My dear friend Arlene told me she had just one resolution this year. To deepen all her experiences. What a profoundly simple ideal to aspire to.
2014 is a mountain. It is a mountain and we are climbing it. It seems overwhelming at first, but less so when we know we can break it down into 365 smaller parts.
One year is a very ambiguous thing. It is difficult for us to truly and accurately comprehend who we are going to be at the end of the year. It is difficult to know what kinds of things we are truly capable of doing every day for an entire year. And with our lofty new years resolutions, it is so difficult to make a commitment to something for a year, especially when we have been living a certain way for all the years we have been alive today.
Can you keep your resolutions for just 1 day?
But we can make a commitment to live in a certain way for one day. Just one day. Forget about a year. Can you keep your resolutions for one day? Today?
If one of your wishes is to pick up meditating, forget about meditating every day for a year, can you meditate today? And tomorrow, ask yourself the same question.
We are all given 24 hours. We all have this sacred time from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep. It is in this time, and in this time only, that life is lived.
We can all get through today. We can all get through just one day. Each of us can make it through 24 hours no matter how terrible the burden we are carrying. We can all do our work, no matter how difficult our work is, till it is time for us to sleep. And we can also all be sweet, patient, present kind, loving, pure, and authentic from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. We can “act” like the kind of person you would like to be for just one day.
And this is all life really is! Making it through the next 24 hours the way you choose. Sometimes we make choices that are aligned with our dreams, and other days we make choice that hurt us. Some days we forget that we can make a choice at all, and go through the day on autopilot. But I believe that we can change your life by changing what you do in these 24 hours, how you feel about these 24 hours, how you think in these 24 hours. And these are all changes that are not too overwhelming or difficult to make, since we are only ever dealing with one day. How you spend your days eventually turn into how you spend your life.
Right now, no matter what your situation, you do have the strength to make it through from now till bedtime. And no matter what your situation you can also choose to be the person you would like to be. You can choose to act like that person. You can choose to react to whatever is given to you today, the good and the bad, with the essence, grace and strength of that person. You can be that person today.
It sounds simple and it actually really is. There is great, immeasurable strength in choosing to be your highest self right now.
The next step is always clear
I have come to realize that the next step for us to take is always clear. Life is designed that way. And if it is not clear, then you are already looking too far ahead. So come in closer. Even if the next 24 hours scare you and confuse you to the point that you don’t know how things are going to turn out, focus instead on just this next hour. What needs to be done now? What is the right thing to do now? What kind of thoughts should you have right now?
“Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.”
Similarly, take care of the days, and the weeks will take care of themselves. You get the idea.
Karma and the present
The only place to work off your karma is in the now. Not in the yesterdays or the tomorrows. Even regretting your past misdeeds cannot do much for you or alleviate any suffering. You have to act. And the only time that we can act is in the present.
When we live our lives through the past or through the future we are not longer living. We just create an illusion of a life that we float through. And when we worry about the future excessively, we cannot help but take away our focus from today, and when that happens our spiritual body switches into autopilot. And when we are in autopilot we lose the opportunity to conquer our own destiny and change our fate, to change our life! We just go along living a life that has both ups and downs, but one that is out of our control.
So we must forget about the past, regardless of how wonderful or unfortunate it was. And forget about the future. The future is created today, in the present.
If we can live our lives with a beautiful and trusting relationship with our higher selves, our own intuition and God then we will gain access to the most sacred secrets of life. We will unearth a lot of joy that is available to us that we could not access before. We can take guided action, learn from our misfortunes, build our dreams. We can live a blessed life that unfolds beautifully, perfectly, and exactly as it is supposed to.
The only way to prepare for the future is by living today. To make the most of these 24 hours that we have been given. Only that can put us in the best position to make the most out of tomorrow, and the time to come.
Stop living a shadow life
I find that I had a real tendency to put off living. At first I seemed to have reasons that made sense to me, but over time you know what happens? You start living a shadow life. A second-rate shadow life. A life of hand-me-downs. And we can never be our first-rate-selves in a second-rate-life. It’s against the rules. So while we live in our shadow life, we still dream about our bright life. But over time the distance between our shadow life and our bright life gets so large and not only is this disheartening but it also makes us start to live a life that lacks integrity. Integrity is where there is consistency between what you say and what you do. What you believe and how you live. And it is very difficult to live with integrity when you live two lives.
So catch yourself when you say things like “I’ll do that when I grow up/ get my dream job/ move/ change classes/ feel better/ get married/ retire” and realize that each of these statements are actually steps you are taking pushing your bright life away from your shadow life.
And when we get to each of these milestones, our old excuses are replaced by new excuses, and we look back at road we have come along with a feeling that life has passed us by.
May 2014 be magnificent one small day at a time!