Maybe Your Problems Aren’t Big Enough

Holidays can be distracting and difficult for many of us.

“Our only problem is that we want not to have any problems.” ~ Buddhist saying

As we enter the final month of the year and the Holiday Season, many of us get distracted by all of the holiday-related activities that call to us – shopping, planning family get-togethers, holiday travel and parties, etc. Then, before you know it, the month of December is over and the New Year has begun, and we are faced with an unplanned future. We have ignored our problems, our planning for how to shape our lives in the new year, and we find ourselves depressed, frustrated, or both.

Why not make this December different?

For one thing, you could begin to appreciate your problems more. No, really. Let me ask you, how often do you grow from comfort? The reality for most of us, most of the time, is that we grow from challenge – from our problems. There is a very simple way to grow from your problems more consciously. First, accept that the problem exists (no denial or procrastinating). Second, be grateful for that problem in your life (yes, grateful). Third, focus on what you can learn about yourself, your capacities, your strengths, and your potential from your experience with the problem (what does it call forth from within you?); the bigger the problem, the more potential to grow from the experience. Fourth, clean up the problem as best you can – whatever it takes. And fifth, see yourself beyond the problem – what you do feel like knowing that the problem is now in your past?

What if you dedicated time throughout the month to contemplate how you want 2013 to be different for you? You could think about unfinished business (you know, problems) that needs to be attended to so that you can start out the New Year fresh, and plan how you want to BE in the New Year. The focus on BEING instead of DOING is essential to creating a healthier, more joyful experience of life for you. Only you can decide how to be and allow that sense of beingness to inform all that you choose to do.

Begin by deciding what you are ready to release. In particular, what are you ready to let go of emotionally? Are there relationship issues that need to be addressed? Are you being particularly hard on yourself this year? Is there a financial cloud that you would like to clear?

You can set the intention during December and follow-through on the action later if you choose. Here is what I suggest:

• Use the first two weeks of December to contemplate what you want to release and to set your intentions for the New Year (remember, BEING intentions).
• Use the second two weeks of December to visualize the new version of you and see yourself enjoying a fulfilling and happy 2013.
• As January begins, set your intentions for how you want to spend December 2013 – How do you want to BE at the end of the coming year?

Do all of this for about an hour a day, and then enjoy your holiday planning and experiences knowing that you are creating the best possible 2013 for yourself!

Dr. Jim Lockard is Spiritual Leader of the Center for Spiritual Living Simi Valley in California ( He is the author of SACRED THINKING – Awakening to Your Inner Power. You can connect with Dr. Jim on Facebook as Jim Lockard and on Twitter as @JimLockard.

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