A New Resolution of ONE
Each morning, when the sun gently creeps through your windows and you want to burrow further under the covers, the light is waiting for you. Today, you will get a fresh start. You get to do yesterday over again. Today. You get to change tomorrow. Today. You get to make whatever you want of the next 24 hours, filling it with moments that you will want to remember.
Today. But for some reason, we often only remember how memorable we can be at New Years. For today, let’s go with that. January is oft the time when the masses gets nostalgic. As the ball drops in Times Square, millions of viewers let themselves believe again that the world is their oyster. That anything is possible. That their dreams are within reach and that they too can light up the sky, just like the fireworks did…. if only they exercise every day, wake up earlier, pound the pavement into their new job ladder, eat less sugar, drink more oxidized water, say three eerily positive phrases into the mirror each morning while winking and standing on their left foot… …and the list goes on and on. Resolutions are great if they mean something. Yet oftentimes, lists are what get in our way from having meaningful resolutions. We set out to conquer our year and when we fail on day 3 of our new step-aerobic exercise regime, we give up the Jane Fonda legwarmer ghost and resort again to our 2013 ways.
But what if this is the year we are being asked to do something challenging, risky, and out of the box? What if we are being called to destroy our lists rather than add to them? What if we are being asked to eliminate things, good things, from our lives in order to make room for the great? What if, instead of sculpting lists of things to distract us, to busy us, to fill our days, we are being asked to get quiet, dig deep, reach inside our hearts and find the one thing that we truly LOVE.
And then build our worlds around that. And let the rest just be details. What is your ONE necessary thing? The desire that wakes you up each morning? The task that, should tragedy strike, you will have regret was not accomplished? The passion that fires you up? The place where you feel most alive? The project that you believe in? The people that make your eyes sparkle? Go there. Do that. Be with them. Find what works. And then find ways to do more of that. Because your ONE THING is what you were made to do. And every moment you spend on other tasks is simply you distracting yourself from your calling. We are the reasons we are not stepping into our God-given dreams. Nobody else. And while the grace is abundant to help usher in your destiny, the time is fragile and limited. So make a promise to yourself this year to get out of your own way and boil your life down to ONE.
In setting intentions for our lives, we must approach our lives with what I term mystical logic. It’s a deeply spiritual process that allows your to practically map out your year. It requires getting quiet, getting centered, and getting on your knees/meditation chairs/yoga mats/trail runs/anywhere you hear from God. And allowing what you hear and know in the deep recesses of your soul to be your guide for how you logistically map your days. Simply put, it’s the path on how to focus in on what you specifically have to offer to the world by getting clear on what makes you come most alive. Because if you don’t offer your alive heart, the world is in lack. As you are here to deliver it. St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit tradition in the 15th century, has a full script on this process in what he calls the Examen of Consciousness. Ignatius writes that spiritual life is a life of “discerning the goods.” The struggle in a life that seeks to make a difference will not be between good and bad, but between good and better. Ignatius says there are three types of people who set out to make a difference: The first person has beautiful fervor, amazing intentions, and a pure heart — but their talk leads to no action. Their lives are busy and appear productive but are are filled with inconsequential things. The second type of person is busy with consequential things, good things, even great things — all in avoidance of the “one necessary thing” which is their task and joy to do. This second person often gets praised for being a doer, when really they are in evasion of the total commitment and priority adjustment that a life of stepping into their calling would require. Ignatius writes there is a third type of person, the person “who is truly free.” This is the person that authentically follows the call on their lives with no conditions attached. Initially, they may have “less talk” than person one, less quantifiable productivity than person two, but what they have is priceless. They have freedom and peace of mind. They stand in authenticity with themselves. They live in a co-creative space with God himself and they watch the doors fly open.
The path of mystical logic is a path of prayer. It’s a path that believes that inspiration is divinely sourced, that our lives have higher purposes, and that our fullest capacities are within our reach. Look at what you are grateful for, as those are the moments that fuel you. Go there. Notice what has drained you, as those are moments where you may have gotten lost in the “goods” rather than your ONE THING. Honor those goods and seek to do them less. If you know your ONE THING, celebrate. You are on the right path. Now take the same spiritual principles which cued you in on that ONE THING (getting quiet, asking your heart, attentive watching, trusting synchronicity, following your gut, looking for the “God moments”) and apply them to logistics. Want to practically know how to market your dream? Start by getting quiet. The other half of the battle is simply you facing your own mirror and stop distracting yourself. As a successful artist (whose life is structured 12 hours a day around painting) recently told me, “If the universe could tell me I needed to be a painter, I knew it could inspire me with practical ways of how to do it.” And he was right. If you don’t know your ONE THING, celebrate. The fun part is before you. You get to do the incredible work of paying attention to what makes you come most alive. Need some ideas for doing your ONE resolution a reality? Here are some suggestions: – Make a vision board. Grab all your favorite magazines you almost threw out and start ripping and cutting. Words. Images. Ideas. Anything that catches your attentions. Grab the glue stick and paste your life down on paper as though a scene from a movie. If you see it on paper, it makes it all more real. And you just may be surprised at what shows up. See if you can pull out ONE theme. Then find small ways to do that ONE THING each day.
–Take out a scroll of paper, not for To-Do Lists, but for a web. Put your ONE THING in the center. Then plan out your year and make sure you make room for things that reach all parts of your soul. Does travel help you with your ONE THING? Then plan out trips. Does lunch with friends? Then pencil them in. But all of these must link back to helping feed you, not distract you.
–Take yourself on a soul date. Spend two hours by yourself doing whatever it is you love most. Whether that’s a hike, reading a book, a long drive. But unplug the phone, turn off the music, and let yourself enter the silence. You may be surprised at how loud it is.
Cheers to a New Year that can truly be one of change. And remember to just keep dreaming. Much love, Jennifer To read more by Jennifer, click here for her book THE VIRGIN ASANAS available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.