Part One: Forget New Year’s Resolutions — Try This!

Part One: Forget New Year’s Resolutions — Try This!


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.

Henry David Thoreau

We wish for good things every day.  You and I have done it all year.  Heck, we’ve done it all our lives. Any time something happens that we don’t like, we think about what would have been more pleasing.  It’s a quick thought, a fleeting thought, a thought about improvement.

Right now, in this moment, begin to notice how you have naturally and over time created a boatload of positive wishes….

Pretty impressive, actually.  These, by the way, could be your “castles in the air.”  Just possibly.

Any time something bad happens, we wish for something better.  This is a GOOD thing.  This is the gift the crummy thing is giving you — a chance to see what you actually prefer.

Any time someone is rude or unkind (which might have even been you)  we think about doing better next time.  It’s natural.

So all year long, you could say we have been creating and collecting thoughts about improvement.  Some are so strong they are like rockets leaving our body, some are happy puffs of  delicate pink wishes.  Some thoughts of improvement are strong and begin to grow roots, some are like a wave, with a ripple effect that washes over others around you, changing the landscape in a beneficial way for others as well.

Just for fun, just as an exercise, imagine that every thought of improvement that you’ve ever thought is still around you, even those from childhood, and they are all circling in the vicinity of you.

You have been collecting wishes for your entire life.  It’s a pretty big swirl by now.

The swirl includes every thought you’ve ever thought about what you really, really want.  Little things, big things and everything in between.  Sometimes the thoughts are on behalf of others, meaning that you hope your mother, who is miles away from you, is well-taken care of by those around her, since you are not there.

Or your sister just called from her car, and you can feel her stress.  In that moment, ignoring how she is actually feeling right now, you imagine her thriving, even while she is presenting every reason not to be.  You see her rested and happy on her joyful drive to work.

You look at her life in that moment, and you improve it for her, just in your mind. You see her in a vision of ease and happiness, going through her day being supported and satisfied.

We often launch these versions of  a better life  — for ourselves or someone else — in the empty space, the pause, the after-silence, the little bits of downtime between events of the day.

The thoughts of improvement might occur, for instance, while you’re driving.  They might be born from a difficult conversation you just had on the phone.  Then you get into your car and for a little while, you dream it differently — you make it turn out another way, and it’s better for everyone.

All of these wishes might be your “castles in the air” as Henry David Thoreau wrote.  They are wishes thrown out there, and maybe there is a way to put a foundation under them.

How would you do that?

How would you bring more long-lost wishes into your current reality?

Try this.  Set aside a fairly significant window of time, like two to four hours, with nothing pulling at you — like a morning when you’re having coffee and don’t have anywhere to go.  Write out your new and improved life story.  Make sure it is a story, not a laundry list of events.  Put in tastes and sounds and textures.  Make it real.  Make it easy to visualize.

This is something you can do for yourself, or give as a gift to another.  I gave a story to a friend of mine as a birthday gift recently.  Because I know her really well, I was able to include details that would mean a lot to her.

For this sample story, see Part Two. Have fun writing!

Henry David Thoreau, In Care of Relationships, New Year's Resolutions, relationships, Terri Crosby

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