Hannah and I want to wish you a Happy New Year — we hope you make it wonderful.
I believe that I’m more likely to have a wonderful New Year if I slow down long enough to ask, “How will I be a better person in 2015?”
If I were to use Perception Language to ask that same question, I’d say, “How will I do myself better?” For me, this is the key—well, one of the keys to making my life feel so good these days. I focus on “how I do myself,” or said another way—my personal conduct.
This is key for me. There is much about the world that I find painful to witness, and even in my small world there is much that I can’t control, but I do have a remarkable degree of control over how I conduct myself. By focusing on this, I empower myself.
When someone near me behaves poorly or their immaturity flares my way, my first response is not about them—or, if it is I quickly change it—I ask myself, “How do I want to conduct myself?” I come back to myself. So many of my clients talk about “losing themselves” when they get into intimate relationships. This is because they don’t come back to themselves, instead, they get lost in their perception of the other person.
So . . . if you want to make 2015 a better year—“do yourself better”—learn to stay with yourself and how to come back to yourself when you lose yourself.
By the way, as far as I know there is no better place to learn this than our retreats. Our upcoming program in January has two openings still available. And, if you’ve never been before and want to come, we’ll provide as much financial assistance as we can if that will make a difference. If you want to talk about it, send an email to Jake and Hannah.
Now, I want to share two of the other keys that are making my life feel so good . . .
Fewer and fewer stories
I can’t explain exactly how this happened, but in recent weeks I’ve been telling myself fewer and fewer stories. I’m just not bothering. I really started noticing this right after my mother passed away. I was partially tempted to tell stories, and many people seem to invite me to tell stories—and there’s nothing wrong with telling the stories.
But I didn’t use stories to comfort myself . . . “she lived a great life . . . she avoided a long drawn out death . . . she wouldn’t want to be here if she couldn’t have fun . . .”
Instead, I just stay with my present awareness. When I become aware of her—thinking I’ll pick up the phone and call her to share some good news—I realize that she’s gone, and there is a sensation associated with this awareness, which I allow to expand. It’s as if I feel the absence of my mother—which equates to my love for her—and I just stay with my awareness for some period of time. No thoughts about it. No stories.
For me, this is proving to be very nourishing.
I encourage you to test drive the idea of letting go of your stories, because my sense is that our stories often get in the way of being fully present and experiencing a deeper form of intimacy.
The final thing I’ll share with you this year is the other development that contributes to me enjoying my life so much.
Meaning is made up
Not only are my stories made up, but everything I think is made up. What’s this mean? It means that every thought I have is my own creation and I’m creating thoughts all day long. The quality of the thought I create determines the quality of my days.
With practice, I can learn to nip destructive, depressing, damaging thoughts in the bud so that they never take root in my consciousness. And I can learn to nourish my healthy, healing, harmonious thoughts so that they become my consciousness.
We’ll be sharing much more with you about this in 2015. In the New Year we will continue to:
- Share articles on our website
- I’ll have a new book coming out in 2015
- We’ll be doing a series of one-day workshops in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Click here if you want to be notified of the dates.
- We’ll be posting a very cool time-line that explores all ten stages of human development
- So . . . stay tuned.
And, again, I invite two of you to gift yourselves with attendance at our next retreat. We will be putting special emphasis on experiences that help us each understand how we have been make meaning, and then learn healthier ways to make meaning. These retreats are life altering events for many people who attend. A graduate of our retreats recently wrote to me and said, “I always thought that one of the best things I did in my life was deciding to come to the Live Conscious retreat.”
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