I'm sure many of you have made new year resolutions now. The first day of a new year is such a symbolic time for goal setting and starting fresh anew. I think it is great, although it's good to practice becoming good at starting over, any day of the year. We have that privilege as human beings. Every new morning gives you the same chance to learn from the mistakes of yesterday and make things better, moving forward. There is so much progress to be done and so much to gain by being quick on correcting errors - trivial ones or grand - rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Some ideas I follow in life and which may be useful to you as well:
Set an overall intention (for the new year or your life in general) - How do you want to feel, mentally and physically? I think most people would agree that happiness is the most preferred emotion and what we would like to feel most of in our lifetimes. But how and with which ideals are you achieving your personal happiness, on a daily basis? The everyday guiding principals that I live by:
Peace + harmony + consciousness + slow and steady progress = happiness
The desire for and incorporation of these are the foundation of everything I do and take on in life. And they are ultimately what provides me with the sense of happiness in the various aspects of life.
- Live in peace and harmony with myself and my surroundings with minimum distractions.
- Take time to use my brain properly and be conscious about everything I do, say, think, believe, eat.
- Continuously refine and improve my mind, my work, my relationships, my understanding and knowledge, my life. No need to rush anything. Everything falls naturally in place when we let them grow organically, with conscious open hearted, open minded guidance.
I live by these principles so naturally now that I don't need to remind myself any longer. They are my priorities before anything and living by them as they were my own written law, I can easier make the short term and long term decisions that will make me feel balanced and happy. While easily avoiding and removing the things that don't collaborate well with my beliefs and principals. Interestingly my beliefs become very apparent when I am exposed to other human beings who are not as attuned to the same sort of mindset. Being in a city environment now, it is clear that people generally don't prioritise mindfulness and peace to the same extent to which I have practised them for the past few years. It is both interesting and challenging.
Stress isn't something I live with. Neither physical nor psychological. For me that means:
- Create a comfortable home in which you want to spend much of your time. For a nomad like me who tends to change living situation ever so often, I am looking for a few key elements when I rent accommodation. There should be a big kitchen in which cooking, eating, working and spending much time is comfortable, spacious and relaxing. Airy living area with lots of light and not cluttered with things. Good sized comfortable bed, which is a place I spend much time in. Sleeping, dreaming, reflecting, meditating, reading, writing, stretching, relaxing, enjoying myself. Nature is the escape many people take to to find a slice of peace and calm in a hectic everyday life. But your home environment is even more important. It is where you spend most of your time (outside of your work if you work outside of your home). For benefiting most from the peace and calm of your home, the place where you recharge your energy, it should be as free from clutter and noise as it can be. For me especially who spends so much of my time at home, it is of paramount importance that I feel relaxed and calm where I stay. The surrounding is almost equally important. The neighbouring area should be near nature and a beautiful environment, not feel rushed, noisy and not too much traffic around.
- Have lots of alone time, and much time with my partner who values peace, calm, reflection and conscious progressive thinking and being, just as much as I do.
- Work on a limited number of projects at once in order to stay truly connected to each one and to not get distracted. Making lots of money isn't a huge drive for me so I don't easily take on more work than I feel comfortable with. In fact, I often say no to offers as my priority is being at peace and stay connected to what I do, in order to be able to offer what I love doing, even better. It also allows me more time for the important things that aren't connected to work.
- Energy is precious, so I spend it very carefully. Besides above mentioned, I choose consciously what and who to spend my energy on. I no longer socialise for the sake of socialising, I do it only with the ones I feel enriches my life and with whom I feel I have a meaningful connection. I am so happy with my own company that it is hard to find people who offer me similar sense of peace and harmony. When I was younger it was important to have lots of friends and know many people. I still know many, but to actually take time to hang out, it requires a real meaning for me to make an effort these days. Just because you've always done something in one way or always hung out with certain people in the past, it is of no must you should continue doing so for the rest of your life. For each time you grow and change, and for each page you turn in the story of your own life, new or fewer characters can be involved. You are the director of your movie, so you are free to choose who should be part of the cast.
- No addictions or needs to meet every day. I don't need coffee to wake up in the morning. I have chosen a job that doesn't require me to go some place uncomfortable. I don't need to socialise with people nor go to events that don't suit my peace and well-being. I don't need to purchase or keep up with anything in particular to feel fulfilled or happy. There is not much desire in me any longer to be seen in a certain way, am content in my own ways. I don't need to live with someone or to even have a relationship, it is just an added bonus to my life if it happens that I meet someone who meet my standards. My only need and addiction - besides the fundamental warmth, food and water - is feeling at peace and to create as loving and harmonious life I can for myself and the ones closest to me.
So speaking about intention for the new year. Is less stress and more peace of mind a desire of yours? Then create a clear view of what is important to you and what is not. What could be removed and what is worth spending more time on? Then set an intention to follow those guidelines that will generate more peace and less stress in the future. This principle goes for anything you desire. With conscious understanding of yourself you can begin to build on the new life you want to create. Writing down your values is a good first step. And make sure to take a quiet moment each day to think back on the intention you have set, to help maintain focus and to help rewire your subconscious.
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