Once there were two sisters who were fighting over the last orange in the cupboard. Neither was willing to share it, as each had her own goal of taking the entire orange. When their mother stepped in to settle the dispute, she learned that one girl wanted it for the juice and the other for the rind. “See,” the mother said, “you let your goals get in the way of your intentions.”
Disappointment, failure, apathy: All words that have a way of lurking in any conversation about New Year’s resolutions. Why is that? If people set goals based on what they would like to become in the new year, why can’t they do it? A knee-jerk reaction might be to say their goals are unrealistic, but what if the real culprit is the very act of setting goals?
I ask that question because there are people who have set goals and say things like “I’ll be happy when I get a new job” or “I’d like to be in a new relationship” or “I’ll be happy when I have tons of money” – and when they do reach their goals they’re still unhappy.
I don’t like goals; another word for “goal” is “end,” and I don’t believe in endings. I would rather focus on what my intentions are.
An intention is something to move toward – there’s no conclusion, success or failure. Intentions are non-judgmental, they don’t lead to disappointment and they spring eternal from within each of us as extensions of our personalities.
This year, my New Year’s intention is to let go of all non-loving feelings. I would like to live a life where I don’t judge anyone or anything, where I’m content, and at every instance grateful. I want to keep love and trust, and throw out fear and doubt.
By letting go of all non-loving feelings we get closer to happiness, which is also peace of mind. The times that I have been able to experience such a place have been filled with beauty and the knowledge that everything happens the way it was meant to happen.
Even if today I’m not able to be loving and positive and accepting of everything, I still have tomorrow to start over without beating myself up.
This can be exercised in all areas of life. Relationships, finances, career, health issues; accepting what is happening, focusing on what is working rather than what is not working.
In meditation, thoughts may surface but the key to quieting the mind is to accept those thoughts and move on. Make your life your meditation. If negative thoughts surface into your consciousness, accept them and carry on with your intentions – they will remain the same, negative thoughts or not.
Here’s to 2013…may your intentions inform you and help you answer the most important question you will ever answer: Who are you?