Making Resolutions that Stick

    At the beginning of every New Year most of us set a
course to change something in our lives. 
Many of us make commitments or resolve to do something differently, but
often we don’t keep our word to ourselves. 
After a few days or weeks, we lose enthusiasm and let go of the initial
impulse to move in the direction of our goals. 
We think that we don’t have the power to change bad habits and toxic
thoughts – or gain the good things for which we aim.  Yet within us is untapped power – if we only
have faith in our Self, make the efforts, and go through the steps to accomplish
the desired outcome. 

the mind may be one of the hardest and most rewarding things to do.  It requires paying attention to the subtle,
barely perceptible thoughts and feelings that float through the inner river of
chatter.  This is hard to do without
taking regular meditation breaks and spending some time everyday in silent
contemplation.  As Tibetan Lama, Sogyal
Rinpoche said while teaching meditation, watch the thoughts flow past like so
many leaves caught up in the river’s current. 
But don’t get caught up in them. 
Instead, stand on the river bank and witness while they all float
past.  If you latch on to one thought and
get carried away, then when you notice you’ve gone with it, come back to the
river bank and return to watching again.

Often the hardest and most subtle
thoughts to change are those that have been around so long that they have
become ingrained and second nature.  We
don’t recognize them as separate from us. 
They may include criticisms from an old aunt, a hurtful friend or a
harsh school teacher.  They continue to
play over and over in our heads until we believe they are true. Call out these
demons and replace them with affirmations. 
If you hear, “Why’d you do that stupid?” when you spill a cup of coffee,
note it and respond.  Replace it with positive
words and action.  Reply, “I’m not
stupid.  I wasn’t paying attention. I’ll
pay more attention now,” or “I’ll do better next time.”  Then do it. 
It sounds simple and easy – and it is – when we take the time to be
fully present and notice what’s going on inside.  By keying into the heart and head, you’ll be
well on your way to creating a New Year filled with more uplifting thoughts and
less criticism. 

As Einstein said, we cannot
resolve problems at the same level of mind at which we created them.  Everything becomes easier when we invite in
the divine energy that animates each heart, the Source, God or whatever name
you chose to use.  When we call on this
divine inner spark, it can activate the transformation process and move us out
of the confines of our narrow, restricted mind. 
By laying the mind at the feet of your conscience or Inner Teacher, it’s
possible to grow and expand exponentially and leap into the challenges of the
year with renewed strength and energy.  

Dec. 2009 


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