Certainly committing to health, prosperity and happiness is good. Yet, what happens along the way that turns New Year’s resolutions to dust? Is there a solution?
1. New Year’s Resolutions are futile.
New Year’s resolutions fall apart due to the frustrations inherent in their pursuit. Pursuing personal goals often sets up a “no win” situation. In order to reach a goal we must deprive ourselves of activities we enjoy, yet when we enjoy these activities we suffer the consequences to our health, finances and happiness and judge ourselves on our failure. Either way there is frustration and anxiety – from either deprivation or remorse – a “futility duality.”
2. It is possible to transcend the “futility duality.”
To transcend this duality it is helpful to recognize that each behavior we are interested in changing means something. The unhealthy habits of eating, spending and behaving are each expressing an inner conflict.
3. Seek to see the meaning of the inner conflict and. . . .
The conflict is often some thought about who we “should” be and what we “should” do. “Should” thoughts are an attempt to impose an external standard and automatically set up a climate of rebellion.
4. Know that there is authentic wholeness.
Conflicts and the inability to make ourselves “better” is actually indicating that a more authentic self is waiting to be seen. There is a perfect Wholeness waiting behind the “scene” of what we think will make us feel good.
5. Take the journey by asking questions you cannot answer.
How can one stop doing something enjoyable, even if it is recognized as unhealthy, without feeling deprived? As they say in Maine: “you can’t get there from here!” A consciousness in conflict cannot heal itself. Good questions can lead our awareness out of the conflict and into a more loving, understanding awareness.
6. Neither do, nor not do – be receptive.
The stillness of mental chatter necessary to ask a question and wait for the answer to emerge is neither active nor passive – it is receptive. Receptivity is a spiritual capacity cultivated through a sincere interest in healing and understanding.
7. Let the holy healing unfold.
Each individual journey from conflict to transcendence is unique and holy. As we undertake this journey, the emergence of wholeness flows into awareness. Wholeness is our true nature. It is not something that we create, imagine or will. It emerges into receptive awareness as the conflicting feelings and thoughts are seen more clearly as not the real good-in-life that we are seeking.