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Spirit of the Valley
The Magazine of Mountain Wellness

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DECEMBER/JANUARY 2005-6: THE WINTER ISSUE

 

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The Resolutions Revolution!

Entering the New Year in the

New Age

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We’re the richest country on earth, the most educated, and above all, we can take any situation filled with love and joy and beat ourselves over the head with it! We’re Americans! This is not just another fluffy article on New Year’s Resolutions and how to keep yours. This is a REVOLUTION!

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This whole idea of resolutions is a very ancient one. In our most primordial human state we observed the way of the seasons, the natural recycling process of nature, and the cycle of life.

When we entered into the Agricultural Revolution, the idea of releasing became very important as we built homes and began to adapt to a concept of a finite amount of space, along with storing our means of survival. I often wonder: Who was the first woman to have to have “too many” pairs of shoes?

When the major religions entered the fold of human consciousness, this idea of release, sometimes married with an idea of repentance, came to the forefront, and became the major focus of, or part of, some major holidays. The idea of a divine right way of being also crystallized and became a measuring stick for everyone, varying over time and cultures.

Enter modern day global culture and media and perfectionism and mass everything and New Years has become a period in which all of the phases of our cultural evolution are turned out in the winter wind, frozen in time forever, as we try and try to shake what we perceive to be bad free. Conglomerated in a ball of muck and mud, chocolate and alcohol, cigar smoke, overindulgence, denial, lack, and fear. Love is there somewhere, but often it is the chaser to the hair of the dog on New Years Day.

While we all will say we want to be better friends, or people, in general, we save the specifics for the 10 pounds we want or need to drop, the habit we know we should want to break, and the self-love that we know we should give ourselves. Something very very interesting happens, however, when we try to do these things. We often fail. We often find that the joy of giving up an addiction or something else unleashes inside of us something far deeper, far darker, far scarier than puffing away on another smoke (believe me, I know, I did it for 17 years.)

There’s also a lot of reinventing of oneself, and resolutions that do not in anyway serve to promote a more healthy and happy life. They are unfounded in spirit or reality, and are sentiments of the status quo that promote an unhappy state of being to begin with. I’m going to work harder. WHY? I’m going to get a bigger house? WHY? I’m going to take a trip to Spain. And just what will you find there?

It’s not such a deep, dark picture, however. The reality is much more lighthearted and fun, but it is not the reality you are probably going to be reading about anywhere else. Why? Because what I’m going to talk about is a complete challenge to the status quo, a complete revealing of it. The nature of all of our current ideas is that there is an ideal out there that we want to fit into. Never do we question that ideal, even if we know it does not resound with us, is not supported by society, or is how we have been conditioned to think. Are we really going to be a harder worker when our boss has no intention of paying us more? We will if we work harder due to a desire to be of greater service, but our original intention, of being seen as a more valuable player, may go unnoticed.

In short, concepts such as wanting to be nicer or healthier or reinventing ourselves come to us within the paradigm of acceptability. I.e. we are encouraged to look at our habits and addictions, but we are NOT encouraged to stand up and speak out against the producers of such substances or ideas. We are encouraged to recycle, but we are NOT supported in our stand for a more simple life. We are encouraged to vote, but we are NOT encouraged to question the validity of either our system or its leaders in any real way. We are encouraged to eat healthier, but we are not encouraged to challenge the system which produces our food. We are encouraged to change within a very limited range along the spectrum of being – we call this being realistic, or doing baby steps, or doing what we can – but what we are actually doing is putting a ceiling on how much we think we can change. How much we are willing to change, and ultimately, how much we actually do change, is a direct reflection of our true intention.

If we were really to take charge of our lives and our brains, I truly do not believe that the struggle of January would ensue. Resolutions as they currently exist set us up against something, put us at war with evil or habits or what we have labeled bad things. Resolutions of ceasing cause a contraction of being within us – like when a muscle is injured and the surrounding tissues come in to hold the structure up. Resolutions as they could exist create expansion, offer more ways to look at and operate in the world, take back the power of thought and choice, and move us into a place of alignment with our true natures.

It is not our nature to struggle. It is not our nature to be at war. Though we may have placed this blueprint out upon the world and all of its systems and species, it is not the truth. When we let go of the war of life, we open to a deeper liberation from all thought, expectations and “shoulds.” Decisions we make when we join with our true selves come out of a place of joy, naturally, and not out of a place of self-loathing or fear.

I’m so sick of trying to improve myself. I’m tired of trying to be something I’m not while denying who I really am. I’m very odd, I think a lot, and though my body would have been worshipped in ancient Greece, it does not fit into the Barbie Doll mold that currently is slated as the ideal. Sick…..of………it. I’m not going to get ANY support in my releasing myself from this cultural obligation, so I’d better know that from the outset. Or, as it seems, my ego.

If our ego is running rampant in fear, the only way out is to address the fears, dispel the rumors, and not try to get rid of it. Now, putting the ego in its proper place is another story, and a natural outcome of being in the love, people.

Challenging our long held beliefs, often the
unquestioned basis for a majority of our actions,
is more revealing than you might think. After
all, all great revolutionary ideas began with
someone who had a new understanding -
a new perspective - on the world.....

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Let’s look at some classic
resolutions and really rework them:


1. I’m going to lose 10 pounds: (or anything with: I’m not going to do BLANK anymore.)

I now intend to nourish my body in the most healthy, balanced way possible, knowing that what I feed my body becomes who I am. I fill my body with love, and however I look is exactly the way I am supposed to be. What can I do for you? Thank you so much for being with me and supporting me in your loving service on this journey, in spite of all I do.

How will I accomplish this?
See a nutritionist. Take up a nurturing body or exercise practice.

A beloved teacher of mine suggests staying out of a traditional grocery store for one week – away from the culture of mass consumption, chemicals, and additives. Eating whole foods and vegetables and learning new and delicious ways to be is fun and exciting. When we divorce it from our soul, however, we live in the drudgery of using food to accomplish a set desire for us, our focus on all that we are giving up. The other is on all that we are fortunate enough to receive.

Don’t wear jeans for a week. They are the uniform of the western world. Be a little creative and original.

2. I’m going to spend more time with my family.

I’m going to allow myself to nurture the love in my life, and honestly assess where I am putting my energy. I will honor myself in not maintaining friendships out of guilt or obligation, and will allocate my precious time to that which matters most and enhances my life. By taking care of this fundamental aspect of self, I will be more available for the sacred relationships in my life, less distracted, and operating out of love, not guilt.

3. I’m going to go to church more.

I will honor my spirit in all ways and on all days. I will honor what resonates as truth to me, and I will honor the path of those around me. I accept that every step I take is on sacred ground, and that religion and spiritual movements are tools to support my growth. I release myself from unnecessary obligations, and instead practice a loving discipline that nourishes my whole self as I break old patterns of being. In all things I continually ask myself, “is this in my best interest, does it bring more love and joy into my life?”

4. I’m going to get a better job.

I honor myself and the world around me with loving service. I offer myself as a tool of love and peace in this world, and I go and do what I am called to. I let go of all of the judgments of status, materialism, and ego, and embrace the truth of my own heart. I do all things for the greater glory of God, spirit, and love.

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