January 7, 2013

A New Way of Thinking

Does the New Year greet you with trepidation or elation? Are you happily making out new to-do lists and setting goals?

I have not made any resolutions. “I resolve to….” Is such a power struggle, deep within my psyche. I’m done with the disappointment of not living up to my own expectations.

So I’ve decided to work from the inside out, and design my year from a spiritual perspective. I have this feeling that if I align my inner self with God and His purpose for me, then everything else will fall into place.

Sound too simple? Ah, yes, but it is the simplicity that makes it work! I am empowered by forces that are much more powerful than my own free will. You know how it feels when everything just falls into place, when you are purposefully following the path that was meant for you? It’s effortless, right? And we wonder, how can this be so easy?

Well, that’s how I feel about this change in my thinking. My drive is not to be focused on losing that next pound or logging how much I exercised today. Instead, I am taking a spiritual approach, and checking in with my inner self to set my focus.

Does this make you wonder what I"m talking about, or question how this will be accomplished?  Let’s back this story up just a bit to shed some light on what I mean.

I’ve spent my whole life allowing my thoughts to be controlled by my emotions. Believing fully in my feelings, but not trusting my inner guidance. In other words, listening to my head instead of my heart. But it goes deeper than that. 

I believe in the power of our inner spirit. It’s really who we are anyway. This covering of flesh and bone serves us well to navigate our earthly lives, but our spirit is strong inside of us, whether our bodies are working the way they should or not.

It takes effort to slow down our whirlwind lives and shift our focus to our inner selves, but it is time well spent. This calm can be achieved through the practice of various breathing techniques, as well as through meditation and yoga.

Anytime we can block out the busyness of the world around us, and send our focus inward, we begin to connect with our inner spirit. Breath work is an easy and pleasant way to calm our bodies and our thoughts, and starts us on the path of our inner journey.

Once we find what soothes us, whether it is calm music, a yoga practice, or a walk in nature, we can use this time to connect with our inner being. It should feel relaxed, and not forced.  There is no fear in facing your true inner self.

When you have created calmness away from the outside world, you may begin to focus on whatever may be your most prevalent emotion or thought. By the guidance of your inner spirit, you may solve your problem, or not. But you will certainly gain some insight.

Hopefully, you will come away with the realization that what matters most is seeking your own inner peace. We have so little control over what the rest of the world is doing. We only have control over how we respond to the myriad stimuli around us.

As we learn to trust our inner guidance, our thoughts and actions will reflect our beliefs as we honor our inmost selves. 

By regularly practicing this focus on our inner journey, we begin to more quickly connect with our inner power. We become familiar with the inclinations of our true self, and respond to the tugging of our spirit when we need to make a decision. In short, we learn to trust ourselves.

I’ve spent the last couple of years meeting my inner self for long walks in the woods, and learning to shift my focus inward when I need to evaluate my outward situation. By learning to trust myself, I find I feel more confident and self-assured. 

Even though I’ve made the switch from allowing my circumstances to control the outcome of any given situation, it was a revelation for me to realize a new outlook for my new year. An epiphany, if you like.

No longer will I rely on my strong self-will - which crumbles at the sight of chocolate! I will use the strength of my inner being as my compass, to guide me to make right choices, and to steer me into the wellness I’ve dreamed about for years.

By nourishing my inner spirit, and giving my body the rest it needs along with the healthy foods I already eat, I know my goals will be obtained. Yes, goals. This is a new word for me. I’m more of a “let’s see what happens” kind of girl. But this year, I am setting goals, milestones that will further my cause of wellness. Perhaps this starts with de-cluttering, and in fact I have already begun to purge what is unnecessary.

But even more than what I achieve in my physical world, my emphasis and focus will be to keep in constant connection with my inner world. After all, I am the only person I am going to spend my whole life with.


For those of you who waited to see our Christmas tree decorated for the holidays, here is a photo. I’ve made all our holiday visitors make a guess as to how many ornaments they think are on the tree. Now I have to take them all down and count them!

 Happy Holidays!

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