A New You
By Art Ramsay

 At the end of each year businesses prepare for a new year. Inventories are reviewed and some are liquidated. Policy, structure, and how the company is run are reviewed and modified as needed. If a business deems it necessary to assess how it is doing and readjust its organization, then it seems beneficial for each of us to do the same.

  We all live simple to complex lives of one kind or another, both from a financial and personal standpoint. Our livelihood could range from something simple like working as a ‘meter maid’ to the complexity of being the CEO of a huge corporation. There are literally an infinite number of ways for us to live our lives in today’s world.

 ‘Living’ your life in itself is complex whether you realize it or not. Since we live our lives mostly from ‘habit’, this complexity goes unnoticed. Even habits change from day to day. What does all this mean relative to this article’s subject? If you are on ‘automatic pilot’ most of your day, how will you know if your life is working the way you want it to?

 You are the creator of your life. Why would you want to leave it on ‘auto pilot’? Just like an airplane is placed in the hands of a digital device for most of its flight, your life is in the hands of your habits. If you want your life to work the way you want, then you have got to take hold of the wheel and guide it.

 A new year is dawning for most of the world in more ways than most people realize. One of the ways people greet a new year is through ‘new year’s resolutions’. This technique has been used repeatedly over the years with little success. It is more of a ‘desire’ than a real effort to make changes in a person’s life.

 Making changes in your life takes a lot more than a desire, and because it takes considerable effort, few people are willing to take the steps to begin, or continue once started. We humans need something to motivate us to shift from our comfortable habits to something new. Few of us have the willpower to begin on our own.

 To me it is a sad statistic that sickness and death-threatening illnesses are great motivators for people to begin activities like exercise and healthy eating. But fear of death is always a great motivator. Well I will make it clear here that the threat of death to your ability to experience love, peace, and joy is real if you do not make the effort to begin to make life-affirming changes in your life.

 What better time to begin transformative actions in your life than at the beginning of a new calendar year? People all around you are performing their ‘new year’s resolution’ activities, and the feeling of ‘newness’ is in the air. But be sure that your actions are more than the mere resolutions charade. Take your time and be honest with yourself about what you really want your life to look like.

 First, you must decide on your ultimate goal; is it to be happy, live in a mansion, or find the perfect mate? Then you need to affirm that you really want to begin a process to that end. Finally, you will want to choose and take a first step toward this goal. It is wise to do each part of this process slowly, carefully, and with determination.

 The above are basic foundation stones of a process. As you proceed you will need to use more detail to take the steps and adjust the process. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of proceeding with this endeavor. You have to make necessary shifts and weed out procedures that do not work for you, and replace them with those that will.

 Let’s use an example to illustrate the process. The goal: to be happy or happier. Next, what would a happy, happier you look or feel like? If you cannot imagine what this would feel like, remember a time when you felt happy, if only for a moment. Now with that feeling in mind ask yourself what is preventing you from experiencing this all of the time? This answer might take some deep self-reflection to come forth.

 Once you have determined what happiness will be like all of the time and what is preventing you from having that, then you can take your first step to releasing what is stopping you from being happy. This may be a multistep process and take quite awhile to work through, but determination and perseverance will see you through the task.

 The above may seem a lofty goal for many, but can choose something that seems more concrete for you, like not complaining, or eating better, or exercising more. Start with something that feels doable and work up to something that challenges you.

 I am no different than you, yet 20 years ago when a spiritual teacher stood in front of me and asked “what do you want?" My immediate reply was, “inner peace”. That has been my goal ever since. Have I worked on this every day? No, there have been roadblocks I have had to get past and beliefs to release, but even now I have a level of inner peace that most people cannot imagine for themselves.

 It takes time and effort to reach what I call a life-affirming goal, because we have been programmed to live what I would call life-weakening goals. We have been taught to fight for what we want, that we have to rise to the top to be successful, and for those that follow a religious path, that we are sinners and must suffer. We have to move past those lies and affirm the powerful spiritual beings we truly are.

 It is time for a change, don’t you think? Begin the ‘new year’ with a change that will not only grace your life, but everyone around you. We are One. Let us live this way from this moment forward.


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