Ok, so it is New Year!
Standing at the beginning of 2024 you, and I, will be making choices about how and what this year will be. 2023 will certainly be a year to remember and for many perhaps a year to forget. People tell me that is is as though it never happened or that with the aftermath of covid and the financial crisis one they will never forget.
As we ride into 2024 we have the joint joys of Covid and Brexit should be slipping behind us. We now have annual vaccines that will hopefully kick the virus in the backside. After all my fun with heart surgery I am looking forward into 2024 with feelings of hope, love, and joy. How is it for you? We need to decide what we are seeing ahead, and how…
… you create what happens for you …
… is all a matter of your choices. it may not feel like it but your world is full of choice. In your present moment in your ‘Now’ you are actively creating the world of your experience through the choices that you make…
…thoughts becomes things…
…all of us, individually and collectively, are choosing what will happen for us in 2024 and how we will respond to it and feel about it. We are all doing it, though we may not realise it.
Focus for a moment on the choices before you in this coming year. Do you have any? What are they? Most importantly what is the basis of your choices? When deciding to do, or not to do, something It is important to own that in deciding not to make a decision is actually making a decision. The action of stillness is equally as powerful as the action of motion. However, when you choose to do nothing you are likely to be vulnerable to the choices that everyone else makes around you. In having your own clarity of purpose you are in the flow of your own life and, as I said, stillness is a decision as much as an action.
Choice and fear
For many of us the choice for action this year will be limited by fear. Fear of disease, debt, pain, failure, fear itself, the fear of looking stupid, ridiculed, of loss, rejection, abandonment and so on. Fear is the biggest limiting factor for any of us. Fear and anxiety are the destroyers of our happiness and to create fulfilment – those who dare win – We all need to step beyond our fears, as Susan Jeffers put it – feel the fear and do it anyway – ( a book worth reading).
If you can get hold of the idea that your thoughts become your experience, you are becoming the author of your own life. It is then you will realise that fear is actually a choice. Once you understand this you can realise that the experience of joy is the same thing. Personal joy and duty are often at odds. Do you do what you want to do or what you think you should or ought to do?
Choice and duty
Generally in psychotherapy the words “ought, should, must and can’t” are banned. Each of these words are the limiters of self expression. The call of duty may be laid upon us by our culture, religion, beliefs, as parents, children, employees, employers and so on. The trick is that if in 2024 there are things that you feel you ‘must’ do then, – act with a smile on your face – this is known as Bhakti or, to give service without expecting anything in return. We all need a bit of Bhakti in our lives but it is always damaging when we allow a sense of duty to stunt our own self development after all – we all deserve happiness – well we do in my script. Yet many of us chose to create negative life scripts.
There are many reason that we can find to maintain and justify our own lack of development or fulfilment our feelings of victimisation or misery, unhappiness and moaning about our life and other people that we meet, though there are alternatives. The classic is that we blame other people for how we feel. Common targets are our parents, family, friends, and most commonly partners and so on.
There are alternatives…
Choice and joy
In making your decisions for 2024 you might chose to avoid the ought, should, must and can’t and, think about the lightness of joy in life – focus on what makes you feel happy – and do more of it. Doing things that make you feel good is never a difficulty and never feels like work. When you do things that make you feel good, in the end it is you that feels happiness. How many of the things that you do in your life lead to you feeling flat, bored or unhappy. If you do more of what makes you feel good in your life you will feel happier and get better and better – happiness is a learned response – sometimes we have to practise being happy.
Choice and responsibility
The word responsibility comes from the word to respond “respond-ability”. Being responsible or “respond-able” for what you experience makes you the master of our own destiny. It does not matter from where you begin your journey, whatever your age or state of health. By being responsible for your life and taking ownership of yourself – responsibility is the key-. If I decide to be responsible for me no one else can ever be responsible for what I think or feel and, ultimately, what I do. There are many examples of people who, against the odds chose to respond to things positively.
This year some of you will be facing very difficult and tough stuff, emotionally, mentally, financially, physically, socially and so on. These may be things that you cannot avoid and you have no choice other than to face them and deal with them. However, you do have a choice as to how you respond to them…
…none of us are effected by events,
we are effected by our response to those events…
…living in the present and being positive about your future allows you to create a year in 2024 that you will look back on positively and perhaps with joy.
Decide to create your own experience this year. Treat your problems as challenges so whatever 2024 presents you with, smile be positive and enjoy it.