Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence – Aristotle
Our “New Year Month” is fast coming to a close. It would be easy to feel defeated if you’ve been less than successful at hitting your goals or formulating a complete plan for the new year. Remember that transformation is a process and not a destination. The aim of this renewal & resolution exercise is to be challenged to become happier, peaceful and more content people by exploring areas in our lives that are sources of sadness and disappointment. And knowing myself (and many of you), this is gonna take some time!
Initially, my intention was to blast away at seven spheres of our lives (health, relationships, purpose, service, god, world & creativity) in one pithy blog post and then move on. But the more I looked into my own own life and encountered my own dimmed reflection, I thought the topic might be better served as an ongoing discussion that I’ll revisit often. What do you think?
Each of us is daily moving through life, facing challenges and encountering joy minute by minute, day by day. A set of resolutions can be a starting point, a spring board; but pursuing faith, hope and love is a day in, day out journey. We can become consumed with self-help plans and systems. Like a plant that requires water, sunlight and time to grow, well never find happiness by constantly plucking the plant out of the pot to examine the progress of the roots. At some point we simply have to learn to be. Rather than looking for strategies to add to the way we live or searching for patterns to remove from our way of living, wouldn’t it prosper us to set upon a new way of living altogether?
If we are honest about personal transformation, behavior modification will never be enough. We all feel a sacred longing within us. We want real change. We long for true connection with our true selves and hunger for deep belonging with others. Efforts guided to shape only our superficial actions will simply result in temporary cosmetic changes to how we appear to others. Happiness will only come when we are committed to a revolution within the core of who we are. We don’t just want to look like were living…WE WANT TO LIVE!
In ancient Palestine, before the early followers of Jesus were called “Little Christ’s (Christians) they had another name. Because of the uniqueness of their lifestyle, borrowing from rabbinical language, this new culture was called “The Way.” Later, Christian devotees of certain saints developed a lifestyle of devotion that was called “The rule” or an “Order”. These were specific values that guarded and directed their living. But in our postmodern world, we have no rule and we have no way. Is it any wonder we often feel lost despite being surrounded and saturated by people, technology and culture?
In looking at the spheres of our life: health, relationships, purpose, god, world & creativity. Instead of individually tinkering, what if we pursued a more holistic way of living that globally effected all of these areas?
By what rule would you live?
What would be your way?
‘Nuff said, stay tuned-in, Godspeed – John