“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” Buddha
How do you feel about the New Year? Do you feel anxious or at peace? What creates this feeling that you have? If you don’t like it, what do you do to change it?
After two days of below freezing temperatures and some snow that intensified the light coming into my dining room to the point of almost blinding me, I’m reveling in the easy blend of light and shadow coming through the trees into the room where I work. It is soft and balanced.
Begin the Year With Gratitude
I am beginning this year with much gratitude. I do not live where the worst of the winter storms are occurring although our temperatures have been the lowest since the 1800s. I have a warm house, plenty of food, and love. I am blessed.
I am also grateful for the time I was able to spend with my brother and his family, especially the time with my grand nieces and grand nephew, three of who are two years old, and one who is four. There were also three dogs in attendance on Christmas. It was wild and lovely. Just being with them was a joy. Their excitement was contagious.
How we Think Changes Our Vibration
But after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, a profound quiet and a bit of depression enveloped me. It was time to rebalance and contemplate my plans for the New Year. During the holidays, the joy I felt was created primarily by external circumstances, but now, living hundreds of miles from the rest of my family, I have had to return to my own resources. The joy I felt has slipped away.
As I thought about what I needed to do in the New Year, especially with my writing, I first saw all the things I had hoped to accomplish last year and didn’t. Well, what was done, was done. I reminded myself that I could only change the future, not the past. On the other hand, the new relationship in my life has been a great joy and given me the kind of companionship I haven’t had for years. As I began to focus on the good things in my life, I began to feel my vibration rise.
As my vibration rose, a joy began to well up inside. I was following my greatest passion by writing and just thinking about continuing to do that brought me joy. When I began to clean up my lists of things to do and develop a plan for this year, I let go of the self-judgment that had depressed me and I began to feel more peaceful.
What We Think Affects How We Feel
And that is how it works. What we think determines how we feel. As the Buddha points out, joy comes from a pure heart. So how do we create a pure heart? I know that meditation has always helped or writing in my journal, exploring the meaning behind the events or ideas moving through my life. Doing this regularly clears the emotional and mental clutter that distracts me from a natural peace and joy.
Still, life is full of challenges. Before the holidays, I had signed up for a prescription drug plan. This week I talked to them about covering two custom compounded drugs I take. After two and a half hours of talking with several people who were unable to grasp that one drug consists of a combination of two drugs, they sent a fax to my doctor for approval with the drugs inaccurately named and spelled. I had spelled slowly the names of the drugs several times for two people, but they did not record them accurately. This experience tested my patience to the limit. It seemed ridiculous. I kept taking a lot of deep breaths, reminding myself that getting upset would not help the situation.
At the end of the day, the problem with the insurance company was still not resolved, but at least I had been able to constantly adjust my mind and center myself throughout the experience. I was able to move on to other things and relax that evening knowing that I did all I could do.
Return to Your Spiritual Center for Guidance
Many of our challenges appear because we are living in a time of great change. The political and economic structures we have depended upon are changing. Remaining flexible and centered is the most effective way of dealing with change. Oneness tells us that when our lives seem to “veer off course” and we feel we are “without a compass,” “All that remains, are the clues that begin to emerge from within” (p. 110).
In order to recognize those clues, we must return to our spiritual center and listen to our inner guidance where all answers reside. We must clear the mind of judgment and resistance and reside in peace. As we continue this journey, the way will not always be clear or kind, but it can lead us to a better place. How we experience each event is largely our choice, and when things happen that we don’t like, it is our choice how much we invest in positive or negative thinking about them.
Developing a pure heart by changing our thinking will always take us to a better place where joy becomes a part of who we are.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5