While 2010 ended with a whimper for me (and for the most part I was glad to see it go), 2011 is starting off with a bang. There's "no rest for the wicked" as the saying goes.
Not that I'm wicked (truly, I'm not) but we all have negative habits, conditioning or baggage hiding somewhere and when it must be dumped, the universe will waste no time in pulling up the trash bin. Seems like 2011 is hauling in the garbage trucks.
It's fitting that I'm sharing three lessons that have already come up for me this year (yeah, that's just what January had to offer!). Thankfully, they've been swift and precise, resulted in some much needed laser-introspection, and yielded chucking of habits that were holding me back:
1) How you do everything, and how you feel when doing it, is more important than everything you do.
Your vibe tells all, and despite how you act or what you say, people will usually pick up on your true feelings about something. Reluctant to sit through three hours of your son's baseball practice? It'll show. The challenge for most of us -- I think -- is we end up doing all sorts of things we don't really want to. Or what we thought we wanted turns out to be a far cry from our expectations.
What to do when there's a gulf between what you have committed to doing and how you feel about it? If you "must" do something (feed a child, walk the dog, drive a 90-minute commute) you have come to despise, surely there must be a way to turn negative into positive.
There is: you change the only thing you can about your situation -- your feelings. Your attitude. And you do it with gratitude. Yes, appreciation is always the key, and despite the mundane obligations we unwittingly rope ourselves into, surely we, in first world America, have much we can be thankful for and appreciative of at any given moment.
Abraham-Hicks reminds us:
The key to experiencing the absolute absence of resistance; of achieving complete alignment with all that you have become and all that you desire, and of bringing to your physical experience everything that you desire -- is being in the state of appreciation -- and there is no more important object of attention to which you must flow your appreciation than that of self.
Speaking of appreciation of self, on to lesson two... but first, do you love and appreciate yourself even when you don't like what it is you're doing? Can you keep your sense of self worth sacredly intact from the fleeting value of everything external around you?
2) If you don't value what you do, no one else will, either.
Seems obvious, sounds logical, yet how soon we forget. For those still blissfully unaware, I'm challenged by that category of responsibility and activities I refer to as "domestic duty." While I'm quite skilled at domestic duties from cooking to baking to home decor to cleaning, I don't like them. I don't like spending my time and energy that way; I don't feel called to the home as an outlet of creative expression (many do, and that's fine, but it's not me). As a result, I grossly undervalue the contribution of my domestic actions to the people who benefit from them.
No wonder I was feeling like those people didn't appreciate my efforts?
The lesson I learned was to value all my roles, all my actions, and all my contributions -- even the ones I can afford to outsource at one-tenth of what I bill per hour in my business but end up sometimes having to do myself. Everything matters, and it matters in different degrees to the different people involved. To me, picking up my daughter from her bus stop so she doesn't have to walk a mile and a half home is a minor inconvenience in my work day. To her, it's priceless.
Can you see everything you do as priceless, if not to yourself, then at least to someone else?
3) Want to transform your relationships with others? Begin by transforming your relationship with yourself.
I honestly believe this one's the toughest to accept. In Western society, we're so conditioned to reach for reasons and circumstances outside ourselves to blame or attribute things to that we don't know how to own our own experiences; to recognize that we are each responsible for creating and setting up -- at least equally responsible with others we co-created with -- every situation and circumstance present. Even those "problem" relationships. Especially those problem relationships. It takes two to tango.
A funny thing happens, however, when you turn your focus away from trying to control/change/reform/heal/deal with others and instead focus on yourself. Things improve. Maybe not with all the problem children in your life, and maybe not all at once, but slowly and consistently the drama dies down, interactions go more smoothly, or the universe simply moves you away from those who aren't in alignment with your "vibe" and vice versa.
Why? We're all mirrors for one another. That's what intimate relationships are -- opportunities to see the aspects of yourself you can't see, don't want to see, or are intensely avoiding reflected back to you through another human being you are bound so closely to that you are compelled to look. Ultimately, it's all "you" so if you don't like what you see in others, remember, they're just a mirror for what you don't like in yourself already. And that's why the work always begins on ourselves first.
Again Abraham-Hicks encourages us:
When you remember that nothing can come into your experience without your vibrational invitation of it, then you do the simple work of paying attention to your own vibe and you save yourself the enormous and impossible task of controlling the behavior of others. When you remember that the varied behavior of others adds to the balance and the well-being of your planet even if they offer behavior that you do not approve of; and that you do not have to participate in the unwanted behavior, and will not -- unless you give your attention to it -- you become more willing to allow others to live as they choose.
If there's any theme emerging for 2011, it's getting pretty obvious that this year will be about alignment and congruency. Alignment with our truth and our higher selves. Congruency between our inner and our outer as well as the various roles and dimensions of our lives. It's a year of turning once more within and seeing -- really taking an honest look at -- what is not consistent with our deepest intentions, desires and passions. Then once and for all, letting everything that's not a fit go. I feel it rapidly already, and see it all around me -- people changing jobs, pursuing passions they closeted for years, moving to new locales they're better suited to live in, taking big risks and starting new ventures (Oprah, anyone?)
And you know what? While like a thorough chiropractic appointment, shifting into alignment isn't always pain free, in the end, we feel light years better than before.
How are you experiencing greater alignment? Where are you seeing it? And are you resisting or moving with it?