At the beginning of each year, I take time to reflect on my life and consciously think about how I wish to live the next year. This is different from “New Year Resolutions” in that they are not concrete as resolutions but rather parameters that would help me to improve the quality of my life. Since my 2009 goals are universal, I decided to share them with you with the hope that you too can jump start your life and have a wonderful “new” year.
My overall goal is to be more balanced in Spirit, Body and Mind and it seems I am not alone in this desire. I have noticed that a popular theme being espoused in the media this year is the need for a more balance life. In fact, on her January 5, 2009 show, Oprah Winfrey talked about how her lack of balance in 2008 has caused her to overeat and gain weight. Bob Greene, her personal trainer, stated that “She was very vacant and distracted, and …. was losing her zest for life.” Oprah doesn’t think that she had become depressed, but did realize that she had become exhausted. “I let the well run dry… I started to get unbalanced when I started to not take time for myself…”
Has this happened to you? Have you become so busy doing for others, stressing about finances, and going into “crisis mode” that you have become non-productive, exhausted and unbalanced? I know that I certainly forgot how to relax and enjoy my life at the end of last year. It started innocently enough, I was so enthused about my Journey Back to Self business that I became over involved and obsessed. I began to take on too many speaking engagements and pressure myself to write monthly tips as well as sell the “Journey Back to Self” CD at area stores. Initially, the business was fun and filled me with joy and passion. Somewhere along the way the passion became a pursuit for success and the major focus in my life. I found that I had little time to enjoy the people and activities that were important to me and thus became reactive and stressed.
Once again, I need to go back to the drawing board and review my life and measure my level of emotional energy. Since it had gotten lower, I knew that it was time to practice what I preach in my “Journey Back to Self”. I wanted to resume a life of joy and contentment and I intended to have balance in my life again. In order to achieve this state of being, I decided to: let go of “non-essentials”, consecrate more time for activities that fill me with joy and be more present to the moment (God).
II. Consecrate time for activities that fill me with joy. I am re-reading the June tip, “Embracing Life Fully” to get ideas that help me to fill my “emotional pitcher”. I intend to return to regular “Artist Dates” in order to “self nurture” through solitary, unstructured “play dates”. I am writing a new list of “touchstones” of fun ideas that I would like to do this winter. Finally, because I have let go of some “non-essentials”, I have more time for regular exercise that will keep my body healthy. I believe that when I take the time to play and recreate, a synergistic loop occurs: I have more energy and joy which helps me to be more creative and inspired which helps me to accomplish the important tasks in life thus giving me more energy and joy.
III. To be more present to God in the moment. Most important of all, because I am curtailing “non-essential” activities, I have more time to stay balanced in spirit. I have recommitted to daily meditation and prayer because it is an easy way to stay centered and to discern God’s will for me. Prayer also fills me with benevolence and loving kindness as I view others more benevolently and I become more pleasant to be around. In addition, I am choosing a more positive attitude toward life. I have decided to take a breath and be more fluid and flexible as I see challenges as adventures rather than hardships. I have also decided to exorcise negative thinking and critical thoughts and judgments. I am consciously changing my thought channel when ever a negative thought pops up and I am replacing it with a positive reframe. (See the April tip).
I have already begun to live life with my new parameters and find that I am more relaxed, positive and happier. I am going to invite you to take some time this month to review your life and develop your own “parameters”. In order to help you to do so, I am going to invite you to answer the reflection questions below. As always, since your response helps others, I hope that you will share your comments and ideas with us.
- What in your life is not working? What “non-essential” can you give up?
- What activity brings you joy as it replenishes your “emotional pitcher”?