It is traditional at the end of each year to make New Year’s resolutions, and to try to adhere to them during the upcoming year.
It is not exactly goal setting, but more of a series of resolutions, firm decisions to guide your life in certain ways during the coming year.
Some people vow to improve their health, because we all know that without a healthy, strong body and a sound mind, living on this earth can be very difficult.
People make an array of resolutions; some vow to work on their personalities, or to nourish better relationships, to cultivate a satisfying career, or of course to have more money.
Those are NOT small egocentric wishes.
One MUST first attend to her own healing, to finding inner joy and health within herself, before she ventures out to help fix the world.
There is great merit and nothing at all selfish in cultivating a healthy body and having money.
A sick body is a liability.
Having a lot of debt is also a hindrance to your progress.
All you would be able to exemplify to others are more of the same earthly fears with which the world is already saturated, and to reinforce the mistaken ideas of scarcity and lack.
You need a healthy, strong body and plenty of resources if you are to do your ultimate work here on the earth, the work for which you came.
There are many ways to learn how to manifest what you want in life.
Some of us know how to do it intuitively, while others attend workshops, seminars or read one of the hundreds of books that have been written on the subject.
The problem with manifesting our dreams is that many of our dreams are unexamined and often do not yield the results we want.
We seek the essence of what is BEHIND the dream, but instead of going straight to the feeling, to the point of it all, we run after the physical appearance of the dream.
Recently we had tea with a man who re-formed his dream of sailing around the world.
His blue eyes gazed into the Hokianga harbor when he said:
“Have you ever realized how limiting, lonely and utterly boring it is to sail for month after month, confined to a small sailboat on the ocean?
Small things like standing up to stretch, or being able to take a walk to clear your head, are not available to you.
The only fun and memorable experiences occur when you finally reach a destined shore and meet the people, try their food or take in the beauty of their cultures, and for this, I did not need the long isolated hard stretches of time out on the sea.”
He spoke about the wind, or the lack of it, and how it would immobilize him for days.
We talked about many other dreams that we run after or observed people pursue, which do not even fit their personalities nor answer to anything that will ever make them happy.
Like many British people, he admitted that he had been willing to trade in everything, just for a bit of good weather.
After moving to Brisbane, Australia, where the weather is always sunny and dry, he said that he found himself waking up in the morning, looking at the sun and thinking to himself:
“Great, another fucking sunny day, nothing but this relentless sun.
When will there be a cloud, a bit of rain, some wind to stir things up or cool things down…”
We talked about the many people who move to the picturesque countryside of Italy, Spain or France, hoping to learn the language and live peaceful, socially rich lives among the locals.
Like many others, he too shared that dream, and actually made it happen.
The sobering reality was that he mostly lived and worked within a community of British expats who had also migrated to France.
He said that even the dream of mixing with the locals did not work out so well.
Not that the locals were unfriendly, it was just that they were mostly peasants, poor farmers with whom he had nothing in common.
The locals were not even interested in new ideas.
They liked to drink and smoke and had not yet tapped into their inner wisdom, and often the conversations revolved around the weather, some pests that had been eating the vines, or some bigoted ideas about immigration and politics.
I can tell you from my own life experience that many of my own earthly dreams were unexamined.
I still ran after them and made many of them come true, but now I am very careful what I wish for, and I examine my dreams very carefully to find the essence of what it is I am REALLY hoping to find, before I embark on the costly adventures of manifesting them.
Would moving to a beautiful place in Croatia, Bali, Japan or Thailand, be any different from what I already did when moving to New Zealand or to the mountains of Colorado?
I do not think so.
Would I be happier if I lived in a lively city?
In no time my mind would start focusing on the heavy traffic, the busy streets, the noise, the fact that you can hardly get a table at any of the good restaurants, the high prices of everything, the hustle and bustle, the poor quality of air, the bad tasting water….
Recently I read an interview with the actress Jennifer Aniston.
Jennifer is an icon of graceful aging, looking better than she ever did as a young woman.
The interviewer asked her what was her favorite restaurant in Los Angeles.
Jennifer admitted that her first choice is the salad bar at Whole Foods.
This took me by surprise.
Even though we live between Aspen and Vail in Colorado, an area filled with many fancy hotels and restaurants, we also often prefer the salad bar at the Whole Foods.
I always IMAGINED that it was because we have no vegetarian restaurants in our area, and that if I were to live in LA, I would be frequenting the many vegan restaurants in the area.
But when I examined it, I realized there were many other convenient reasons that we prefer to dine at the Whole Foods, and probably would do so even if we had many other choices.
I am not minimizing earthly dreams and the benefits of making those dreams come true.
Making dreams come true helps us understand the process of creation and it empowers us.
We get to exercise our spiritual muscles through understanding how our intentions form into a powerful outline or contour on the grid of possibilities, and how the power of our will combined with the power of our daily thoughts, actions and words, bring those possible realities into our physical reality.
I can assure you that I also have had many laughable dreams, and have heard of many funny ones.
I once had a hairdresser who told me that he finally made his dream come true.
When I asked what it was, he said that he had had a dream of having a Mercedes and that he finally got one.
By that time in my life, I already felt that dreaming about any luxury car was laughable, but I could not avoid sympathizing with him as he spoke about his earlier dream to become a hairdresser.
He said that his Dad back in Cuba, forbade him to go to beauty school and that from a very young age he knew only two things.
One was that he was gay, and the other was that he must, absolutely must become a hairdresser.
I laughed wholeheartedly as he comically described how he had run to his mother in shock and desperation, saying: “Mamacita, Mamacits, Pappa said that I cannot go to beauty school! Why? Por que? Why, Mamacita?”
His mother reassured him that they would find the money somehow and that she was fully committed to helping him find himself.
He was a great actor with great flair, and I could not avoid thinking that perhaps he had misjudged his calling.
But I understood that his journey to self acceptance included manifesting this Mercedes dream, which was his way of acknowledging himself as a successful person, a person who had pursued his dreams and had made them come true, one by one.
Yes, we create the reality that we envision for ourselves, but it is just as important to become aware of how we create in our reality, things and situations that we do NOT want.
If you want to enjoy a healthy body and NOT to be at the mercy of “modern” medicine, you should not smoke or drink alcohol.
If you truly care about your health, you should not overburden your liver nor compromise your kidneys.
Dis-ease and disaster might not strike today or even tomorrow, but it is a moving target.
Let food be your medicine and help PROMOTE your health, not deplete it.
Do not overeat, which stresses the heart and burdens the digestive system.
And of course you must love movement.
Walk, hike, run, ski, dance, do yoga, do gardening.
Do not look for the escalator but walk up the stairs and be the one who does the physical work.
You need to examine your thoughts and words and stop engaging in self sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.
Do not affirm getting old, unless you WANT to get old, to see that in your reality.
The other day I spoke with a friend who told me:
“You cannot deny that we are getting old.”
“I deny! I deny!
we are changing, but not getting old.
Nothing in my own body is giving up, not my knees, not my back, nothing!
I can do today things that I could only dream of, when I was twenty.
In my twenties, I was a drinker and a smoker, a lost girl with little insight and many pains and fears that I carried in my heart.
Today I am strong, capable, determined, powerful, brave, loving and capable.
My body might not look the same as it did in my twenties, but it is sweet and easy to be in.
I even like how I look these days more than I ever did.”
You are a very powerful creator, and your thoughts and affirmations have tremendous power to affect your reality.
You are NEVER at the mercy of random chance.
We create what we want as well as what we do NOT really want in our lives.
This is because we focus on our bodies, and get our “cues” from the way the body feels and looks.
If we see sagging skin and wrinkles, we tell ourselves that we are getting old.
If we have all sort of pains or weak knees or an achy back, we do not understand that it is because we do not exercise enough or energize our bodies with light filled thoughts.
Rather than directing our minds to build light and healthy bodies, we simply assume that with age, the body gets fragile and frail.
Many of our thoughts and feelings do not revolve around what we REALLY want.
We focus instead on our pains, our limitations, on what we cannot do.
What you really want is a serene and peaceful mind,
A sense of joy and vitality so deep that it can never be disturbed,
An energized body and an inner light so bright and so powerful, that it brushes aside all imagined sickness and helplessness,
A sense of abundance so great, that it will feel as if endless resources are at your feet.
While painting in the studio, I reflected on why people resist the elementary idea that we create our own reality.
Wouldn’t they be delighted to know that, and then go on to create the life that they want?
Why do people find it so hard to change their minds, to shift from a reality that they do NOT want, that is making them unhappy or sick, to embrace higher truths?
A memory of a conversation that I once had with a friend flashed across my mind.
My friend told me that she had been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness.
She said that she had felt it for years, but that the doctors had not been able to find anything wrong wth her.
Finally, she was diagnosed and felt very relieved: “At least it is not all in my mind,” she concluded.
Of course I understood where she was coming from, and felt tremendous compassion towards her.
I understood that she was happy to find out that she was not “crazy,” and that her sickness was “real.”
But I still remember wondering to myself: why would anyone bargain for a terminal illness?…. Wouldn’t it be much better if it WERE all in her mind?
I would much prefer that the sickness be “All in my mind,” where I can easily shift and change it, than to have it in my body, where I have to understand its cause and how it had symptomatized in my body.
The mind is so pliable, so easy to change, to educate and to weed out wrong ideas from it….
Why would anyone not be overjoyed to find that she was wrong… And to happily change her mind?…..
Why would anyone resist the realization that we create our own reality by the beliefs and ideas that we hold in our minds?
Our inner focus expands outwards to show us the world through the colored vision of our focus.
Thieves see the world very differently from the kind souls volunteering to feed the homeless.
Prostitutes see men very differently from nurses who wipe their asses in the hospitals.
I realized that the resistance to the idea that we are creators stems from a misunderstanding, in which people think that it means that it is “All their fault.”
They think that creating your reality means that it is YOUR fault that you got this sickness, attracted that abusive relationship, or have such an unsatisfying money situation.
I remember once when I was still on Facebook, I wrote an article about this subject.
I got a very angry reply from an artist, who practically raged over the idea that we create our own reality.
She spoke about a recent illness that she was diagnosed with, and said that by no means was it her own fault!
She said she ate in a healthy way, and did not bring this upon herself.
Of course, disease and nutrition are not linked with an iron chain.
Plenty of health-food fanatics get sick.
Dis-ease, or lack of ease in the body, runs through our emotional bodies, and the resentments, grievances, and fear based beliefs that we hold, all can create energetic blockages that could solidify in the body.
I exchanged some supportive emails with her trying to ease her mind, and to explain that it is not at all about fault, but about taking charge and claiming back her powers, but to no avail.
She was not ready to hear any of it.
Perhaps she needed to go through the grieving and anger process before embracing any other truth.
It seemed to me that it should be easier for an artist to understand this basic spiritual Truth, that we create our own reality.
After all, writers and artists are creators.
They take ideas or raw materials and supplies and create stories and images or make beautiful sculptures.
A devoted writer or an artist often spends her lifetime in the sanctuary of her studio, creating worlds upon worlds.
She pulls ideas from her imagination and brings them into physical reality.
But even many artists, who spend most of their days creating, struggle to understand how we create our own reality.
I know artists who are poor or sick and unable to move, yet still do not devote any time to spiritual understanding and studies.
Instead, they dream about advancing their careers, selling more art, completely oblivious to the deeper craving of their souls, that want to HEAL…..to fly… To dance….to be whole again on all levels, body, mind and spirit.
How would having more money help heal their bodies or un-paralyze them?
We seem to live in “mind clouds” that we dream into being by our focus.
We choose our reality from the grid of possibilities.
It is as if we are listening and broadcasting on the airwaves of an invisible radio.
Each one of us is tuned into certain vibrational frequencies.
There are many levels of dimensional frequencies vibrating all around us, but we are only aware of the frequencies into which we are tuned.
We come into this world already preprogrammed with a genetic code, with predispositions toward certain ways of processing the informational data that is circulating all around us.
Many of those ideas come from our cultures’s and society’s programming.
It is more a matter of unlearning….
We need to change the tapes that run through our minds, in order to choose thoughts, feelings and vibrations of higher frequencies.
As we tune in and continue to make small adjustments, we allow more joy and love to guide our minds, and thus we start functioning on higher frequencies of awareness.
We are creators, choosing our realities from the infinite grid of possibilities.
Into the wide vortex we project our desires with the force of our emotions.
All of our desires spin strongly in this vortex, this vibrational realm of intentions, waiting for us to bring them into conscious reality.
Well, I think I have said more than enough on this subject for now.
So what are my own New Year’s resolutions, you might ask?
I am always looking for more insights.
I want to transcended all physical limitations, and in order to do so, I believe I need to face physical challenges.
My biggest resolution is to go on a walking pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku, Japan.
It is a 1400 kilometer walk around 108 Buddhist temples that are spread across the perimeter of the island.
It is a journey in the footprints of Kobo Daishi, also known as Kukai, who reached enlightenment during his pilgrimage.
It is a symbolic journey towards enlightenment.
I am planning to document the whole journey on video and hopefully on my blog.
I know that it will be challenging on many levels.
It will take us three months of strenuous walking, mountain climbing, sleeping in simple temple accommodations or basic guesthouses along the way.
We will encounter many tourists, who, although they wear the traditional clothes of the pilgrim, do the whole journey by bus or by air conditioned minivans.
When I think about this pilgrimage, I shiver….
I do not want to imagine blisters and relentless heat, rainy days and storms, misery, regrets and fatigue, but I know that they are all possibilities along the way.
All this we are planning for the springtime, running into summer.
If we survive this pilgrimage, I am also hoping to go to Ladakh and Rishikesh in India in 2016.
To Rishikesh I want to go mostly to be among, and hear the stories of other free-spirited, enlightenment-seeking people like me.
Since it is located in the Himalayas, maybe I will meet a holy man, maybe I will meet the Holy- in any man.
To Ladakh I want to go seeking new layers of wisdom.
It is an isolated stretch of the earth where one can still find tangible spiritual myths and living oracles.
I crave to be there.
India is still one of the spiritual strongholds on the planet.
The enlightened yogi Paramahansa Yogananda moved to America to teach the wisdom of the ancient Kriya Yoga as a path to Self Realization.
Once he returned to India for a visit and said:
“Oh, how I have longed to return to mother India, where you do not need to coax people into loving God….”
My warm wishes to you, and a reminder for the upcoming year:
Believe in yourself,
Do what you love,
And Love even Bigger!
Oh…. Please, please, please, love bigger.
Let your love expand beyond your family and friends to include everyone in the whole universe.