A continued Happy New Year to all of you, even now on this “leap day” of February 2020!
2020 is upon us and many of us are already suffering the attrition of willpower to continue with our New Year resolutions we so fervently sounded out at the stroke of midnight, while some of us are working through our bafflement over the similarities and distinctions between resolutions and intentions. And some of us, I included, are drawn toward feeling clever for making 2020 our year of clarity. If we can stick with it.
Aside from the risk of being distracted by this amusing concept, this number, 2020, so vivid in mental resonance with ocular clarity of vision (20/20), has the potential to remind us that we are capable of achieving the clarity of wisdom for the present moment and the coming days of this new year. We don’t always have to wait for hindsight, do we?
Please consider this modest entry your invitation into a new year of clarity. Why not begin with the beginning as so many wise men and women have suggested. Develop your written vision for this year, including a personal mission statement. As you linger over your vision and mission ask yourself these questions:
1. What is my legacy? Or, what will I leave behind? Will others remember me as a person of integrity? Did I live an authentic life? Did I better the lives of others? Did I leave an estate for my children, and if not that, did I leave an estate of example on how to live a wise and human life? Will I be remembered the way I hope to be remembered? How can I start to embody this today, even at this very moment?
2. How do I wish to live presently in consideration of enduring principles and my personal values? Do I want to feel that I’ve done my best to live the wise life I imagine for myself, both enjoying others and being enjoyed? Do I have relative balance in my life, with work and leisure? How can I live toward that relative balance? Am I present to others? Do I really show up for them with generous attention or am I am haphazardly nodding my head while others talk or do I multitask when others bid for connection with me?
3. What obstacles hinder me from embodying my values? What gets in the way of living with integrity and wholeness? How will I handle perineal bad habits that run counter to what I cherish most? How can I moderate my appetites? Honor my agreements? Do I need to practice more no means no, and yes means yes? How can I bring more of me into my work, into my love, into my playtime?
4. What Can I do to return to course when I drift? What tools, tricks and tips can I use to remind myself to come back to the path I wish to inhabit and travel? Can I use tech or old fashioned sticky notes? Are there people who can help me along my path such as wise friends or men
This is not a call to a steroidal gung ho commitment to unwavering technical precision in your day-to-day, moment-to-moment life, which will threaten you with discouragement and eventual burnout. This is an invitation for you to consider, even remember, what you want as a wise and fulfilling life. As we will continue with these entries we will consider mindfulness practices, the vehicle of wise mind, that when cultivated with curiosity, compassion and diligence can help you sense the directions and activities you should follow to the ends of your personal integration (integrity) and at least an approximation of the good life which will yield the legacy you hope to leave. It is a process living through a year of clarity. A gentle and relentless practice of paying attention every day and living intentionally.