Reflections and Resolutions

By Deborah Ooten - January 2009

The New Year is generally a time to reflect back over the previous year, taking stock of what we have accomplished and reflecting on what we will work on to continue our growth. I believe it is best to organize the way we reflect into three categories or centers of being: body, mind and heart (or soul).

The human being unfolds during her lifetime. We grow our bodies, our minds (or human consciousness), and of course, our hearts or souls. We can’t grow ourselves out of order; we must grow in the stages that are age appropriate. In other words we are not a finished product when we are born. We must age and evolve over our lifetimes, and we are a process, not a product.

Take some quiet time to reflect back over the last year, and note the gains in all three centers of being. Ask yourself the question, have I arrived at my goals and aspirations in these centers? If the answer is yes, look again.  You may be fooling yourself or settling for less than you are capable of becoming. Be sure to be “brutally honest” with yourself.  If you find that you are having trouble answering the question, ask your partner, a family member or a dear friend to assist you with exploring your growth to date. Many of us are on automatic pilot and are therefore just settling into a life that feels content but is not one that is actually stretching us. I believe that we become fixated in the three centers by behaving, thinking and feeling habitually. Establishing an inner observer (an aspect of yourself that observes how you are reacting or responding to your life) during your reflection time will allow you to know for sure if you are just fooling yourself and are on auto pilot, or if you are truly stretching yourself and growing.

For instance, if you are looking at the body center, you might ask these questions:  Am I healthy, physically fit, at a weight that feels good for me? Am I eating correctly, monitoring what I choose to put into my body in terms of food, drink, and substances? Am I listening to the aches and pains that sometimes occur and getting things checked out as they arise, or am I ignoring the warning signs in my body?  Do I get enough sleep? Do I meditate and pray as often as my body needs? Am I happy with my sex life? Do I honor my body in all possible ways, nurturing it as the temple that it truly is?  Remind yourself that what is right for you may not be what we normally see in the media each day. Be sure to give your body the right to speak its mind. An example might be that being twenty pounds overweight might not mean that you are unhealthy…take the entire gestalt into perspective and give yourself the freedom to be who you truly are. Accepting yourself is a basic building block to creating health and wholeness in your life.

When examining the mental center, ask yourself questions that help you to clarify how your thoughts are affecting you. Do I trust myself and my world?  Are my thoughts compassionate and loving toward self and others? Am I filled with fear? Remember that there are only two states of being: fear and love. If you are in a thought pattern that involves fear, then it is hard to know that you are love and that love is surrounding you in all aspects of your life. Am I in judgment of myself or others in any way? Remind yourself of all of the “perceived negative judgments” that have in fact turned out to be a blessing once we have gotten some distance from it.

When examining the heart center or the soul center, first “soften the heart” allowing yourself to be gentle with all that is. Some questions that you might explore here are: Am I being gentle with myself and others? Do I have compassion in my heart for all people? Can I honor feelings in myself and others? Am I moving along the path that God has intended for me? Am I manifesting reality in a way that is consistent with my higher self?  Antoine de Saint Exupery said, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  Your heart is the light that leads you.

So, after all of this reflection then set aside some time to be present to setting three to five intentions or resolutions that will guide you in the unfolding of your life over the next year. Be ready to revise these as new information shows up over the course of the year.

May your year be filled with loving kindness, compassion and an open heart.

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