I'm not quite there yet
It's New Year's Eve. Time for celebrations; time for resolutions. Time for revolutions; time for more solutions. The evening strikes me with a certain kind of quiet grief. Why is it so much easier for me to recall the losses of the past year than to remember the gains?
This year, my loss was my gain; what I gained was what I lost. We did a 7-day detox last May, and our eating patterns have never been the same. I lost about 30 pounds. I'm not "there" yet, but I feel much better in my body. We gave away mounds of clothes that fit my moundedness but fell off my currentness. I wear pants that are 4-inches smaller. There is part of me that wants to cheer: OMG! I finally did it! I really did it! Good for me! You go, Guy!
And, of course, there is part of me that whispers, "Well, you are doing a lot better, but you're not there yet." Ah, yes. That there place. Always the there. Always something more to do in order to celebrate, in order to cheer, in order to cheer for me.
Of course, that there place never quite materializes until one totally accepts the now place. Paradox rules again!
What's the story with New Year's resolutions?
So what about New Year's resolutions? What's the story here? And not just "regular" resolutions, but the various creative rituals designed to help us release what needs to be released and accept in our lives that which we seek. If our resolutions are the same each year, does that mean that we haven't really changed in any significant way? And if that is so, what does that mean? Have our rituals and our resolutions failed us? Why would they go and do that?
The problem with resolutions is that they propose a future state that will bring us the feelings we would wish to have. And what are those feelings? Well, if we achieved the intention of those resolutions, we would feel really good about who we are and where we are in our lives.
Isn't that the real yearning behind our intentions? Behind all of them? Trying to create a reality in which we can really feel good, where we can imagine feeling good all the time about our lives. So here's the central conflict. We project our feeling good, our acceptance of who we are, where we are, what we are doing, and who we are with, onto a future state. And that guarantees one thing: That we do not feel so good about where we are now, who we are now, what we are doing now, and who we are with now.
If New Year's is truly a time to celebrate, wouldn't it make more sense to celebrate this moment rather than putting our good into an imagined future?
No longer focusing on an imagined future
So I'm meeting this New Year with a single resolution, and it's an evolution of a solution. My resolution no longer focuses on an imagined future. My solution is the present moment. My revolution is choosing the present moment -- choosing the moment to be exactly as it is. Choosing to be exactly as I am. Choosing to think all the thoughts I am thinking; choosing to be sensing and feeling exactly what I want. After all, it's what is in this moment.
Spiritual teachers announce through their own moments of realization as well as through their teaching that Awakening is always now. Spiritual Awakening is different from Materialistic Awakening. The latter is a function of the eternally judging mind of our individualized consciousness. Spiritual Awakening is always a realization of the holiness of this moment.
We can witness our minds going, "Well, yes, but..." because this is something that can only temporarily be held in that mind in the face of various objections that it stimulates: "This moment is not good because. . . ," "There's too much in my life that's not okay. . . ." The mind is like that.
But the mind-self becomes a prison of pain when we indulge its self-contempt. And that negative self-judgment really has little to do with the situations we are seeking to change in the outer world. There are all kinds of reasons so many of us learned that we were not okay the way we were. But that's actually just an idea. We've been conditioned to confuse self-acceptance with self-indulgence, self-love with narcissism.
What Awakening looks like
Radical self-acceptance and unconditional self-love is what Awakening looks like. The stress releases in such a moment, the pain eases. We can breathe more openly. We're already where we are supposed to be.
This is the resolution for this New Year: I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I am exactly who I am supposed to be in this moment. And I am with exactly the persons I am meant to be with. This moment is no longer tinged with punishment, it is complete as it is.
My resolution: To celebrate the moment, to celebrate my self, with such love and compassion that I walk from one perfect moment into the next with great joy.
Here we go. . .