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Aristotle found that more than anything else sought by humans was happiness. Happiness is sought after for it’s own sake, other goals like health, wealth, and success are valued on the level of how much more happiness we will have.
“Happiness is not something that happens. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather on how we interpret them. Happiness… is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person” – Csikszentmihalyi
People who learn to control their inner experience are able to determine the quality of their lives and come as close to happiness as anyone can.
December is a month of long night and shortened daylight hours. The Winter Solstice is an ideal time to slow down and reflect on the year before moving into the holidays filled with celebrations of gratitude and abundance. Reflection allows us to make peace with the past, gain clarity for the moment and build confidence in the future. Taking a cue from Mother Nature, the extended hours of darkness, expand your dreams beyond limitation. Where dreams expand so does the heart, the mind and the soul making space for the new things we desire as the New Year approaches.
Mediation begins with listening to the noise that surrounds us and releasing it as easily as it comes. Begin reflective meditation by noticing all that is going on in the mind, allowing thoughts to come and go. There may be thoughts that linger longer than others asking for more attention. There may be feelings in varying degrees of intensity that ride along with the thoughts. Notice all of that is connected to each thought or strings of thoughts. You may choose to write them down at this time or simply take notice, however, be aware of the serendipitous nature of the process, desire for the whole self to explore, gather and sort the information into useful material.
Using the process of exploration, gathering and sorting create a reflections page in your strategies journal (SMASH book) of those things that you found to be significant is similar to “kicking the tires” of your car before setting out on the road. Becoming familiar with the quirks of a vehicle before you take a long trip, (or a short one), allows you to enjoy the ride by reducing perceived risk making the journey more enjoyable and less stressful. In life, understanding how you process events and sort information will help you to create objectives, strategies and tactics to meet your goals with greater success, less stress, and enjoy the journey.
As the mind becomes increasingly still there is a temptation to fill it with new thoughts. Take a moment to let the system rest and reach beyond your perceived limits to retrieve inspiration. Listen to the breath of the body and the rhythm of the heart as your mind and body settles in and adjusts to the stillness. Consider the quiet to be the gift of peace to the whole soul offering it with gratitude for a job well done. As inspiration reveals it’s self the imagination will expand it into a dream. Follow the dream and expand it in all directions until you reach the boundaries of the dream, and then push it out even more. Experience the dream in as much detail as possible, interacting with the dream with all of the senses. Deepening the experience sends the mind and body to the fringe of reality where it will return with endless possibilities from which to realize the potential of the dream. Record this information in your strategies journal in vivid detail.
Sort the information you have brought back from the dream into categories, such as;
- Center/ Spirituality/ Self
- Creations/ Children/Homemaking
- Travel/ Service/ Declarations
- Work/ Career/ Activity
- Information/ Knowledge/ Self-Cultivation/ Culture
- Health/ Money/ Traditions/ Habits
- Wealth/ Abundance/ Distribution/ Growth
- Personal Power/ Security/ Longevity/ Integrity.
This is a springboard list to identify objectives, build strategies and implement tactics that will move you to realize the dream.