Treat Every Moment as Sacred: A New Approach to Goal-Setting
There seems to be a collective energy at the start of the year focused on the initiation of change. Most people make resolutions that reflect what they want more or less of. They might set very specific goals, with small and large milestones factored into the plan. In fact, some life coaches or business experts would say this is how you achieve success.
I used to do this. While I have achieved some of my more clear-cut and defined goals, others were doomed from the very first day. Waking up at 5am to go jogging lasted about two days before I realized that I really didn’t want to get up any earlier than I already did, especially in the cold month of January. Looking back, I now know that some of these resolutions were just another way that I put extra, unneeded pressure and demands on myself.
What if we took a much broader, big picture approach to our goals this year? Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a peace activist in the sixties, said “every moment, something sacred is at stake.” Instead of looking for specific ways to improve yourself, see what would happen if this became your goal this year. What if instead of writing down the “I will do this or that” intention, you made the intention to treat every moment as sacred.
By setting such an intention, you might observe a remarkable difference in the choices you make and the results you see. This could easily become the thought that informs all other thoughts. Remember this as you repeat it in your mind. It’s like a call to action and peace all wrapped up in one powerful intention.
And it is not such a far-out thought, that each moment is sacred and important. Most of us probably believe this anyways, but we get so overwhelmed with life that we forget the power of connection. Many of us sleepwalk through large portions of our lives, wrapped up in either hurt, resentment, or anger associated with the past. Some of our more destructive coping mechanisms may lead us further and further away from the life we are living as we try to handle the stress we feel and avoid being vulnerable. All of this takes us away from experiencing life right now.
In order to honor the sacred in each moment, we have to become awake and one hundred percent present to the many split second decisions we make every day. We have to clean out the closet of our mind, and get rid of the dust that has settled and the hurt that has lingered. We must shake things up again. We must remember to speak from the heart with loving words. We must remember to look towards ourselves and others with compassion and kindness. Just like the goal of getting in shape requires some action, this one does too.
For me, knowing that something sacred is at stake moment-to-moment has dissipated much of my anger and helped me to experience more love and kindness in almost every situation. I feel more inclined to listen to my kids and give them the hugs they really need. And by feeling less pressure to excel at my unrealistic expectations, I have become incredibly focused and energized with everything that I do.
While I didn’t set the specific goal to make more money this year or exercise more often, I have a feeling that if this mindset is my way of living, all those other things that make sense in my life, will naturally flow in. Live the year as the year of the sacred and see for yourself.
“Every moment, something sacred is at stake” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
How to Use Symbols to Manifest Your Desires
All of us in some way or another, are connected to, or influenced by symbols. When a group of Rastafarians started carving a totem pole out of a tree in a New York park they made a statement that affected the whole community. Countless people passing through the park were drawn to the totem feeling the connectivity this project initiated. Unwittingly, they were challenged to question the meaning of symbolism.
Symbolic connections act like antennae that enable us to tune in to the whole and understand the self, almost like road signs connecting a traveler to a destination.
Imagine All the Symbols
Imagine all the symbols in life we are already familiar with. Everyone relates to a circle. For some, it may signify the constant cycle of changing life or unity, wholeness and infinity or eternity. A river represents life-force and the passage of time. It also represents yielding. The symbol of a cup shows that form cannot exist without space, and space without form. There’s the dove that represents freedom. Symbols are powerfully present in religion – the cross, the Star of David, the endless knot, the tree of life, or the plait is present and recognized in most of the world’s awareness.
A Source of Wisdom
Whether we wear our symbols close to our bodies inscribed in gold or silver, hang them in our homes or tattoo them onto our bodies they are strongly inscribed in our minds. Our symbols become a source of wisdom and power for us. They express things that cannot be explained verbally and we often call on them for healing, representation, and ritual. They’re said to appear to us to awaken the ancient wisdom in our DNA.
A Source of Positivity
Imagery and visualization are becoming more popular as a way to replace negative thoughts or fear and to actively draw in positivity. We can use symbolism in conjunction with imagery to create a powerful effect. Texan based psychologist Jeanne Achterberg explains that “Imagery is a wedge or an entrance into the ability to translate and transform the very nature of our being.”