Life is not a problem to be solved but an extraordinary opportunity to be present.
It is the journey, where our daily experiences, skills, attitudes and imagination shape us and, in our interconnectedness, the world we live in.
Most of us set goals and dream of destinations for the new year. While we think of resolutions we tend to overlook the larger motivations that can help guide us with greater meaning, and not just for ourselves, but also the benefit of all beings.
Here are 10 aspirations for 2014—with several quotes I wrote for myself—and please share yours in the comment section below:
1. Love more and fear less.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~ John Lennon
2. Practice kindness and compassion.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama
3. Witness diversity of human experience with an open heart and mind.
“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.” ~ Andrew Boyd, Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe
4. Be true to myself and to the suffering of the world.
“I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela
6. Help prevent animal cruelty, especially toward elephants.
7. Wonder about the unknown and learn more about the universe.
8. Do more what I love (for me, it is yoga, meditation, photography, travel).
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~ Ansel Adams
9. Buy and waste less and share and give more.
Just do it—it’s liberating and rewarding.
10. Be the change you wish to see, as Gandhi taught us.
There are many ways how one can participate in positive social changes and it is important that we support and inspire each other.
Happy New Year! May your aspirations help you make your dreams come alive!
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives