Most people believe if they "have" a thing (more time, money, love -- whatever), then they can finally "do" a thing (write a book, take up a hobby, go on vacation, buy a home, undertake a relationship), which will allow them to "be" a thing (happy, peaceful, content, or in love). In actuality, they are reversing the Be-Do-Have paradigm. In the universe as it really is (as opposed to how you think it is), "havingness" does not produce "beingness," but the other way around.
Instead, you "be" the thing called "happy" (or "knowing," or "wise," or "compassionate," or whatever), then you start "doing" things from this place of beingness -- and soon you discover that what you are doing winds up bringing you the things you've always wanted to "have."
Whatever you choose for yourself, give to another. If you choose to be happy, cause another to be happy. If you choose to be prosperous, cause another to prosper. If you choose more love in your life, cause another to have more love in theirs. Do this sincerely -- not because you seek personal gain, but because you really want the other person to have that -- and all the things you give away will come to you.
In life, you do not have to do anything. It's all a question of what you are being.
If I were writing a paper on my 'New Year Resolutions' the above would be my thesis statement. I have been giving it quite a bit of thought, because I always do around this time of year, but this year, it is not so much about concrete goals as it is about more abstract intentions. Not that I don't have any concrete goals, but those have been in place for awhile now, and when I made those, a few months ago, I began to examine why we human beings make goals, only to continue to re-make them year after year. It is one of those things that has been rattling around in my brain for awhile, and when I came across that passage last night, it sort of fell into place for me. Humans generally (yours truly not excluded!) tend to make excuses for things being the way they are. I have come to the conclusion that excuses are the wall in the Be-Do-Have and Have-Do-Be paradigm flip.
Therein lies the basis for my altered 'New Year Resolution' approach.
As I said, my goals have been in place for awhile now, and I definitely have a sense of forward-motion about them, but what I know is that there are days, not when I no longer want to achieve my goals, but days (or moments) when my intention falters. So I set out to change what was behind the goals, rather than the goals themselves. For example, let's use the ubiquitous 'Lose Weight' goal. (Always very high on past lists of mine. year after year after year after year... :/ --see where I'm going with this?) Well, this year, you won't find that on my list. But you will find things like intentional eating (menu planning, sitting at a family meal) savoring what I cook, enjoying the process, etc. Changing my paradigm.
My cousin Jenny posed a question on her blog a couple days ago about how often we give of ourselves, and it got me to thinking along a couple of different lines: One, that I have been the recipient of many many charitable acts this year, and that our lack of financial stability really has nothing at all to do with beginning to pay it back, or forward as it were, and finally, that there is a big gap between my gratitude, which is great, and my expression of all that gratitude that I feel.
All this is to say that I spent an hour or so getting down in print all these things, and a little more time expanding them into 'Be-Do-Have' intentions. The outline I came up with is something that will have much farther reaching consequences than merely a checked-off list by 12/31/2009, and I really look forward to the altered perspective of 'no pressure'--pressure completely alters the point of beginning anew, don't you think?