It's a new year. Time to make resolutions that I will hopefully stick to. I've never had a great record with such decisions before, but this year should be different, because the nature of the resolution itself will ensure its completion. I know that sounds like something bordering on quantum mechanics or philosophy, but stick with me here.
The fundamental mistake I've always made has been to pursue my goals and seek fulfillment through them. When I think back, this doesn't seem like a great recipe for a happy life because I tend to strive for things that aren't all that easy to achieve. Consequently, since I've mortgaged my sense of fulfillment to the attainment of these hard-to-accomplish goals, fulfillment doesn't find me very often.
The only options are to either set my sights lower, which I am not prepared to do, or fix my inner being in such a way that my experience of life isn't mortgaged to my accomplishments. My sense of fulfillment is an essential part within me, independent of the success of my activity in the world outside. So I've decided to make 2015 the year I fix my way of being, and only then look at what I need to do or have. I've identified a few supports that can help me on my forward (or should I say inward).
Yoga and meditation have become a big part of my life in the last few months. A part of the yogic sciences includes the chanting of mantras, powerful arrangements of sounds that have profound psychological and physical impacts. Of course, not all mantras can be just picked up and chanted. They require proper training and pronunciations to have the right kind of impact, but there are a few sounds that can utilized even by a "beginner" who follows due diligence. I've found five mantras which fit the bill, out of which I have chosen one, "Brahmananda Swaroopa", to create the right ambiance.
But the most important aspect is of course, maintaining the right perspective of life. While proper perspective alone won't get the job done, it will go a long way in getting me off to a good start. This isn't about positive thinking. I've tried and failed with that stuff before, and don't intend to fall for that again. Instead, what I've noticed is that only when we realize that our thoughts, emotions and attitudes are in our hands, only when we see that it is up to us to shape these the way we want them, will we even attempt to take control of our lives.
As long as we allow the world and our surroundings to influence and determine our way of being, we will never really control our inner destiny. In a post on anxiety remedies, the Patheos Blog says, "The quality of our life is not determined by the clothes that we wear, our educational qualifications, family background or bank balances. It depends upon how peaceful and joyous we are within ourselves."
I think that nails it! What we do around us will determine how physically comfortable our lives are, but it needn't determine how we experience life within us. This experience of life is entirely in our hands and can be determined entirely by ourselves. It is this fundamental inner step that I hope to make in the coming year.