For many people, the new year is an opportunity to reflect on where they have been, where they are at, and where they want to go. New year’s resolutions are thrown about, and some of them land and take root, and some of them don’t, and maybe we make them again the next year, or maybe we don’t.
Like most people, I certainly participate in this activity, as reflection is a very important part of properly digesting the experiences of life and making the most of the learning gained. The learning is a big part of what helps us progress along our path.
However, there are a couple of dangers when in comes to making resolutions. One is that sometimes our resolutions are ego-driven, not spirit-driven, and these can never serve our growth in any way other than on a very superficial plane. These intended outcomes are really driven by the misplaced expectations that we put on ourselves or take on board because we perceive them from other people, or from society in general. A second danger is that even when we tap into a spirit-driven action and “resolve” for a certain outcome, we can become overly fixated on the outcome. As a result we end up with a very narrow view of the path, and so instead of seeing those all important stepping stones towards the highest possible outcome we focus on the route that we think we are supposed to take, making the journey so much more challenging than it needs to be (or even impossible).
As someone who tries, more and more, to live by honouring flow and the direction that the Universe wants me to take, I have been working for some time to set intentions (and make resolutions) while still letting the Universe guide my path. For many years I had the energy to accomplish whatever I set my mind to by sheer will alone, but with age and wisdom comes the beauty of knowing that there is a better way, which is often helpfully accompanied by a decrease in energy to keep on willing things into existence!
So, how do we do this?
The truth is that the Universe REALLY wants us to hear our calling. The Universe wants us to follow the flow of where we are supposed to go. But what the Universe never intended was that we jump into our sailboats, and then promptly neglect to hoist our sails, instead grabbing our paddles to willfully head for the stretch of coastline that we have set our sights on . What if, instead, we put up those sails, caught the wind, adjusted the sails when the wind changed direction, took a break when the sails went slack, checked our charts to make sure that we still wanted to head towards our original destination and that we were indeed still on course, and caught the next gust when the Universe sent it our way? Imagine crossing that stretch of water without having to pick up that paddle – not even once.
Making “resolutions” is important, as is asking the question if they are really divinely guided. If so, then you can trust that the Universe wants you to succeed (when one person follows their flow, we all benefit), and that the next step of your journey will be made available to you. This doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for the outcome to happen, not at all! What it does mean is expanding your view. Take off the blinders. Wait for guidance. When that flash of inspiration happens SEE IT, TRUST IT, FOLLOW IT. You wake up and think “wow I really need to get in touch with that guy I met at that conference.” So do it! Reach out. Don’t let the next though “Oh…no…that’s dumb…he wouldn’t remember me anyway” win! The next stepping stone can be as simple as picking up the phone, or visiting that part of town you’ve always wanted to go to, or googling that thing you’ve always wondered about learning. To get to stepping stone #2 we have to step on #1 first!
I recently interviewed my Law of Attraction coach Karen Luniw for my Possibility Podcast and talking to her reminded me of all of the great tools that she taught me that I still use today, every day! My favorite remains asking the question “What would it take to…?”. This question is an open invitation to the Universe to respond, through the language of inspiration. The answer usually hits me like a flash of lightening “Oh yeah! I need to set a timer for the heat in my meditation room if I want to get up earlier to morning to meditate, a cold room is just not enticing on a winter’s morning.” Or “Yes, of course, if I want to put together a regular newsletter for my clients I better get back to writing regular blog posts.” The very question of “What would it take to…?” is itself an act of taking off the blinders, expanding my view, and giving space in my mind for my knowingness to respond with an answer.
Sometimes the answers don’t come immediately. Sometimes I ask the question and I get nothing. I remain wondering what to do, but with the blinders off I am ready to receive the inspiration when it comes. I later notice the sign in the shop window, or remember that conversation with a work colleague, or find my guitar songbook that I’ve been looking for for months, and each one of those is often the very next step along the path to the outcome that I am seeking.
So this year, try making those resolutions, but know that although your job is to hear the call of the Universe and respond by pointing your ship in that direction, it is not your job to fill the sails…only to catch the wind!
What would it take for you to catch the wind this year?