For the first few days of every new year, people often greet each other with wishes for happiness and good health. Then it seems that as we become accustomed to the routine of daily activities, it's easy to forget the joys of a new beginning and the days roll by as before.
I always look forward to opening a new appointment book and hanging up the prettiest calendar in celebration of a new year. In the past, I also created a long list of resolutions. However, this year I decided to make only one resolution. I intend to act as if each day is a whole new beginning, a completely fresh start. That's it. That's my only resolution and I intend to keep it. This way, if I ate something sugary yesterday, it doesn't mean that I've failed to keep to my goal of eliminating sugar from my diet, it only means that today (a whole new start) will provide an opportunity to be sugar-free. If I don't get through all the items on my "to do" list, I can trust that every new day will provide an opportunity to tackle what I most wish to accomplish. I know this isn't a new idea since there's really nothing "new" under the sun. However, choosing only one item on what formerly would have been a very long list of New Year's Resolutions is new to me. Today, and every day in this new year, I send you blessings for happiness and good health.
For many years, AMAG has been teaching a simple way to restore and maintain integrity. Not only peace of mind, but strength of body and emotions. This formula is easy as 1, 2, 3 and goes like this: 1. Decide to choose; 2. Choose (or Select) from the array of possibilities that appear; and 3. Act on your choice (selection). If any portion of this 3-step process is left undone, you'll notice right away that confusion sets in, which makes it even more difficult to stay peaceful in your heart and mind. You might even begin to feel weak or frightened. To restore strength, integrity, truth, etc., just follow the steps. It's OK to hum to yourself, "It's easy as 1, 2, 3..."
Raymond Charles Barker (1911–1988) was a leader and author in the New Thought spiritual movement, founder and first minister of the Church of Religious Science in Manhattan. Some of his students included future Religious Science leaders Stuart Grayson and Louise Hay. He said, "You are in a spiritual universe to act, decide and select, and upon your decision rests your experience." I think he was saying the same thing as AMAG only in different words. We always experience the product of our actions and it helps to know that our actions follow a process of choice. We always have freedom of choice.
I recently read a novel entitled, The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani. The story is set in the 1620s during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great in what is now Iran. One of the arts the Shah promoted was carpet making. At that time, carpets were coveted by European kings, noblemen, wealthy merchants, and artists such as Rubens, Velazquez, and Van Dyck. Under his patronage, carpet making was elevated to the status of fine art; examples of this fine workmanship exist today in museums and private collections around the world. I was particularly moved by the title, which signifies the death of millions of flowers, their blooms picked at the height of their glory in order to create the indelible dyes used in the creation of carpets. The author wrote that she drew the title from a poem called "Ode to a Garden Carpet," by an unknown Sufi poet, circa 1500. The poem portrays the garden carpet as a place of refuge that stimulates visions of the divine. I was feeling sorry for the flowers while I read the story and was reminded of AMAG's words, "Everything that exists in your world is engaged in eating and being eaten. What appears to you as the death of one form is the birth of something else. Everything is both consuming and being consumed at the same time."
Yesterday's holiday historically celebrated the return of the Sun and everything that warmer weather promised in terms of fertility and abundance. In between the equinox and high summer, it marks a time of new beginnings. On fire with enthusiasm after having felt frozen in time and space for months, I'm excited to announce new opportunities for people to enjoy AMAG this year. In July, I'll be in Omaha, NE visiting a long-time friend and offering group Conversations with AMAG. Mid-August, I'll be in Missoula, MT for another Wisdom Journey (already full), and perhaps a group reunion with friends of AMAG in that area. I'm still scouting locations for that possibility. October 7 - 10 are the dates chosen for a Wisdom Journey in Tucson, AZ. If the beautiful house chosen for the residential seminar meets or exceeds expectations, then I'll schedule another Wisdom Journey in Tucson. These seminars fill very quickly. There are only three spaces left for the October one, so if you're interested in participating, please contact me right away.
What a difference to be pain free! Several of my friends suffer painful chronic conditions and I have always sympathized with their plight. Gaining relief after five long months of pain and stiffness in my left shoulder has taught me even more than sympathy with that experience. It's hard to fathom reasons to choose pain as a learning technique in order to add wisdom to one's "body of information," however, I am well acquainted with having made that choice in this lifetime, too. I'm also ready to find new ways to gain wisdom. One of the most useful tools in my kit these days are the Dimensions of Consciousness that AMAG says we all have available to us to use as needed. They have reminded us for years that we're all multidimensional beings "possessed of total freedom" and I think I'm beginning to understand what they mean by that. It's up to me to decide in what dimension I choose to position myself and where I choose to focus my attention. Rather than just masking a problem or avoiding sensation, being able to shift my perspective to a completely different realm of consciousness allows me to celebrate life again. Rather than crying out in pain I can make a joyful noise instead.