01/03/2013 12:45 am ET Updated Mar 04, 2013

Living an Uncluttered Life Full of Light

Around this time each year, my thoughts are directed toward what I would like to change in my life. A new year brings with it hope for restoration and renewal.

Like many others, my New Year's resolutions always seem to be failed attempts to force personal transformation. Within weeks, my old mental and physical habits are restored and the good intentions of my resolutions slowly slip away.

Twelve years ago, I wrote an article called "My New Year's Resolution Revolution." That year, I decided that I would base my annual renewal ritual on appreciation for what I had in my life, rather than on my endless yearning for what I did not have. I wrote:

Maybe instead of making New Year's resolutions I should wake up every morning, give thanks for another beautiful day, renew my faith in spirit and in myself, and try my best to make things happen. Maybe instead of resolving to change myself I should make peace with the fact that I am still growing into and becoming myself. Maybe instead of setting up rigid expectations I should break free from the limits of my mind and invite limitless love and positive change into my heart and soul. I set the direction of my life with my every intention, thought, action, interaction, movement, feeling, and expression. I want to learn something new every day that makes me a better person. I want to continue to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually with every mistake, every success, every heartache, and every relationship I experience. My resolutions will serve as a guide to my goals and dreams for the coming year and my footprints will make the path.

Reflecting on what I wrote so long ago as a young woman of 25, I am mystified by the continued overwhelming sense that my life is not enough -- that I am not enough. Something is amiss.

This year, I have decided to adopt a new way of thinking, being, and doing that continually radiates my inner core, casting a transcendent light through every moment of my life. My resolution, for now and for always, is to live an uncluttered life full of light.

Light is what has been missing from my life. Well, light isn't really missing; a magnificent, powerful light shines within each of us whether we allow it to emerge or we subconsciously submerge it through our careless thoughts and actions. My light is being somewhat concealed by clutter and has been for a long time. This clutter represents the many poor substitutes for light that fill my life: emotional baggage, ingrained habits and unintentional decisions, and stuff that doesn't reflect my highest values. And I have finally figured out why I cram my life with all of this crap -- I am afraid of emptiness. I dread the possibility of living in a meaningless, lonely vacuum. At times, this junk has piled up so high that I have lost sight of the bright, uniting light that exists deep within me and is yearning to be set free. I long to see, feel, and be the light; yet ironically, I have crowded it out.

So from now on, I will not only appreciate who I am and what surrounds me as I chose to do 12 years ago. I will also intentionally create more space for light to emerge. This process consists of four interrelated components -- awareness, intentionality, appreciation, and liberation. To remind myself to live an uncluttered life full of light, I have written a series of affirmations in each of these areas to return my restless heart back to its true peaceful nature. It goes like this:

I am aware of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I am mindful of the impact that my every thought, feeling, and action has on me and my world. I live in the moment. I intentionally choose to create a life that reflects my true and highest purpose. I carefully respond to my environment based on peaceful, loving intentions. I deeply value all of the love, beauty, and mystery in my life. I am grateful for each moment, for every breath, and for all that surrounds me. I joyfully let go of all ideas, feelings, and things that do not create a strong sense of love, peace, and beauty. I am not afraid of emptiness, and I welcome spaciousness in my life. Through my choices, I create openings for love, peace, and beauty to emerge. I am living an uncluttered life full of light.

Let's chat again in another 12 years. I hope that a beautiful, radiant light consistently shines through each of our hearts, and that we are in a place where New Year's resolutions are replaced with revolutionary resolve that knows no beginning or end.

I wish you peace, happiness, love, joy, and lots of light in 2013.

For more by Jessica R. Dreistadt, click here.

For more on wisdom, click here.