What are your hopes and dreams for 2019? Do you have big plans, small aspirations, the desire for status quo? What makes your heart skip a beat and how are you pursuing that in your life?
The New Year brings with it possibilities for a fresh start. As such, we often make resolutions for the year ahead. I have shared in the past how to make New Year’s resolutions that last. And if you have not already, check out my guided meditation about how to make a resolve for your life in this month’s Parvati Magazine. But how do we really make changes? Ultimately, whether we want to change ourselves or the world, we need to start with peaceful presence. Why?
Even though we may say we want change, many of us are actually deeply afraid of it. Though we may outwardly express a hope for something new, inwardly we may be in resistance. Holding on to old patterns in our hearts, minds and actions, we find ourselves too often in the same situations over and over again, without the transformation we had anticipated.
We may blame circumstance, others, even the divine, for the events in our life. Or we may blame ourselves, getting stuck in self-criticism instead of opening to solutions. Try and try as we may, here we are again, right back to where we don’t want to be! It is like a gatekeeper who, paradoxically, we cannot pass until we surrender.
Here is why. When you want something to change, your tendency may be to see the problem as external. So you go out and try to fix the situation or a person to make it to your liking. Sooner or later you discover that this leads to further unhappiness because you don’t have the power to change someone or universal conditions. You can only change yourself, which means being present.
When you pause the ongoing inner wanting for things to be different, you find that the steps to change that you thought were an absent mystery beyond your reach, are in fact right under your feet.
I love the word “understanding”. To me it shows that when your heart opens to what is happening in this moment, you become aware of how you are supported. You are standing under, rooted in the fullness of life. There you find the genuine inspiration, momentum and traction to meet your personal potential for change—the transformation you make in your own life or the shift you may catalyze around you, just through your unattached presence.
This happens when you are willing to see things as they are, rather than how you want them to be. Acceptance is not blind and resigned, but active and awake. By accepting what is, you are not giving in, but tapping into the flow of Nature, which is ever changing. You open to the fullness of life, that serves your highest good and the good of all.
When you are unwilling to be present for this moment as it is, you perpetuate your feeling of dissatisfaction and pain grows. By resisting what is, you create a push/pull dynamic in which you divorce yourself from your true source of power: being a co-creative participant within the whole. Feeling separate and mistakenly thinking you are the one doing everything, you become frustrated, feel alone and experience a roller coaster of highs and lows from conquest to defeat. This cycle is draining and does not serve anyone.
Change arises from a place of active beingness within you. When you are willing to open to the moment as it is, you discover the richness of life, where change is taking place. In every moment, there is a spark that guides you along your next evolutionary step, perfectly created just for you by a loving universe.
Try this exercise to help you find the peaceful presence through which real change is possible:
- Find a quiet place to lie on your back, where you can relax without the risk of falling asleep.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart, so that your breathing is easy, deep and relaxed.
- Breathe into your belly, allowing the rhythm of your breath to bring your mind deeper into this moment, into your body, into the feeling of being here and now.
- Go deeper into yourself and feel the connection your body has with the floor.
- Then feel the connection your breath has with the outside air and how it flows into your body.
- Know that the air you breathe, that feeds your being, is also connected to all of life: all animals, all humans, all plants, all beings on the earth.
- Take a moment to feel that interconnection between you, life and all things. Feel the immense possibility of life itself.
- Allow your being to expand, to open to this life force that is in you, around you, everywhere.
- Stay rooted in your body by still feeling the ground and your breath, as you incorporate this sense of expanded awareness.
- Become receptive to the infinite possibilities this moment brings. Feel them in your breath and in your cells. While maintaining this awareness, say to yourself: I am supported. I am open, ready and willing to receive support. I am. I am. I am.
- Feel that truth in your whole being. Repeat it as though you were feeding your cells with this lush, rich, expansive place. Stay with it and repeat it until you truly feel it.
- Then say: I am open to abundance. I am open, ready and willing to receive abundance. I am. I am. I am.
- Again, feel it in your whole being. Repeat it so that it nourishes every cell in your body. Repeat it until you truly feel it.
- Keep going, making statements that feel expansive and are about yourself. Keep the focus within and on yourself, not on another. Focus on the positive possibilities of being you, not on wanting to change something you don’t like or someone you find challenging. Be present with the possibilities of this moment, because change happens exactly where you are.
- Once you have filled yourself up, take a moment to draw your awareness once again to the reality of interconnection between you and all living things. Send a quiet prayer from your heart, wishing for the same fulfillment to all beings, everywhere.
- When you have had enough, take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to fully integrate the exercise. Then gently bring movement back to your fingers and toes.
- Inhale, raise your right arm over your head. Exhale, roll onto your right side and stay there for a moment, feeling totally relaxed. Then gently press up from your left hand and come into sitting.
- Bring your hands together in prayer in front of your heart and take a moment of gratitude for the time you have just spent.
In service to the courageous, peaceful presence that makes true change possible, I have devoted my time and creative works (music, words, video, yoga, film and more) to an innovative Parvati.org public education strategy. We cool the Arctic sea ice, our planetary air conditioner and life support, as we melt the hearts of humanity. Please join me in serving a healthy, peaceful world through MAPS. Sign the petition. Donate to help us realize our public education strategy. Spread the word. Become a MAPS Ambassador. And remember, we create the sanctuary our world needs when we create our own inner peace sanctuary. May it be so for you now and through 2019.