, she was offered a full year residency which would begin after the one-month program. So instead of simply achieving a goal of finding a temporary place to live, her inner artist realized an unspoken dream to devote a full, luxurious year to her art.
How’s that for elegant and harmonious?
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a bit of practice to untangle ourselves from our old outcome-focused ways and learn to trust in the basic flow of Life. But what could be more worthwhile? Let me help you get started, or support you in fine-tuning your commitment to this way of being, with a few simple suggestions:
• Think in terms of themes or states of being rather than outcomes. You can certainly start with what you believe are desired outcomes, but take it to the next level by asking: “What is the state of being I think this outcome will generate?” Here are a few examples:
Outcome: Lose xx pounds
States of Being: Vibrant health, fluidity of movement
Outcome: Find a job I love
States of Being: Making a positive contribution, feeling respected & appreciated
Outcome: Make $$ per year
States of Being: Peaceful, safe, generous, prosperous
Or you could just go straight for the desired states of being, as my friend did, such as freedom, joy, humor, lightness, etc.
• Quiet your mind and listen to your heart of hearts as you narrow the list of desired states of being to two or three; name these as your theme(s) for the year. (And if you’re the artistic type, you may want to create something visual to capture your theme that you can display where you’ll see it often.)
• Intend to increase your awareness of these qualities wherever and whenever they show up in your life. Acknowledge and celebrate every moment or experience where your desired states of being make their presence known. (Remember, your attention magnifies and expands what you are focusing on.)
• When you have specific, conscious choices to make, ask which choice is closest to the vibrational frequency of your desired states of being.
• Pay attention to your inner energy and impulses; might they be pointing to new ideas and opportunities?
• Set aside time each day to quiet your mind and open yourself to the inner Wise One for guidance.
Relax into this as much as you can and intend for it to be easier than you could have imagined. In fact, challenge yourself to hold it lightly and have some fun with it. Heaviness and seriousness are extremely overrated; bringing a light touch to this process reduces resistance and invites a greater flow of energy. And a greater flow of energy really brings the New into your New Year.
So celebrate yet another opportunity to start fresh, lift your vibration and come into greater alignment with the flow of Life. It’s a lot more fun than recycling those tired old goal-centered resolutions.
And who knows what Life might have in store for you? You could end up fulfilling a long-held dream.