New Year’s Resolutions have always been a very pass/fail sort of test for me. I set myself up to forgo chocolate and lo and behold, two weeks into the New Year, I find myself munching nonchalantly on fudge. In the immortal words of comedian Steve Martin, “I forgot.” But worse, one slip up and I feel like I have failed. I can’t go back to “the day before the fudge” so what’s the point? My record is no longer perfect.
But that is the whole point from a spiritual perspective. We’re not perfect. But we are improving.
Resolving to be more spiritual is not a hard date to keep or a hard bar to leap over. It’s a daily resetting of your mind and soul. It’s trying again when you “fail” and knowing that you can never fail if you’re trying. It is…grace. Here a few ideas for growing spiritually and for spurring you to think of your own.
1. Count to 10
Your mother was right — or, maybe it was my mother — but anyway, counting to 10 is an age-old axiom for a reason. Our first reactions to things may be influenced by how stressed we are at the moment, what just happened in that meeting or where our blood sugar levels are hovering. Do you really want to snap at someone because you are mad at someone else? Especially, if it that someone else is yourself?
Taking a few seconds to think before speaking takes discipline and practice. But taking time to respond when you feel emotional is a spiritual exercise that will help you be more centered and more caring. Make sure you eat first. (more…)