As the New Year approaches, many of us find ourselves with a journal and pen in hand, eager to write a list of promises, resolutions and goals for the year ahead. However, by the time we are a few months into the new year, often times we’ve gone back to our old habits and may be enticed to throw in the towel when the opportunity arises to indulge in our guiltiest pleasures that we know may not be serving us.
A luminous, clean slate is possible whenever we simply decide it is so, and how wonderful is that?!
So, before you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon on all the remarkably lofty goals and positive shifts you had planned for this upcoming year, our dear friend and Luminary Agapi Stassinopoulos has us covered for a practical and manageable reset.
Agapi is a bestselling author and jubilant motivational speaker who inspires audiences around the world. She is a bubbly, warm, vivacious Greek goddess with a big passion for life, and joy, and helping people finding their own true joy in their heart.
In Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life Agapi offers a practical, action-oriented guide to mindfulness, meditation, self-acceptance, joy, and finding depth in our lives – one manageable week at a time. It’s also an intimate glimpse into her own life and the lessons she has learned from the people in it, including her sister, Arianna Huffington.
At a critical moment on our planet when many of us are struggling to find joy and calm in our lives, Agapi’s guidance and wisdom comes at the perfect time.
She invites each of us to take “a year-long study of yourself.”
She encourages us to embark on a journey to find our resilience and our spirit. As we do, we start to find our fearlessness and we let go of hesitations and doubt. We learn to ask; we learn to receive; we learn to become an investigative journalist.
“I urge people to be a scientist about what they want and ask themselves why they want it so badly.”
As you enter into this new year, create a daily journaling practice where you ask yourself each morning what you truly desire, why you are setting each goal, and what outcomes or feelings you hope to find.
Ultimately, you may notice that many of the things you think you ‘should’ do really aren’t creating joy in your life – many of these routines may actually be creating unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Each week, each day, each moment, we are always encountering different energies, different things that challenge us, with people, with our thoughts, with the world, with the news.
Agapi encourages us to ask ourselves:
How can I today – because all I have is today – move past the separation and fear of asking for what it is that I want in my life? How can I move past withholding my love and my generosity?
How can I stay being a calm and a connected human being?
How can I stay connected in a world that really challenges me?
To answer these questions, and ultimately find joy in our lives, we are invited to dive deep.
If you’re going to live in the anxiety of the surface of this world or your own inner conflicts, you’re never going to find the depth, the source. If you want calmness, you’ve got to go deeper. The depth of the ocean is calm, but on the surface, there are always waves. If you dive deep in your life, your life can be bliss.
In a recent interview Psychology Today, Agapi talks about “taking a sabbatical from happiness” one where we can surrender to the knowing that there is something larger than ourselves that is working for us and around us in a brilliant cosmic intelligence. So, in this state of knowing there is goodness, no matter what is happening – in the news, in our families, in our communities – we see that goodness.
“We worry so much in this culture about being happy. The pursuit of happiness is even written in our Constitution. It’s an erroneous concept because we are emotional, thinking beings that are constantly affected by a hundred things around us and inside us. If we strive for happiness, it’s going to be elusive because things constantly happen with human beings that disrupt that happiness. But if you focus on euphoros, the Greek word for “the bearer of goodness,” you will be inhabited by this divine source of life we talked about. You wake in the morning and proclaim yourself to be the bearer of goodness. “I will bring good. I will attract good. I will create good. Good things happen to me, and my life is good.” You start to move into the track of goodness, and that becomes a place of abundance, a place of rest, a place of relaxation, and a place of trust.”
You may have heard the Rumi quote; “You’re not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” There may be times when you feel small, insignificant and insubstantial, but knowing the universe is in your tiny body should be enough to make you happy.
This year, try the resolution to reinforce the goodness and the joy no matter what. Commit to celebrating the mindset that good things happen to you. This mindset of your goodness makes you automatically happy, calm, trusting, magnetic and more productive. This attitude makes you become more in tune with yourself so that if you need to stop and take time out; you allow yourself to do that. You do more of what you love to do. You take the time to reflect, give gratitude, sing, dance, and live in the freedom and love you were born to enjoy – and what better resolution is that?
“This is your precious life. Live it. Sing your song. Give it your deepest gratitude. Celebrate your fullness.“
Images courtesy of Agapi Stassinopoulos