Do you want to change?

Do you want to change?
The start of a new year is the perfect time to bring in changes that we want to see in our lives. The excitement around the new year can help to lift us, and carry us along on the collective wave of enthusiasm. At least some of the way. A quick glance at the Internet, and I read that only 8% of us manage to carry through New Year’s resolutions. Around 60% of those resolutions fall by the wayside by the end of January.

Resolving to change
So how do we carry through our resolutions, and make them a permanent part of our lives? I remember, many years ago, attending my first meditation workshop, and starting to learn about the benefits of a regular meditation practice. In the break I was chatting to an American man, Sam, who had been meditating for some time. I told him that I was not the sort of person to meditate every day, as I wasn’t capable of that sort of commitment. He looked me straight in the eye, and asked, “Do you want to change?”
Do you want to change?
I don’t remember if I even answered that question, but the response which came out through my actions was “yes”. I was adrift, and desperately needed to focus my energy. Shortly after that I went on my first retreat and discovered a meditation practice which suited me, and helped me to regroup and find new inspiration. It continues to do so.
Words of a stranger
Because I had failed in earlier attempts at disciplined practice, I believed that I would always fail. I have never seen Sam again, but am eternally grateful to his questioning, which opened up in me a sense of a new possibility. The time was right for me to try again.
Begin again
One of the things I most love about meditation, is the constant invitation to “begin again”. As we sit, and find ourselves caught up in thinking or feeling, we simply notice our thoughts, and begin again, and again, and again. We do not stop thinking, but we start to notice when our thoughts have carried us away, and at that point just come back to the present moment. Our experience as we sit quietly carries through into our daily lives. There is always the invitation to begin again. We may feel stuck, frustrated, lost, but if we stay alert we notice the changes and, eventually, a new door opening.
Anyything is possible
Is there something that you long to do, but believe you are not capable of it? Maybe now is the time to cast off the old way of thinking and try again? There is a time and season for everything and sometimes we simply have to wait until the time is right. Because when everything falls into place, anything is possible.
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