Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions on Track With Joy

BY Parvati

How is your 2017 going so far? For those of you who have been having issues with communications, transportation or electronics, you will be happy to know that Mercury retrograde, an astrological period that trips up all such things, is over on January 8.
This week I conclude my two-part series on The Key to Making New Year’s Resolutions That Work.
It has been inspiring to see the #UniteByLight videos coming in from all over the world. From old and new friends to perfect strangers, I am seeing people touched through the interconnection of light and the importance of MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. People are realizing that an endangered Arctic ecosystem and the melting polar ice threatens everything on the planet, including each one of us. Thankfully, there is something that can be done about it. But we must act swiftly.
Please join #UniteByLight today and light your peace candle for MAPS. Then nominate three friends to do the same. We have a super innovative plan to quickly build global demand for MAPS. #UniteByLight is key for raising the funds the not-for-profit needs to make it possible.
For the past two years, since inception, has been 100% volunteer-run (including me). But we need to hire full-time experts so that we can reach our essential goal to make MAPS law by the end of 2018. Your support makes all the difference. Please get in touch if you can help out in any way.
Back to New Year’s: how are your New Year’s resolutions going so far? Last week, we explored how our ego, which is fuelled by wanting, knows only how to categorize life in likes and dislikes. When the ego is in charge, it is as though we are permanently judging ourselves and others for what is here right now. We either latch onto something we perceive as good and feel temporarily fulfilled – such as “I finally got the perfect job. I am happy!” – or we push back at things we don’t like – such as “The perfect job is a drag right now. I am 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. Joy 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. It comes from your soul. Because of this, 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 resonant with your deepest joy, and compassionately supports you in living it. Compassion, however, comes in many forms. The universe provides you with what you need, but may not give you what you want.
I remember hearing the British musician 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 your resolutions for 2017, 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 yourself and what you think you want.
You may for example be wishing for more love in your life. You may have resolved to make that happen this year. But have you taken the time to touch the ways in which you don’t love yourself or believe it possible for you to be fully loved?
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. You can love even your disbelief, and in so doing open a gateway to new possibilities. Then, you start to feel the love that you seek, bubbling within.
A 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 deepest 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? Do you doubt your sense of self-worth? Do you feel worthy just as you are? Or do you conversely find a sense that you deserve more, and feel indignant, even angry, that you don’t get it? Can you focus on the ways in which your life is already rich? Can you find your inherent sense of worthiness beyond all external things? 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? Is there a part of you that somehow feels that you need that cigarette or the extra pounds to keep you safe in some way? Are you willing to touch any resistance, fear, sense of unworthiness, or 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? In so doing, you experience change as a natural unfolding of understanding, witnessing, and releasing your attachments to that which does not serve your deepest joy. Healthy change comes from self-love and self-value, not self-reproach.
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”? It is great to learn, grow, and accomplish new feats. But if the desire for such comes from a feeling of “gotta get it right” or of being unloved or not enough as you are now, then you become at odds with what is. In so doing, you deepen your attachments to things that don’t serve your highest good.
Inquire deeply, with self-honesty, to make sure that the tasks you undertake come from your effervescent joy, rather than an elusive idea of happiness.
As you check in with yourself, use your body as a guide. A resolve that comes from wanting will feel only 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 and being. It will resonate in your toes, through your spine, in your fingertips… all over… and in your soul! Stay there.
As often as possible, feel that wholeness. Make it a part of your daily practice. 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!
Until next week, remember,
Love yourself.
Love others.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.