Staying the Path: My New Year’s Resolution

December 29, 2014

It recently occurred to me that the more my relationships and career started to fall into place this past year, the more stressed out I became.  I definitely felt more highs, but I also started to feel more lows.  I wondered what about my current situation was creating anxiety, impatience, worry, and strife.  My current lacksidaiscial approach to my meditation practice?  It’s probably not helping.  But no, that didn’t feel quite right.  The stress of the holidays?  Sure, I could pin it on that.  But that didn’t feel quite right either.  Perhaps I have a gluten sensitivity?  Ok, now I’m reaching.  Time to really get down to the base of this thing.

It wasn’t until I made my lists for the new moon, winter solstice, and new year intention setting that I started to get some insight into my situation.  One list was comprised of things I wanted to release, and the other of things I wanted to invite.  Taking time to reflect over my experiences this past year helped me see just how far I had come, and how many improvements I have made in my life.  It felt great.  But it also added to my perplexity over why I couldn’t seem to shake this agitation that just felt like it was waiting in the wings, ready to strike at a moment’s notice.  Can’t find that particular throw pillow cover you want at Ikea?  End of the world.  Barnes and Noble ran out of that vegetarian cook book you wanted to purchase as a gift?  Worst. Day. Ever.  You forgot your lunch in the fridge?  What else could go wrong?  I had had enough of this guy, and I was ready to release him.

As I was meditating over what I was releasing to create space for the things I wanted, I remembered just how low I had felt about a year ago around this time.  A long and serious relationship I was in had just ended, I had just chosen unemployment over settling for financial stability, and I had made the decision to leave my beloved city of New York to head West to the City of Angels and and start my life anew.  After all, I thought, what do I have left to lose?

It was the best thing I had ever done for myself.  Without the distractions of a job, a relationship, or even just my material possessions (as I had made the voyage with whatever I could fit in my suitcase), I really began to focus on myself- for the first time in a long time.  I was able to find happiness after a long time of struggling to figure out why I was not happy.  Didn’t I have everything I want?  Once all of that “stuff” was removed, I started to truly appreciate life, the people in it, my breath, and the simple joy that comes with waking up each morning not know what the day would bring.  My life was exciting again, and I felt great.

Over the course of that (this) year, great things happened for me and like I mentioned before, things are presently starting to fall in place.  But I could feel my happy go lucky attitude start to fade with it.  Then it occurred to me as I was hiking with my best friend the very next morning after my intention setting:

When shrouded in darkness, it becomes much simpler to concentrate on the light- however small it may be.  The darkness that surrounds the light illuminates it, and you notice and appreciate that light.  The more that light grows, and the more the darkness fades, the light becomes less rare, and as a result, you may not notice it as much.  Instead, now you are focused on those slivers of darkness that happen to pass by every now and then.  Just as in the dark it is a practice to appreciate the light, so it is in the light!  The more we surround ourselves with light, the harder we must work to acknowledge and appreciate it rather than become fixated on the slivers of darkness that pass through.

 

Bingo!  I had finally figured it out.  I needed to stay the path.  I needed to continue what I had set up for myself when things were at their worst and not think that because things were getting better, that I didn’t need those practices anymore.  In fact, it turns out that I needed them even more!  I need to continue to journal, to meditate, to reflect, to spend time with me!  To prioritize my well being and make sure I was taking care of myself.

I share my story and this conclusion I’ve come to in hopes that it can help you stay the path as well, especially when we feel good, when we start to feel happy, and when we feel like whatever personal work we are doing is finally “paying off.”  If its working, why abandon it?  Continue to stay the path and continue to live everyday with excitement, joy, and contentment.  So, as you ring in the New Year, perhaps you’ll consider staying the path as a resolution, as I am, or perhaps choose a New Year’s resolution that will help you more specifically stay your own path.  Whatever path you choose, I hope it is one of peace, contentment, and joy so that those things can and will continue to blossom in your life.  After all, if its not broke, why fix it?

Happy New Year!!

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