The holidays can bring up all sorts of emotions for people. As such, this time presents us with a wonderful opportunity to slow down and tune in to our current state of being. This "slowing down" requires us to be more purposeful than ever before, as the pace of life seems to constantly speed up. Technology and modern media now make sustained attention more and more difficult!
Case and point: I was invited to watch football at an old friend's house over the winter break, and so I headed over, more to reconnect than actually watch sports. While there, I noticed that every time I'd look at the television, a different pair of teams was playing. I innocently asked my friend and his buddies what was going on, as none of them seemed to be turning the television channel to prompt the switch between games. The viewing telecast (apparently called "NFL Redzone") allows viewers to watch only the highlights and replays of the biggest plays from the most crucial moments of all NFL games happening at any given moment in time. No longer must fans be asked to watch all of the "boring" in-between moments. Even watching a sports game is not entertainment enough! The games seemed to switch every 5-10 seconds. After watching this for about 45 minutes, I felt more anxious and more tense. We're being conditioned to be distracted!
So, I invite you all to take this time to slow-down and practice a kind of sustained attention on gratitudes for 2015 and intentions for the upcoming year. What better way to celebrate the new year. I recently emailed with a former client who was discussing the black/white nature of setting a New Year's Resolution or calling it "New" at all. She preferred to refer to the changeover as a "continuing", which I really liked. So, as you continue through this holiday season, again, I offer you two questions to meditate on, rather than setting a New Year's resolution:
What are you grateful for in 2015?
A note about gratitude: Research shows that reflecting on and sharing gratitude can literally make you happier. Don't believe me? Check out this sweet YouTube video that presents some case studies in succinct, yet tear-jerking, fashion and prove just that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg
What are your intentions for 2016?
A note about intentions: By the principle of "energy follows thought" (which is related to the "law of attraction"), we can manifest reality based on the thoughts we allow and hold in our minds. A similar thing occurs based on how the systems we are embedded in approach and attend to us. Don't believe me? Try walking around with an "I am the shit" attitude for one day, and see how people respond to you. Next, try walking around with an "I am a PIECE of shit" attitude for a day, and see how differently those around you respond. The proof is in the pudding. Another experiment randomly divided up a similar group of rats into two different groups, and then separated the two groups into two different cages; one cage had the label "Smart Rats" and the other "Dumb Rats". These were two random samples of the same species of rat with roughly the same intelligence, mind you. After being handled by participants exposed to both the rats and the signs on the cages, the "smart rats" out-performed the "dumb rats" every time in side by side competition. The energy of the handlers, impacted by their thoughts about the rats based on the signage, rubbed off on the rats in a VERY real way. Energy follows thought. By mindfully setting an intention, and then revisiting that intention with ATTENTION, we can manifest it.
So, what are you grateful for in 2015?
What are your intentions for 2016?