A Different Slant on New Years Resolutions

This is different slant on New Year Resolutions. Instead of making a few vague rules about what you want to do different, I offer a change to a more fulfilled life. If you are happy with your life, I do not think you would be here wondering what I have to say. Welcome.

I am happy and content these days, living my life mostly in the moment, but I worked hard to achieve this state. I thought writing about my path may help you improve your life. Of all the lessons I have learned over my lifetime, there is one lesson that is bigger than the rest. That lesson is, we are more alike than different. The way I was and the who I am now is something people before me and people after have done and will do. You can do it too.

If you see yourself in what I write below, be patient. Know your life will change, and you will find happiness and contentment. If nothing I write below relates to your life, know that for many people, loneliness and despair is their normal life state. Reach out and touch them. They want you to see them.

Be part of the world, it is easier

Isolation can be overcome, you can do it.

It happened to me either one New Years Eve or possibly New Years night many years ago. Maybe it as early as Christmas. It certainly wasn’t later than the first week of January, as I would have my emotions under control [again] by then. This particular incident happened sometime after one in the morning, probably after two. My days and nights ran into one another in those days. Living life slowly and relaxing was for other people.

I was living out west, in the mountains. From a good vantage point, it was possible to see more stars than could be counted in a lifetime. I was walking home late at night, down a dark street. I didn’t have a car. The little town I called home didn’t have lighted streets.

Walking home, this night for some reason was different. Everything I looked at was overly sharp and vibrant. This time of night my world and thinking should have been cloudy and hazy with loosely construed thoughts. I looked up and saw a sky full of galaxies, millions of stars. I was alone in all of it. I was separated from everything and everyone. Family, friends, people in general lived in the same plane as me, though in a different dimension. We inhabited the same space separately, or so it seemed.

I remember looking to the sky that night and thinking, ‘if I could go to anyone of those living stars, I would still be an outsider, on the outside, looking in. I felt I didn’t have anything in common with the smallest speck of dust, or any of the people who cared about me and were my friends. I couldn’t have a heart to heart talk with them as none were close enough for me to confide in them. Most of all, I never felt happy and normal like people around me seemed to feel and act.

That period of my life happened so many chapters ago in my book of life, I can no longer feel how invisible I felt; how alone, how distant. When I think about my life back then, it feels like it was someone’s life I have memories from. It isn’t the me. These days, I am content. I am happy, almost abnormally so. Yet, I can’t think of single event in my life I would go back and change, because changing anything might change who I am now, I really like who I am now.

I also know that feeling so distant and separated from everything isn’t unusual. What was different for me, is I didn’t know other people felt the same. We are all very good actors. I did believe with certainty, and outside of rational thinking, there was a life ahead of me much better than the life I was living. I only had to go forward with my life and find it.

I held on to that belief through those years of my life. I watched a few friends and acquaintances destroy themselves and their lives, and the lives of those closest to them in the process. Drinking, drugs, loneliness, depression, most made it through, but a few gave up and selfishly cashed in their life. I was lucky, I, “Kept my eyes on the prize”, to almost quote a line from an old hymn.

I still have difficulty with too much idle chatter. I think more varied thoughts than most people around me. I wonder about other realities, the universe and everything in it. I think about the future and the past. The visible and the invisible.

However, I have lived a mostly honorable life. Though I may have been lost longer than I should have been. I now make my life fun, only now not at other people’s expense – that was a hard lesson to learn. People weren’t real to me, and their feelings didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t mean or vindictive, I just could not relate closely to people and their problems.

Of course I did some things I shouldn’t have done. I hurt people that didn’t deserve to be hurt. I intentionally hurt people I thought deserved to be hurt. I hurt them not knowing they were already damaged beyond anything I would ever do to them. In those early years, I lived with one way relationships, my way or no way.

I lived each day one step from letting the worst of myself lead the way. Preferring to having the best of myself shine through and lead the way. Now, “Life is good!”. I hope I don’t get sued for that comment, I hear the phrase is copyrighted, but it is the best and simplest way to say it.

I am here now, and I am better than I have ever been before. I have left most of my bad habits behind me. The few bad habits I have left, I will have forever. I made through to the other side of life, and you can too.

If you see yourself in what I have written. If you feel you have reached a point where you can’t go on anymore; If you feel so distant, alone and forgotten that you will never be found, take this on trust, life will get better and you will come to love yours.

Isolation happens on the inside and radiates outward. We isolate ourselves without realizing it we have shut everyone out. After a time, we forget we had human connections. Family, friends, people in our life, people we meet all care about is, and give us exactly what we project out.

People will sense our isolation and project it right back to us, because isolation is what we are putting out there. We humans have a polished expertise. With laser focus, we reflect back to the people what we see in them. If you doubt this think of the homeless. How do you think of them?

If you feel isolated and alone, people in your daily life will help you feel more isolated and alone. If you feel like you aren’t understood, (this is normal sometime), you think people do not understand you and your life, be patient. Live life your way, and don’t expect or need anyone to understand you. This is your life, be selfish with yourself. This is something you have to work out on your own time frame. Give other people the same leeway and respect, they have their own problems they are dealing with.

If you are like me, and like to think about serious things, do not expect people to want to talk about them with you. We are all trying to pursue a state happiness. Lighten up and talk to people on their level. Practice makes perfect. You may find you enjoy it and are good at it.

If your dress is unusual or unique, how many people do you see each day like you? How many parents with their children do you see looking like you? How many financially successful people look like you? Zero? If this is you, there are two real choices for you. Change your dress and try to fit in, or find somewhere to live where everyone else is more like you.

If you are looking for a friend or partner, it really helps to ask yourself, who are you trying to attract? Do you want a flakey fly by night friend or partner because they can relate to you in the moment, or do you want someone who will make you life better for years to come, to make you proud, and be a good parent to your future children. Life is not a movie fantasy.

What feels better to you, being alone and refusing to change, or starting to build a life you will be happy with and proud of? I am thinking you want most of what you see going on with people around you. You want real relationships, and you want to be happy too.

I started my journey with a few words written on a piece of paper pinned to the wall, placed where I would see it most of the time. Those letters were: IGTDSBIGTBSF. Quite a handful, and I would always get a questions about it: “What does that mean?” I would say, “I’m going to die someday, but I’m going to be somebody first”. Obviously by my choice of wording, I didn’t feel like someone back then.

I refused to keep the same behaviors I was comfortable with, because they hadn’t done much for me over the years. I thought any change in my behavior was an improvement over my old behaviors. Change came slowly, good change, healthy change. Life got better. Life became great!

The world is far from perfect, but the world of all is a lot better than living life in a world of one. Your life will get better, if you only let it. Let people in, listen to them, and be empathetic when they tell you their problems. Be their friend, and let them be yours.

Get out there and talk with people and find common ground with them. They need you, and you will find you need them just as much. Just don’t expect any one person to be your everything, be happy for the part of your life they fill, more people are on the way, as long as you are willing to let them in.

You will find the hollowness you now feel will slowly retreat until one day you realize, a new kid lives on the block. The old you is a vague memory. And you will wonder if that was someone else who inhabited you body and lived your life all those years.

New Year’s Coming

It is almost the beginning of a new year, and you may be starting to think about the list of changes you want to make in your life? It is not such an easy thing. You can create several lists full of good changes. You can take the best from each of your lists and make a master list. Or you can do a seat of the pants list and write down the first ideas you think of.
Most of our resolution lists have to do with events external to us. Lose weight and exercise more. Stop doing something, and learn something else. Find a way to get ahead in our job, or maybe even find a new job. Get some training or take a class or two that will help us in the future.

Somewhere along the line the ghosts of past resolution lists make themselves known. We remember those things we were sure we were going to do. Somehow they all slipped away into the ether with our other good intentions.

Make time for you this year and do what makes you happy!

The reason these lists of changes we create and rarely stick to is simple. The changes we make and sometimes create usually have nothing to do with us! They have more to do with people around us. This is why most resolutions do not last or come to pass.
It is okay to have that pie in the sky resolution. I have a few, and I think everyone should have at least one. Writing down a list of unrealistic goals however is making of a forgotten list. When you compile or recompile your list of resolutions, make them worthwhile meaningful resolutions about you. Being yourself is more satisfying than living the way others think you should.

Here is a general list of worthwhile resolutions followed by what they could mean for you:

 I will be truthful to me.

I will learn what “I” believe in, and why I believe it.

I will eat more of the foods I really enjoy rather than easy foods I do not care for.

I will make more time for me.

I will create positive differences in my life, and lives of others along the way.

I will appreciate who I am and what I have.

As funny as it sounds, most of us lie to ourselves. We ignore things about ourselves we would rather not think about. We often do things we deep down do not want to do. When was the last time you were truthful with yourself?

What do you really believe and why do you believe it? Do you believe what you do because your parents raised you to believe this way?  Whatever your belief system is, it will always feel a little artificial until you dissect it, rebuild it and make it your own.

Eating better does not mean giving up foods you really like. There are more ways to enjoy cheese than on a slice of pizza. Does the food you are eating really good or are you simply go through the motions of eating?

I am going to change those things I can change. I am going to look at my life and see where I am spending time doing things I prefer not to be do.

Think about what you can do that makes you feel good. Giving change to a shiftless panhandler doesn’t feel all that good, nor does it change anything. Do what makes you feel good, and you help others in the process.

What does my life mean to me? Am I happy with what I have? Is it because I feel I do not have enough? If you aren’t happy with what you have, sell it all and buy the biggest thing you can afford that makes you happy.

Your life is yours to live as you wish. You are the captain of your ship.  Do not live to please other people unless this is something you enjoy doing. Don’t be miserable again this year. This year, learn to be yourself and please yourself. Then your life will feel good, and you will be happy.

Enjoy Life More, Weigh Less, Get Happy

I was reminded of something I used to know, which I had forgotten. What I was reminded of is, “Put the Bags Down”. Many of us without realizing it do what is called stamp collecting. The stamps we collect are little slights, inconveniences, small problems we can not immediately solve such as frustrations, boredom, and other nitty irritants that get in the way of our otherwise perfect moment of our perfect day.

We wear over our clothes an old shirt. On that old shirt without being aware of it, we put little sticky notes of whatever little incidents occur in our day to remind ourselves, lest we forget, of how things are not going our way at the moment.

My biggest series of stamps are about back ache. My back went into spasms a few years ago. (I would not recommend back spasms as a good way to spend a month or six.) From time to time, my back feels worn out, on the verge of aching. I have without realizing been saving these sore back stamps over the last few years. Pulling them out when I felt the need to feel sorry for myself.

Last week, I was watching a short video about putting the bags down. ‘Bags’ being life’s little problems. I was guilty of wearing that old shirt with my collection of sticky notes of back aches interfering with my day. Also as my focus was being distorted, I would occasionally add another sticky note about something I found irritating in the moment as my back hurt.

Halfway through the video, I  decided to take off my old sticky note covered shirt, and place it in a bag and put it out in the trash bin. Holding on to past problems does not allow one live in the present moment. Old problems hinder and hamper the good of the moment as are when live in the present.

We have lived our past, and we are able to some extent shape our future. It is living in the moment which is most important. The present moment is where good and not so good things happen. By not living in the moment, and wearing our old shirt with the sticky notes on it, we miss the good things that are going on in our life, and instead look for reasons to add another note to our shirt.

Spend your time in the present moment, enjoying all the goodness that is present and around us. Bad things will happen of course. Bad things balance our life and help us see all the goodness we enjoy each day. Keeping track of problems and focusing on them makes us lose sight of the present and the good things that are happening in the moment.

So what things should be thrown away? The list is long, but it can be done throwing away a few items at a time. Hate, anger, jealousy, envy, are a few of the things you should not carry around with you.

Thoughts about your looks or personality can capture a lot of sticky notes. Who cares if you are fat, skinny, have a big nose, a poor smile, big hands, or small feet. These things make difference to how you experience happiness in your life. Is your birthday any less special because you are different? Does a sunny day, or good meal with friends or family taste any different?

Be happy in who you are and let go of the baggage you are carrying around about yourself. A swimming pool, lake or ocean does not care if you entered the water in a sweat suit or a string bikini. Just give it all up and start living your life for the good things in it. Anything in your life that is keeping you out of the moment is something you should put in the bag.

Sometimes these emotions find there way back. They sort of sneak back into your life when you are not paying attention. If this happens to you, just bag ’em up again, and throw them away. After a few times they won’t be able to sneak back into your life.

Join me and remove that old shirt covered with sticky notes and old stamps which are records of your lives problems and frustrations. Place that old shirt in the trash. What is done is done.

Saving sour and sad reminders of our past to replay over and over, takes us to a place where we spend our time validating past issues and more importantly allowing them to manifest again in the present moment. Life is lived in the moment. Life is not much fun, when it passes you by because you are wallowing in the past.

 

Secret to Your Success

What is the reality of your life? Are you suffering from polar reality disorder? Are the things you want from you life working in harmony or conflict? Your success at life as you define it depends on knowing and acting upon your answer.

In the physical world, the world of animals, animal reality is simple. Animals live in earth based reality. Animals eat, sleep, feed, and occasionally play. Animals do not need language as we understand it.

Animals do not need a certain look, live in a certain place because its popular, or hold certain aspects of their lives as more important. Animals live in a simple reality. Be born, eat, sleep, procreate, hopefully grow old, and die.

For we humans, this is not enough. Early in our life, identify what we perceive to be our points of weakness. We spend our days trying to compensate for that weakness. We collect and attempt to control our perceived weak point and make them into strengths.

Just as a rich man and pious man cannot live in harmony, the secret to your success is to determine what is important in your life, and resolve conflicts of polar realities by removing conflicting wants and needs. Spend each and every day making your aligned realities more believable and stronger. It also helps to have other people envy your chosen reality, and want to be just like you.

Realities of money and Christian religion are polar opposites when it comes to creating and living a successful life. The reality of money means putting collecting money above all else. The reality of Christian religion means putting others above self, and money has little value.

Trying to meld polar realities is a study in extreme frustration.The best one can hope for from these two polar realities is to become Pope. The worst outcome, is becoming a transient street preacher living in or wandering from slum to slum. The mediocre outcome is becoming priest or minister of a struggling church in a town or city where no one really wants to live.

Diamonds are not rare, except we choose to pretend they are. Tons of diamonds are mined each year. If more diamonds were needed year to year, they may be manufactured. Diamonds are everywhere. However, we choose to make diamonds valuable in the reality of wealth. Money has no real value except the value we choose to give money. We don’t need money to live. We want money to live better in the reality of money.

Choosing realities which affirm each other rather than polarize, will create a successful life, happening almost as if by magic. Choose polarizing realities and the very best that can hoped for is mediocrity or less.

The summation of realities you choose for your life determine your life path, and the level of success you will enjoy. How well you harmoniously merge and focus on your chosen realities, determines your personal, or life success. The more affirming realities you hold, the more successful you will be.

This simple idea of eliminating polar realties from your life is the secret to your success. Simple on paper, or in the abstract, actually doing this is a monumental task in the day to day aspects of your life. What are you really willing to sacrifice to make your reality come true: family, friends, children, money, or leisure time? In most common realities people choose, in order to stand out, many parts of ones life is either ignored or not important.

Too be successful in the eyes of others choose a reality where the collection of something is important and is the benchmark of a reality. Being the owner of the worlds largest collection of dust bunnies does not garner the admiration of most people. Choose your reality to fit a definable end state of your choosing and which other people will value.

Now you know how to be successful. Examine the realities you are living your life by. Decide which realities are the most important and do not conflict. Spend each and every moment of your day only to further your realities. From time to time bechmark your progress. Start over.