Happy new year wonderful souls! I am reflecting on the capital “R” word. Can you guess it? Regrets? Refinancing? Recuperating? All of the above: RESOLUTIONS. Yikes.
Here’s the thing: I have never been a resolution person. When you grow up Catholic and have to “give up” everything but the kitchen sink for lent and other holy days, you start to wonder what all of this giving up is supposed to represent. I knew that it was about sacrificing something. But further than that? I got that doing something that is hard is a good way to challenge your priorities and that making sacrifices is a good thing—but I didn’t get the deeper message. Why is sacrifice good? What is the first thing you think of when you think of a resolution? "I am going to_(insert something hard to give up here)", yes?
More on that in a bit.
I would also like to call your attention to the idea that New Years and the resolutions we subscribe to to “finally” change our lives for the positive closely follows a holiday season that promotes giving, giving, giving. Cross culturally, whether it be Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Eid, the end of the year promotes not only giving, but devotion to a cause greater than ourselves. Sacrifice, right? Generosity/sacrifice, spirituality, and celebration followed by gratitude for what we receive and the love surrounding us. Do you think this is an accident? After all—what are some of the ideas that pave the road to happiness?
That we must give to receive.
That we must be the change to see the change.
That we must feel happy to be happy.
That we must love to be loved.
That we must reap what we sow.
Think about why we give and receive during the holidays; it is to show love and appreciation. A week later, on the heels of this giving, we are supposed to dedicate ourselves to being our best through resolutions.
Resolve to being this creation and dedication. Take the message of the season and continue to give your energy to positive beliefs and gratitude in the New Year.
In the 2000s, a book came out that highlighted a Universal rule: the Secret. Other books followed suit. Lauded and/or lambasted, the books discussed the Rule of Attraction, a New Age spiritual idea that as it turns out, is not such a new idea. The teaching that what we believe and put out into the world, we receive. Additionally, what we believe, we create. Always. Having gratitude is acknowledging what we have—showing appreciation states that we are appreciation. We are telling the Universe that we believe we are gifted, have what we need, and are deserving of wellness and love. If we believe this and give to others with this in mind, as in the holidays, we will receive this ourselves.
Different spiritual traditions drive at this same point:
The Bible hammers it home: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24
Hakarat Hatove is the Jewish concept that one must be thankful and have gratitude for what one has. The Talmud states: "Who is rich?" and then answers, "Those who rejoice in their own lot." Avot 4:1
The concept of Karma in Buddhist and Hindu traditions emphasizes that what we give we shall receive. What we do comes back to us.
Think about it this way: If we give selflessly, pray in thanks for the love, success, happiness and prosperity we do have, we are telling the Universe that THIS IS WHAT WE ARE. We are generosity and love and receive what we need, as well. Whether this be physical or emotional. Energetically, the Universe can’t disagree. If I approach life with negativity, feeling as if I’m wanting, that I’m not good enough, or won’t ever be successful, the Universe will support this energetic belief. If I am not thankful, if I am not generous, I will not see generosity or giving. This is not a monetary principle—it is an energetic one.
This concept is a heady one and can take a while to process. An example of how energy can work: You walk into a room in a good mood, you are happy, you are thankful. You run across a particularly toxic person who is unhappy, wants to complain, and needs much attention. What happens to your energy? Do you find your mood worsen, your body tire, your outlook cloud? This person has set the energetic tone and other people are adjusting their frequencies to that reality. What would happen if you maintained your gratitude, happiness, and positive approach and extended that energy to the suffering person? Give this light to the room, state that it IS, and you may see the negativity dissipate. This is the Universe aligning and creating what we choose to believe and how we choose to perceive.
Exercise: Instead of resolving, "I am going to_(do a certain thing). Say 'I AM (this certain thing)", and thank the Universe for this belief. Give thanks for having this realization about your self, accept it with gratitude, then watch the wheels start to turn.
Give love and you shall receive love. Believe in your success and you will see success. Reframe your thoughts to support positivity and you will see positive change. It is not always easy but it is a strong resolution. We give so that we shall receive. We love so that we are loved. We do good works so that we live in joy. Make the resolution to believe this and walk forward in trust.
And speaking of thanks: I am thankful for you guys and the inspiration you give me everyday.