Here we stand, in the new year, 2014. We all know what that means, right?
It's time to set New Year's resolutions.
Ugh! Really? Who wants to write a bland list of resolutions?
Not me. If we're at all like me, the idea of setting resolutions lands for you like a lead balloon. For example, perhaps you want to "lose weight." But if you dread going to the gym, your resolution flops.
I want to suggest a more heartfelt, life-affirming, New Year's practice that I use. Try this. I trust it will create a shift that will generate sensational changes in your life.
In other words, get in touch with your desires.
Don't make lists of the material possessions you'd love to have, or places you'd enjoy visiting, or any outward manifestations of your desires.
Instead, look internally.
Ask yourself: "What inner shifts would I need to make to align with my desires?"
Consider how you might shift, using the question, "What energies, qualities, or ways of being would contribute to me achieving what I'm seeking?"
Then, address your yearning and desires by selecting one, two, or three qualities you sense you need to bring into your life.
In the past, mine have included Love, Excitement, Creativity, Joy, Patience, Wanderlust, Persistence, Commitment, and Improvisation.
Then, write those qualities on a piece of paper. Hang that page in a place you see daily, like over a desk or on the refrigerator.
Each day, ask yourself, "How can I bring more of these qualities into my life?" The inquiry helps your subconscious mind to harness these energies into your life.
What this New Year's practice has done for me
For 2013, one of the qualities I introduced into my life has been Ease. I have a tendency to work too hard, with too little reward. As an antidote, I chose to explore Ease.
I also invited a feeling of Connection into my way of being. I acknowledged a tendency to live like a monk, isolated in my home office "cave." I'm a tactile, hug-hunting social creature. Too much screen-to-screen contact makes me cranky, depressed, and lost. So I intentionally chose "Connection," to remind me to get out and be with people.
In 2013, I've been cultivating in my life is Abundance. Between 2008 and 2012, I suffered significant economic setbacks, lost a romantic partnership, and dealt with the health challenges of severe adrenal fatigue. My body, mind, and spirit were worn down. I kept feeling like life was against me. To turn around the loss, I deliberately chose to look for Abundance around me.
Throughout the year, as I've made choices, I've asked myself, "What can I be doing to consciously cultivate any of these three qualities?"
For example, when I've got a choice between staying up after 1 am to finish an article I'm writing, or going to sleep, I'll ask myself, "How do I create ease?" Sometimes, when I check in with my gut, getting the piece completed feels like the best way to achieve ease. Other times, going to sleep and waking up fresh is more likely to generate ease.
What I've learned from invoking Ease, Connection, and Abundance
I've discovered that the more relaxed I feel, the more I am able to go with the flow. So instead of putting up resistance and always working so damned hard, magic comes to me.
For example, I tend to meet exactly the right people at the right time. I was invited to an event for volunteers at Civicorps Schools. I met someone who works at a civic organization where I wanted to speak. I casually mentioned my desire to her. Within days, she connected me with her colleague who loved my ideas. Poof! They booked me for a speaking engagement. Easy peasy!
The more I relax, share my needs and dreams, and stay open to whatever emerges without attachment to a particular result, amazing synchronicities arise.
Intentionally meeting friends for activities such as dance, lunch, tea, and hiking has made life so much richer. Yes, I have to make the time to do it. But of course, the rewards of connection -- like the mutual sense of feeling seen, heard, and acknowledged -- are so much greater than the effort I put in to arranging these meetings.
I also find that whenever I help or support someone, I also benefit. Rather than a tit-for-tat, the benefit of these connections is a rich, continuous flow of opportunities, ideas, and social experiences for everyone involved.
Instead of striving for abundance, I simply open to it. I'm discovering that I can stop pushing. Instead, I trust that abundance is here, and more is on the way. I watch for it and see abundance everywhere. Of course, in simple ways. Like the air that we breathe. It's just there. And our breathing process - it just happens, without conscious effort. And abundance shows up in more complex ways, too. Like I wanted a nurturing, healthy place to go for New Year's Eve. Then, the perfect invitation arrived.
Wow, wow, wow, I am seeing abundance everywhere. I even started keeping a miracle journal to remind myself of the abundance.
Try out this "quality" approach to a sensational New Year
This New Year's, I invite you to intentionally shift your approach to creating the life you want. Invite in the qualities you want more of in your life.
Fair warning: You may not get exactly the money, possessions, experiences or relationships that your mind -- and especially your ego -- defiantly proclaims you must have. Your picture will very likely look different than you imagine.
Yet by cultivating the qualities you crave in your life, you'll almost magically experience the abundance you desire.
No resolutions required.
Follow Susan Bernstein on Twitter: www.twitter.com/drsbernstein