Choices: What if there were just two choices you could make to insure that next year would be wonderful? There actually are, and these choices are quite simple in concept, yet not easy to do. They are not things you do on the outside, such as exercising your body (which is always a good thing to do!) but ways of thinking and being on the inside. These have to do with your attitude and your intent.
GRATITUDE I’m certain you’ve all heard of the “attitude of gratitude.” Studies show that the happiest and most successful people in the world are those who consistently live their lives with an attitude of gratitude, who see their cup as half full rather than half empty.
Let’s take an example. John and Paul are both teachers. They are both married with children, but this is where the similarities stop. John’s life seems to always be filled with joy and success, while Paul’s life always seems to be in turmoil. What is the difference? John is a very upbeat person who always sees the good in everything and is always in gratitude for what he has.
He is thankful for his work, his health, his family and his friends. When difficulties arise, he faces them head-on with an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to learn and to help others. He believes he is spiritually guided and accepts challenges as opportunities for learning and serving. As a result of his openness and caring, people trust him and have come to him with opportunities to invest his money in ways that have created a passive income for his family. He continues to work because he likes it, not because he has to financially. Paul, on the other hand, is a person who is constantly complaining about everything. Nothing is ever good enough for him.
He blames others for his circumstances, takes no responsibility for his own feelings, and has no belief that he is being spiritually guided. He feels like a victim most of the time. As a result of the stress he causes himself due to his negative thinking, he is often ill, and experiences many family problems. He plods along in his work, resentful that he even has to work. He often feels like life is passing him by.
INTENT TO LEARN
The creative force has given us the free will to choose our intention, to choose is what is most important to us in any given moment. In our relationship with ourselves and others, we have only two intentions to choose from:
1) The intent to learn, with our spiritual Guidance, about what is most loving to ourselves and others;
2) The intent to protect against the pain of rejection, abandonment, engulfment, or failure through some form of controlling behavior. Our intent to learn or protect determines our experience in any given moment.
Susan and Janet are both married with children. Both women work as nurses, but, as with John and Paul, this is where the similarity ends. Susan and Janet have similar life challenges in both work and family, yet to look at Susan you would think she doesn’t have a care in the world. Susan embraces all of life’s challenges from a solid knowing that she is on a spiritual journey of the soul – a journey of learning to be the most loving person she can be, both with herself and with others. She accepts responsibility for her own feelings and behavior, and opens to learning with Spirit and others when conflict occurs. Rather than shying away from conflict, she welcomes it as an opportunity for learning about herself and for healing any blocks to being a pure instrument of God’s work upon the planet.
Susan feels much peace and joy in her life. Janet, on the other hand, is locked into the earthly journey of control. Instead of learning from conflicts, she avoids them with giving herself up or getting angry to have control over the outcome. Rather than taking responsibility for her own feelings, she often numbs out with food and wine. Control is her God. Janet is often anxious and depressed as a result of her intent to protect, and is on medication to deal with the resulting anxiety and depression.
It is not life’s circumstances that are causing John and Susan to have so much more peace and joy than Janet and Paul. Choosing gratitude and the intent to learn, as opposed to complaining and the intent to protect makes all the difference in the world. Make this coming year the best year of your life by making these two choices – gratitude and the intent to learn.