Letting go of "The Plan"

I've never really been one for making New Year's resolutions.  I'm a goal oriented kinda gal and my mind is often engaged in planning.  I don't feel a particular need to make new goals just because it's January 1st.  My brain is wired to do this year round.

However, I've started reading a book called Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn in preparation for a week long workshop with the author that I will be attending in February, and a passage I read yesterday has had me reflecting.

"In the meditative domain, the best way to achieve your own goals is to back off from striving for resuts and instead to start focusing carefully on seeing and accepting things as they are, moment by moment.  With patience and regular practice, movement toward your goals will take place by itself.  This movement becomes an unfolding that you are inviting to happen within you."

In my experience with practicing meditation and mindfulness, this is very skillful advice.  It is not possible to force your mind to be empty of thoughts. And having a sense striving is a definite obstacle to finding the very stillness and calm you are seeking.

My reflection has been that this instruction rings true for so many things in our daily lives.  Not just while perched on a meditation cushion.  It is our cultural tendancy (and certainly mine) to push forward all the time and to have all our ducks lined up with all the "i's" dotted and "t's" crossed.

My focus for the next while (maybe I'll even call it "for the next year") is to not grip so tightly to my goals.  To let  go of striving and of always having a plan.  I'm going to use intention, patience and practice to help propel me forward rather than my habitual tendancy to push, strive and achieve.  It's a subtle shift, but I already notice a sense of spaciouness in how it feels in my body to frame my goals this way.

Wishing you much joy and bountiful health thoughout  2012, along with ease and clarity as you reflect on your goals for the New Year.

ps - Here are a couple fabulous articles I've enjoyed in the last few days

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