Resolve to Evolve - Spirit-Health Resolutions for 2010

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The arrival of a New Year is such a shiny time. If the past year has been rough, we heave collective sighs of relief for what feels like a clean slate, a new opportunity to connect our days together in a row and to end up happy.

Somehow, somewhere, in the midst of a night when the great crystal ball falls in Times Square, our lives feel as though they have the opportunity to turn toward new lights, dance to different tunes, sing different melodies, explore previously hidden worlds.

A New Year feels full of potential, fresh with possibilities, and we start to pave our way through it with the golden bricks of New Year's Resolutions. At no other time in the year are our longings so clear, as when we are poised at the cusp of a resolution. This is what we want for our lives. This is what we wish for ourselves. We want to be thinner, less wasteful, more efficient. We want to finally exercise, or write that book, or run that marathon.

But this year, let's also long for our own soul's well-being. Let's look across the months ahead and imagine how we could be closer to what God or the Universe or your Higher Power or your knowing heart wants us to be. And, like an athlete has to condition before they run a race, or a musician has to rehearse before a concert, we need to take care of our spirits before we take on the trials and tribulations of life.

We need to care for all parts of ourselves. So, please include resolutions that will help you care for your spirit. In the spirit of Soul-health, here are some possible spiritual self care resolutions for you to consider for 2010.

1. Take some time every day to pray/meditate/breathe. Every day has a few spare minutes. Decide to take a few of those minutes and to focus on centering prayer or meditation. Find that island of peace, however small, however brief.

2. Say "thank you" to someone at least once a day, every day. Tell the person why you are thanking them .."for your kindness"..."your generosity"..."for packing my groceries so well"..."for being a role model"..."for that hug"..."for helping me"...for whatever! Thanks given to someone every day can change your day. You'll find yourself looking for opportunities to catch someone being good. Watch what happens. You will not be able to stop a just one. Try it for a week if you doubt.

3. Look at what you gave to charity this year as a percentage of your income. Up it next year. Giving is an act of living with an abundance mentality. Giving says that your world has enough in it to share. And, don't forget, giving will bring you joy.

4. Find reasons to laugh. Tell jokes; watch funny movies; grin at seagulls. There are so many things in the world that are worth giggling about, smiling at, laughing about. Look for them. Share them. Joy is available even on a tough day.

5. As the Buddha said "Suffer what there is to suffer -- Enjoy what there is to enjoy." If, in #4 you are enjoying, then you need to let yourself feel what is not happy as well. Be honest with your feelings, and share them. If you have grief to go through, resolve to go through it openly and with heartful courage. Face whatthere is to face in life, knowing that the rough times are only a *part* of life, not all of it.

6. Do one random act of kindness a week. Put a quarter in someone else's parking meter. Pay the toll for the person behind you on the freeway, or buy a cup of coffee for the car behind you at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru. Help someone with their groceries. Shovel a neighbor's walk after a snow. Bring someone flowers who does not expect them. Have fun imagining what you will do that week.

7. Do one significant thing a month to feed your soul. Spend time in an art museum. Sit down in a quiet place and really listen to music you love. Read a book about spiritual living.

8. Explore the possibility of spending more time with others who share your spiritual worldview. If that means sharing a worship experience, do it! If that means joining a study group about nature religions, do it! Learn yoga or T'ai Chi or another physical discipline that involves the spirit.

9. Once a month write a Gratitude List. Put at least twenty items on it. If that feels doable, go for thirty. If this feels like a hard thing to do, you need to do it. When I least want to do this, well, that is the time I really do need to dive in and get it done. Focus your spirit on thankfulness.

How else can you expand your spiritual life in 2010? Are you including resolutions that might help you do that? Please, share them!

RELATED BLOGS

Angry Gray Rainbows isn't doing the conventional resolution. She says:

I don’t put stock in resolutions. How change happens, for me at least, doesn’t start with some grand pronouncement. It’s more the kind of change where something happens out of my control and I need to adapt to it, or something has worn out or broken and I realize I would rather not replace it (even if I mourn its loss). It is slow change, fought change, and usually not deliberate. It requires reflection, so that’s what I’m doing, rather than making any resolutions.

Michelle gives some advice:

Wanting to change certain things in your life is a big deal and should be taken seriously. There is a reason for your desire to change. Take a step back and look at your life with an objective eye. Resolutions don’t have to be blown off in a couple of months; they can be used as motivators for making things right in your life.

Nanny Goats in Panties" resolves with her funny bone intact. (Gotta love that blog name).

So, in the spirit of wasting time to pursue unattainable greatness, I give you my New Year's Resolutions of 2010. And this time....I really mean it!

~~ Contributing Editor, Mata H. also pushes her spirit along into 2010 at Time's Fool

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