Have you found yourself looking back over the past year and realizing it was a near failure? Are there things you regret, or were you too scared to make a much needed change?
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. There are millions of people out there just like you (us), wishing that they had the internal strength to free themselves from their sad prisons. Whether it be a horrible relationship, boring or frustrating job, limited thought patterns, disgusting eating habits, or fear-based living, the good news is that you don’t have to wait until the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2015 to make a change.
It all starts now.
I once sat in a Marianne Williamson lecture in Los Angeles where a woman asked a huge question: “How do I get out of my abusive relationship?” She then continued, “I keep thinking it’s going to get better, but it doesn’t. And if I leave, I know I’ll be a big disappointment to my family, and I’ll leave my husband high and dry. I don’t know what to do.”
Williamson looked her straight in the eye and said, “Honey, you are not in prison. You need to make the decision for yourself alone. Freedom can be yours.” She then pointed off into the distance and said, “There’s the door. All you have to do is walk out and never look back. There’s the door, walk out!”
It occurred to me in that moment that we all have so much more power than we know. We can change our life’s course in a millisecond, and here’s how:
1. Throw your failures out the door and look for new successes. We all made mistakes in 2014. The beauty of it is that we don’t have to think about them now. Ditch the suckers and look for something good to happen RIGHT NOW.
“Every thought is over. That’s grace. No thought: no problem. It’s not possible to have a problem without believing a prior thought. To notice this simple truth is the beginning of peace,” writes author Byron Katie.
In other words, let the past be the past and move on.
2. Let go of the people dragging you down. A friend of mine moaned and groaned the other day about a friend that keeps making her feel horrible. “She just breaks me down and makes me feel like shit,” she said.
It’s safe to say that she is allowing herself to feel like crap. No one should ever hold so much power that they inspire her to feel less than precious and amazing. Once again, I hear Williamson’s words ringing through my mind… “there’s the door, walk out!”
Why do you think the award-winning “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen is such a hit? Letting go of what doesn’t serve you opens up the infinite world of possibility.
We all need to let the negative voices in our lives go, or we’ll have an even shittier 2015 and beyond.
3. Get passionate. Do everything you can to infuse yourself with the childlike passion you once owned. If you hate your job or you aren’t doing enough constructive things with your free time, make the needed adjustments.
Take steps toward making a career change, schedule the trip you’ve always wanted to take, find your relevance in the world, and don’t be afraid to be beautifully you.
4. Don’t let “the world” define you. Much of our frustrations in life have lots to do with the fact that we don’t claim our authenticity. The easy road is letting the people we know, politics, religion, and other forces shove us into the corner. And then, we secretly wish we could be as bold and powerful as the people we read about or see on television.
Ask yourself what is limiting your potential. What’s wrong with letting your uniqueness out of the box? Are you afraid of losing the people in your life?
It’s time to realize that where there is fear, there is no love — and where there is love there can be no fear.
What’s the worst thing that can happen if you let the real you come out of hiding? If you lose friends or a lover, they obviously aren’t really your friends or your ideal match.
If you lose a job, it wasn’t meant for you. And if you’re nervous along the way, that’s just fine. All growth comes with bits of pain. The secret is pushing through it.
5. Choose to limit suffering. The world we live in is painful and it isn’t always fair. We lose people to disease, our fortunes can be lost in an instant, we fall and bruise our knees, our kids make wrong choices, and the list goes on.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself,” writes famed author Haruki Murakami.
If we’re all going to have an amazing 2015, we’ve got to will our minds to stay positive. To know that life isn’t perfect, and that we’ll all hurt, yet in every moment we can choose to see the positive. Feel the pain, but don’t suffer for days, weeks, and months to come.
Focus on the now.
The secret of all secrets, is that it’s still possible to have a kickass 2014. Right now, right here. Will it to be better, and set yourself up for a freakin’ stellar 2015.