AND Reflect to Choose Consciously

December 31st, 2017

As we leave 2017 behind and welcome the promise of 2018, I find myself reflecting on 2017 as a context for each new day and moment. Conscious reflection needs to be done from the heart, not the head. Memory is selective. Without that caveat on reflection, we run the risk of living an illusion or delusion, choosing to see and remember the stories we created of our experiences, totally unaware that we cannot fully experience the moment that passed. If we choose to believe that we have all the right answers based on past experience and memories stored, we feed ego stories of the hero we want to be in our stories rather than learning from choices of the past how to be more open to growth and adventure.

When we reflect with our heads, we frame the stories as we choose to remember them. When we reflect from the heart, we may remember an event or experience for the awareness it created in us, from how we became more open or closed to living our full aliveness. We may focus on floods and fires and devastation that followed in 2017. We might instead focus on the individual acts of human kindness for those in the direct path of devastation from floods, fires, and other experiences of loss.

Both are true. Neither alone is sufficient. The mind plays games. If, instead, we focus less on what happened in the past year as a literal accounting and instead on wisdom gained, lessons offered, and times where our hearts were opened to new insights and more love, we can choose consciously what we want to magnify in the coming days.

Wherever we focus our attention, we create more of that. Those who focus on unmet expectations, pain, fear, and a sense of powerlessness feed more of the same in each new day and moment. Those who focus on beauty often find the opportunity to behold the smallest experiences as gifts. In so doing an attitude of gratitude creates more joy for themselves and others. Those who focus on creating inner peace, have less energy to judge harshly and see others as a threat. AND those who focus on looking for light and love often find gratitude in places they might never have thought to celebrate.

The conscious intention to be a light for others and to choose kindness over power and inflicting pain will live a different existence than those preoccupied with trying to control their own world and preserving their power over others. Reflection on the past with the intention to live a certain way equips us to live into our potential, our grace, and our light. The alternative may be repeated pain and self-induced fear because lack of conscious choice feeds old stories that are about preserving our ego identity.

As we move into 2018, I choose to be optimistic about the future an enlightened people can create by feeding light, choosing love, practicing faith in our individual and collective goodness, and responding with compassion in times when we and others wander off the path. I look forward to a new year filled with beauty, cherished moments, increased awareness that we are all one, compassion for all and shared peace.

Happy New Year

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