As a new month begins, as we gather our energies to begin a new, maybe there’s goals we wish to achieve, changes we’ve been looking to make in our lives. We’re determined that this will be the month of our success, this will be the time to start finally feeling free of compulsion, to start living the way we were meant to, the way we know we are meant to live. Although this excitement is often the result of great motivation, and often motivates us even more, we shouldn’t become too attached to the idea of a new month of change. A month consists normally of thirty days, and each one of those days is made up of 24 hours, each hour 60 minutes, each minute made up of seconds, small lapses of time which fade away as we start to speak about them. What is a second? It is the closest we ever get to the now, and every second we are alive we can make a difference, both in our lives and in the world as a whole. Whenever we make a positive change in our lives we are positively affecting the planet we all share, even if indirectly we are making things better for everyone else. Along with this excitement to change often comes a disappointment in ourselves for not having changed sooner. We reach a point of desperation for not having been able to achieve our daily goals, for not being able yet to cut out that toxic and destructive habit from our lives. All negatives have a positive side, being that they provide us with experiences we can learn from. It is good that past failures motivate us for future success. But it’s even better when past failures motivate us for present success. As we begin to plan a whole month of being aware, of being more conscious, we might become sure that this time we will not fail. We might feel a rush of euphoria as we are now embarking on this journey from which there is no backing down. The problem is that, in a few days, once the initial excitement passes, we might feel disappointed in ourselves for not keeping the momentum going, we might feel that we are losing that motivation. The problem is that we were focusing on the feeling of success since the beginning, we were focusing on how good it would feel to succeed, to take on a whole month of refusing temptation, of remaining calm and collected in every situation, of breaking old habits and finally being able to feel proud of ourselves. Although it serves to motivate us initially, this focusing on the outcome and on the positive feeling it will fill us with does not provide lasting motivation, because it still focuses on future satisfaction. What is needed is not a future goal in order to be able to feel accomplished at the end of a certain period. What we need to do is to remain completely focused at every moment. We need to plan a daily review of our goals and habits, we need to keep track at every moment, we need to remain grounded in the fact that this is a new person, this person here, now, living life differently. I won’t be a new person once I complete a certain goal for a specific amount of days. No, I’m already a new person, and if I intend to live life according to my values, if I know what those values are, then at any moment I can review these ideals, and I can get straight to work. Once you know that something is good for your life, that it will help to build your life up into something richer, there is no need to look for outside validation, or even to look for validation from ourselves. Our own mind might trick us a few days later, throwing temptation in our face, hoping that we break our goals, that we indulge in that harmful habit, that we fail and feel miserable again. We need to remember that we have already made the decision to go through with this, and that decision is true of right now, we absolutely must put it into practice Now. You see, there is nothing other than the now. Focus on the now, learn the teachings of Karma Yoga in order to understand this concept in a deeper way if you must. Don’t feel entitled to feeling good, don’t feel entitled to the fruits of your labor. Don’t worry about what others think, don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like the goal is bringing you to where you wanted. Give it some time, stick to the plan, to the decision which you had in that one moment of clarity, and apply it to the now. Let go of any doubt that arises from past conditioning, let go of paralyzing fear of the future. There is no past, there is no future. There is only now, this moment, this consciousness which allows us to experience the moment, and the all-pervading Spirit which provides us with our ability to do the right thing here and now. So, if you’re trying to break a habit that has you in its grip, don’t start thinking about all the times you’ve failed, don’t start by thinking about how horrible it will feel to be deprived of such pleasure for a whole week, or a whole month, or a year. Simply know in this moment that you are free, that you don’t need anything external, whatever it may be, and be at peace in this moment. Close your eyes and sit and do nothing if necessary, but just be in the moment until temptation passes. If you are trying to pick up a new habit, don’t think about all the extra work you need to put in now. Don’t stress about people liking what you write, about people buying your music, about people criticizing your art, about people looking at you weird for refusing to complain, or for changing your life, for giving up reckless partying and drug use for spirituality, for connecting with the Higher Self within us all, or for following the passion you know you were born to pursue. Pay no mind to these things, know there is an amazing force which is on your side at all times. You cannot fail now, you can only succeed at doing what needs to be done, or at not doing what doesn’t need to be done. Stop complicating yourself and your life, stop looking for gratification in time, stop looking for the feeling of being a better person, a more responsible or successful person, and accept yourself as you are now, be at peace with yourself and with God, and get down to business. You know what needs to be done, so do it NOW! You will never get another chance to do what you need to do now.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 21.
~ Rebel Spirit