How to Succeed at Your New Year's Resolutions, Part 2: Resolve Rooted in Joy
It has been a busy start for the year for me. Actively working to launch a comprehensive website to embody my work in music, yoga, words and activism early in 2015, I am at the end of a weekend blitz to get the project to completion. You will be seeing the new site very soon!
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Here is the promised conclusion to How To Succeed At Your New Year’s Resolutions.
HOW TO SUCCEED AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION (Part 2)
Resolve Rooted In Joy
In my posting “Wanting Won’t Get You What You Want”, we explored how our ego, which is fuelled by wanting, knows only how to categorize life in likes and dislikes, a bit like permanently judging ourselves and others for what is here right now. We either latch onto something we perceive as good and feel temporarily fulfilled – like “I finally got this perfect boyfriend, so I am now happy” – or we push back at things we don’t like – like “The perfect boyfriend is not being so nice right now, so I am now unhappy”.
Is joy happiness? While happiness can come and go depending on circumstances, joy is deeper and more lasting. It is an effervescence that arises like the bubbling of life. It is what fuels the twinkle in your eye, the delight in laughter, the lightness in your step. Joy is not conditioned, fluctuating with life’s many ups and downs. Because joy comes from the soul, it is inherently connected to your purpose here on the planet.
You may believe that a million dollars, or a new house or car, or a new lover, will bring you happiness, and feel resolved that this new year you will manifest such. But if these are not an expression of your deepest joy, the universe may not support them coming to pass – no matter how hard you try. The universe is compassionate, and compassion comes in many ways, one of which is not giving us what we want, but providing us with what we need.
I recently heard the UK artist Ed Sheeran say that it was not until he stopped wanting that his success started to come. It does not mean that he rolled up into a pile on his couch and drifted his life away. He was actively following his dreams with regular gigs and song-writing, taking courageous steps to fulfill his dreams. He specifically mentioned when he started to experience success:
“It was once I stopped wanting to get signed. I stopped wanting to have people to like my music, to please people. And I just started being like, right, I am going to make music for me. I am going to do gigs for me. I am going to do me. And then I suddenly had people supporting me.”
Once Ed started to tap into his natural joy and no longer chase the elusive idea of happiness, he experienced the fulfilment of his dreams.
As you consider making or revising your resolutions for the year to come, go to a quiet place and go deeper within. Take a few deep breaths, and become present with what is.
See if you can move beyond the habitual thoughts you may have about your self and what you think you want. You may for example be wishing for more love in your life, and resolve to make that happen this year. But have you taken the time to touch the ways in which you don’t believe this to be possible? Can you love even the disbelief, and in so doing open a gateway to new possibilities?
As you move beyond the ideas you have about love, you may touch the ways in which you feel unlovable, and you can begin loving that inner you, right now. Then, you start to feel the love that you seek bubbling within. The resolve for love flowers from an understanding that you already are love. When you can touch the reality that you ARE love, then you begin to attract love into your life. By going deeper and touching the love already within, you move beyond wanting, which is not your deepest joy, and move instead into your deeper joy as an expression of your true nature. Your resolve then is built on a solid foundation upon which greater expressions of love can be built.
Similarly, witness the disbelief or wanting that may underlie other resolutions. If you resolve to make more money this year, is there part of you that believes you don’t deserve more abundance? Or do you conversely find that you deserve more, and feel in some ways indignant that you don’t get it? Can you focus on the ways in which your life is already rich? By feeling abundant and grateful in this place of inner richness, you will draw more richness into your life.
If you resolve to make a big change like quitting smoking or losing weight, is there part of you that is not yet open, ready and willing to change? Are you willing to touch that resistance, that fear, that sense of unworthiness, even self-loathing, that may keep you holding on to that which you know feels unhappy? Are you willing to see yourself as the being of light that you are now and in turn draw light into your life?
If you resolve to undertake a task this year such as learning a new language, running a marathon or even going to yoga class every day, is that resolve coming from a place of rooted joy, or from a vague and ungrounded sense that it would somehow make you “better”? There is nothing wrong with the joy in learning, growing, and accomplishing new feats. But if it comes from a feeling of being unloved as you are now, then you become at odds with what is, and in so doing, deepen your attachments to things that don’t serve your highest good. Double check to make sure that the tasks you undertake come from your effervescent joy, rather than an idea of happiness.
As you check in with yourself, use your body as a guide. A resolve that comes from wanting will only feel partially complete. You may feel it for example mostly in your head, or in your belly. But a resolve that comes from your deepest joy will feel rooted, vital and expansive. You will feel it though your whole body. It will resonate in your toes, through your spine, in your fingertips… all over! Stay there. As often as possible, feel that wholeness. Feel the joy in that reality. Be that reality. In going there, and by getting out of the way of wanting it all to look a certain way according to your ego, your resolve flowers in more beautiful ways than you can imagine. Enjoy!