As Americans, we put a lot of stock in New Year’s resolutions. Our lists usually include: lose weight, get organized, spend less money, and so on. You can read a Top Ten list for 2012 at http://www.2011resolutions.org/top-10-new-years-resolutions-for-2011/. Most of those ten things are usually on my list every year. I am a self-proclaimed list-maker. Its a chronic disease, really. My thoughts must be ordered on a page or I find myself either overwhelmed by life’s tasks or crippled by indecision as to where I should begin. Unfortunately, this leads to multiple pages and more hours of work than can be accomplished. No one enjoys feeling inadequate on a daily basis, so I decided to ratify my usual method of annual resolve. This year I decided to focus on quality, not quantity. What if I resolved to change my attitude instead of my actions? Replace sit-ups with thankfulness and a deep-cleaning list for more grace? I never succeed at New Year’s resolutions anyway, so this year I made one, singular and wholistic goal – to live more joyfully.
My favorite Hebrew word is “shalom”. It is used as a greeting or farewell and on its face means “peace”. The beautiful thing about the Hebrew language, however, is the depth of meaning held in each word. Below the surface value, words convey feeling, emotion, and even intent. Shalom’s deeper meaning is “complete peace”. It is a feeling of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well being and harmony. I have noticed in my own life that peace often stems from a sense of gratitude and trust. When I am thankful for what I have, I feel content. When I trust that I am loved and God is in control, I feel at peace. So what is the practical application of this resolution, you ask? I will become a student of gratitude and an observer of what is good. My goal for 2012 is to recognize moments of joy and provision, love and grace, and the simple beauty of this world we take for granted every day. And because it is 2012 after all, why not use social media? You will be able to follow me on my blog, twitter or facebook as I bump and fumble my way through a paradigm shift. I’ve enclosed a quote from Chuck Swindoll to accentuate the need to address our attitude toward life.
|“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”~ Charles Swindoll|
I speculate how my life, my family, my world would be different if I embraced a new attitude toward them. I want to rediscover that sense of awe and wonder we used to know as children.
I enjoy using “shalom” as a farewell, as if speaking over them the beautiful wholeness and contentment of complete peace. And so my friends, as we all begin a new day in a new year, I wish you a deep sense of well being, harmony and contentment.