Some years ago we were leading a New Year’s retreat in which one of the exercises was to write down your resolutions for the coming year. Afterwards one of the guests came up to Devi and said, “I find that really disappointing.”
“What?” she asked.
The man replied, “You’ve been on the path for so many years, and you still have things in yourself that you’re working on.”
A friend, who has a wonderful sense a humor, was observing the scene and rescued the day by saying, “Devi is the only one among us who isn’t perfect. That’s why we have her working with the guests.”
At the peril of disillusioning you, dear friend, I thought you might enjoy seeing my New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. I’ll keep it simple, which suits my nature.
1. To do my best to keep my mind and heart positive and expansive. If I can get this one right, everything else will fall into place naturally. Our consciousness is like a giant funnel. As our energy moves up it expands until, ultimately, it leads to Self-realization. As it moves down, it contracts, which leads to “self-I-ness”—usually spelled with an “sh” as selfishness. The upper part of the funnel fills us with happiness, inclusiveness, and joy. The lower part shrinks our heart and mind. This year, I want to try to keep my energy always moving upward, and nudge up the level of my specific gravity.
2. To be more actively caring and friendly. I usually try to keep my heart open and positive. When I do, I can see that light fills me and radiates outward to all those around me. For me, the most natural expression of love is as expansive friendship, kindness, and caring. This year, I want to let those qualities be more obvious, less hidden. I’ll try, however, to avoid imposing on others. If I have a little light to share, it is better to offer it gently, as a way to illuminate their path ahead, than to shine it brightly in their eyes, assuming that my insight is what they need.
3. To be deeper in those practices that move me upward. I have all the spiritual techniques and teachings I can meaningfully use. I just have to do them more and better. With those where I’m still weak, I’ll take on two at a time (one habit of meditation, and one of lifestyle) until they become permanently fixed in my daily routine.
4. To stay connected more consciously to God and Gurus throughout the day. Wanting to do this is not the problem. Remembering to do it is.
There are also a couple of things I still do that pull my energy down. I’ll make an effort to avoid them.
1. Spending too much time with news and media. Over the years, the news has become less informative and more filled with gossip and judgmental opinions. I don’t need to open myself to energies that seek only to stir up negative reactions.
2. Multitasking. Especially while I’m meditating, but also during the day. I’ll try to focus on one thing at a time, to “Be Here Now.”
This list is long enough. If I can accomplish or even improve on these, it will be a successful year. I offer this suggestion to you when you make your own list: Focus primarily on changing your consciousness. It is from that seed that all habits and outer behaviors grow.
May your new year be filled with light, love, and an ever-rising energy.