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A New Year's Resolution: Step Outside the Box

For this New Year of 2011, here is a gift to give yourself and your loved ones: that of you climbing outside box-like inner rigidities and becoming open.
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Have you been feeling on the verge of a breakthrough? This could be the year to do that. We've all heard think outside the box. This year, resolve to be outside the box.

In our culture, the typical gifting period of the year shifts rapidly to this moment of fresh proclamations and reclamations, to a time of resolution and hope for an even better you, a happier you, a fuller and more enriched you. Bursting forth from the discarded wrappings and boxes were the surprises and the joys of those holiday gifts, representing something new, something you didn't have before (in theory).

For this New Year of 2011, here is something new, a gift to give yourself and your loved ones: that of you climbing outside box-like inner rigidities and becoming open to the surprise of new creative beliefs and ideas about how your life's structure really could feel, look and act.

After we open our festive presents, we usually discard or recycle the container boxes. However, all too often, we don't recycle our assumptions and inner rules we've been employing in our everyday life decisions -- whether they have been handed to us or we have created for ourselves. There is no clearing the inner room of the detritus of coping mechanisms and thoughts generated in the past. We crazily cling to what seem to the be the rules of the game and then layer, upon layer, any new ground rules as we go.

I think of this particular inner operative structure as a box of rules and regulations, the core beliefs and assumptions that create our hard drive programming and provide the underpinnings of how we build our day-to-day life. Here are some typical examples. Some people believe "no pain, no gain." Some assume that "life is tough." Others think, "people should be nice to others and take care of them," "there isn't enough," "I must work hard and/or achieve status to have value," "I must work out everyday to be good." There are more like these and none of them are actually true. Often these core assumptions are quite unconscious, but usually, lurking in the cellar of the inner landscape are these old ideas and they do affect a person's ability to be more creative, more free and more alive.

The good news is that by simply realizing that we carry old thought and belief structures about the nature of reality and our personal reality takes us halfway to the solution. After that, many rigid remedial practices exist if some part of your inner structure is stuck and needs some dismantling, even if you still don't know exactly what and where it is. There might be two general approaches to softening unhelpful belief structures and sending them to the compost pile. One slant encompasses doing sort of methods and the other comprises those that concentrate on being.

Attaining a more lucid state of being can start with focusing on experiencing the now, or in other words, staying in the moment. We can do this by savoring the little things in daily life. Focus on small amounts of time. Pay attention to the act of breathing. Find moments for meditation, contemplation or daydreaming. Practice deep indulgence of the five senses by intensely seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling what is around you. Integrate daily chores with enhanced sensory awareness, such as listening to music while cleaning or sitting in a Jacuzzi while doing homework.

Creative, active doing, ways of breaking out of the old box are numerous. Think of coloring outside the lines as you consider more imaginative approaches to daily living. Drive to work a different way for an entire week. Eat breakfast for dinner. Get out the paints and crayons and make a very messy drawing. Play with little children for hours and allow their imagination to spark your own. In essence, use your imagination and humor to mix up the status quo. Loosen structural ideas of right/wrong, good/bad, left brain/right brain, correct/incorrect to start mixing up the programming.

As you practice ways of decomposing old structural assumptions, you will find that more intuition and more insights can start to break through into your consciousness. Chipping away at solid beliefs eventually cause the cracking and breaking that can enable a more enlivened state. It will be worth the effort of this New Year's resolution. Remember, the box was not the gift. It was a container, a structure to pass the surprises along. Keep the surprise. Keep the gift. Lose the box.

Margaret Ruth has been on radio, television, published in newspapers and magazines and major websites. She is the author of "Superconscious Connections: The Simple Psychic Truths of Perfectly Satisfying Relationships" (O Books Publishing). Contact Psychic Margaret Ruth on her Facebook page, or email You can also get details on private readings, hear the weekly podcast on metaphysical topics, and enjoy the blog at